Post-pandemic vision for a 24-hour city

23rd September 2020 | Eativity editors

The City of Sydney is working with the NSW Government on a vision to create a 24-hour alfresco city that will support Sydney’s recovery from the economic impact of COVID-19.

The city’s community recovery plan focuses on the need to reactivate the city centre and its local precincts with outdoor dining and bars, late night trading, live music and cultural institutions staying open in the evening. Together, the city and government will work to cut red tape and create a streamlined process that will make it easier than ever before for businesses to take up outdoor dining in reclaimed spaces and laneways. Under the new plans, associated outdoor dining fees will also be waived until March 2021.

Barrack Street, Sydney: with warmer weather on the way, outdoor dining sounds like a great idea.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says that the City of Sydney has been working towards the creation of a 24-hour alfresco city for more than 10 years.

“Over the last decade, we proposed the light rail and helped create a pleasant, people-friendly George Street; we paved laneways and campaigned for small bars,” she says.

“Now, by removing fees and red tape and working with businesses to find as many outdoor dining opportunities as possible, we’re supporting COVID recovery while realising our vision of an alfresco city. We need to allow businesses to operate outdoors, and we need to support our creative and cultural life to draw people back to our city, safely. We want to ensure our businesses survive, and create new opportunities to thrive in the long term.”

The outdoor dining pilot will be waiving footway dining fees on the grounds of hardship.

Having brunch with friends, a wine after work or grabbing a quick bite and watching the world go by are some of the best moments of urban life. Encouraging outdoor dining will only make it easier for us to enjoy those things and support local businesses while maintaining a safe physical distance, the Lord Mayor says.

The City is working with businesses along Sydney high streets, in laneways and in the CBD to identify parking spots, traffic lanes and footpaths that can be used for outdoor dining, including Pitt, Barrack and Crown streets, Tankstream Way and Wilmot Lane.

The 12-month outdoor dining pilot is set to begin in November and support measures for the small business, community and cultural sector will be extended to 30 March 2021.

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