Media releases

New lease of life for laneways and forgotten spaces

Published 21 September 2021

A new laneways revitalisation plan will transform a series of Sydney’s inner-city lanes and underused space to further support the City of Sydney’s post-pandemic recovery measures.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said prioritising the new laneways revitalisation plan will help draw people back into the city and create a lively, engaging and prosperous city centre.

“We’re giving a new lease of life to forgotten spaces in the centre of Sydney to welcome people back into the city when it’s safe to do so, and support local businesses that have been devasted by the ongoing pandemic,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We first unveiled our laneways program in 2007 and since then 26 laneways have been brought to life with bars, restaurants, retail outlets and acclaimed art installations.

“Much-loved spaces such as Angel Place, Ash Street, Tank Stream Way and Penfold Lane and Hosking Place are just some of the wonderful examples of this dramatic inner-city rejuvenation.

“We’ve seen residents, workers and visitors embrace a revitalised small bar and dining culture in locations including Temperance, Sussex and York lanes. Today there are around 90 small bars in our local area and much of that is thanks to business operators embracing Sydney’s laneway opportunities.

“Alongside our planning rules, this success has encouraged the private sector to follow, with wonderful revitalisations and restorations in Skittle Lane, Loftus Lane, Wynyard Lane and Underwood Street among the six laneway conversions completed by private developers.

“Now that work has finished on the light rail project, we can get to work on completing our vision for a city that is people focused and business friendly, drawing together city workers, residents, visitors, entertainers, artists and the hospitality sector.

“The need to accommodate physical distancing while encouraging a return to the city centre makes the latest steps in our laneways revitalisation program an ideal investment in our city’s future.”

The City has identified 10 future priority projects for revitalisation over the next 10 years from 2022. The new laneways are:

Barlow Street

Between George Street and Parker Lane, Barlow Street is currently home to a temporary artwork by the artist collective Dirt Witches. It was installed in January 2021 as part of a temporary laneway art and alfresco activation program to encourage and support a return to the city centre after the 2020 lockdown. The small banksia forest has received overwhelming support from the public with more than a dozen requests to retain a permanent closure.

The extension of the George Street pedestrianisation south to Central station provides an ideal opportunity to create a permanent landscape installation in the western section of Barlow Street.

St Laurence Lane

With a new light rail stop in Rawson Place at the end of the laneway, upgrade works to St Laurence Lane and improved lighting will provide opportunities for local business and encourage people to explore the area on foot.

Curtin Place and Hamilton and Little Hunter streets

Part of the laneway running off George Street has recently been upgraded and converted to a shared zone as part of the development at 280 George Street. Together with Hamilton and Little Hunter streets, it forms a laneway network and pedestrian connections between George and Pitt streets.

Randle Lane, York Lane and Wynyard Lane

These inner-city laneways have been earmarked for revitalisation once redevelopment works around Wynyard railway station and the construction of the new Metro station at Central are complete.

Randle Lane runs next to the new Metro pedestrian portal on the eastern side of Central station and will have high pedestrian traffic in the area, while York and Wynyard lanes are next to to the upgraded development at Wynyard station.

These lanes are an opportunity to create new connections for people walking in the city centre and new opportunities for local businesses.

Underwood and Dalley streets

Located in the Quay West Quarter, development and revitalisation of these small streets will support public domain improvements throughout the precinct.

The laneways and public domain upgrades will be completed by the City of Sydney in stages and coordinated with major developments and domain upgrades.

The program of priority laneways to guide the City’s Laneways Revitalisation Program was unanimously endorsed by Council on Monday 20 September.

For media enquiries or images, contact the media team on 02 9246 7292 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore contact Paul Mackay on 0436 816 604 or email