Want to see the future? George Street set to be transformed

Do you want to see into the future? George Street has the potential to become a truly great main street and a destination that attracts people to Sydney.


Hear from leading Danish urbanist Jan Gehl about the plan for George Street.

Visit Customs House between now and Friday 3 May to see our detailed plans for transforming Sydney's main street with light rail, more outdoor dining and more public open spaces to relax in the CBD.

The Draft George Street Concept Design sets out the principles that will guide future detailed designs. It includes information on street trees, paving, public art, public domain furniture, lighting and signage.

At the moment the narrow footpaths and heavy traffic can make it an unpleasant place. Walking from one end of the city to the other can be a slow experience, but even that slow pace is often faster than a bus ride as traffic banks up for hundreds and hundreds of metres.

The City is contributing $220 million to the NSW Government's light rail project to make George Street one of the world's great plazas, with 25,000 square metres of roadway turned into a huge, tree-lined pedestrian boulevard.

I'm pleased the Government has commitmented to a pedestrian zone between Bathurst and Hunter. Emergency and delivery vehicles will still be able to access properties on George Street.

We believe there would be significant additional benefits for pedestrians and traffic management in a pedestrian area to the north and south (Liverpool to Bridge Street).

The leading Danish urban designer Jan Gehl told us that the pedestrianised area should be made as big as possible because international experience showed that's what people want.

"We'll see a whole promenade culture in Sydney, which we already have in a number of cities around the world - most notably and remarkably in New York. There, they have closed greater parts of Broadway and turned a major traffic street into a major people street where thousands of people now sit, relax and dine, rather than shuffling around," he said.

He said that if you create high-quality open spaces and efficient transport along George Street, people begin to treat the city centre in a different way. This has a knock-on effect to streets, lanes and public spaces across the CBD.

This is your opportunity to tell us what kind of city centre you want. Submissions received as part of the exhibition will be taken into the City's further design development. The Concept Design will be subject to further development and coordination with Transport for NSW (TfNSW).

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