George St on show

There’s currently an exhibition running about George St Sydney and it’s future as an attractive destination.

The exhibition, Next stop: 21st century George Street, is arranged like a movie set to show Sydneysiders the detailed plans to remake Sydney’s main street and to seek their feedback on key design issues before they are finalised.

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.

The QVB as it is today

The QVB as it is today

The QVB area proposed
The QVB area proposed

“Light rail gives us a chance to revitalise the entire city centre, not just transforming George Street but also the laneways that run off it, making the city an exciting place to explore,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“At the moment, George Street is choked by day and drab at night. This exhibition shows we can make it a wonderful wide boulevard where people will want to walk, shop, dine and meet up with friends. To get it right demands good design. That’s why we are asking people who live, work and visit the city to come to the exhibition, to see the designs and tell us how we can make them the best they can be.”

By August, they will have finalised a development agreement defining how much of George Street will be reserved for pedestrians only.

The architect of converting George Street into a 21st century boulevard, leading Danish urban designer Jan Gehl, first called for removing cars from George Street seven years ago. He said 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.

“People will start to ask for more quality in more places, and we’ll see this new way of treating the city centre expanded to other parts of this major street,” he said.

Exciting things happening in Sydney!

Read more about how closing areas to traffic can increase sales for retailers here.

Australian Square today

Australian Square today

The proposed Australia Square
The proposed Australia Square
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