Three women walking along the footbridge and Cook and Philip park with city buildings in the background

Walking

It should be easy to wander around Sydney to do errands, visit clients, meet friends, window shop, stretch your legs, or just meander along. Yet the noise, congestion and disruptions caused by slow changing traffic lights, narrow footpaths and construction work are off-putting.

Towards 2030, we’re working to pedestrianise roads for residents, workers and visitors – so that walking becomes more interesting and enjoyable.

Its good news for business too; people are more likely to spend more time at the shops if they don’t have to negotiate traffic. Our own Pitt Street Mall is a case in point – it is now the busiest thoroughfare in Australia!

We want to open up a network of vibrant lanes and small plazas where shops, bars and other small businesses can thrive. Outdoor dining and entertainment spaces will replace noisy queues of buses and cars.

The City Art team’s Streetware program is helping with the transformation of our laneways. Since 2010, we’ve chosen some of Sydney’s most talented street artists and invited them to use building walls as blank canvases. Their eye-catching offerings are temporary and we produce a guide so people can walk or cycle to each site before they disappear.

We also commission permanent work to engage communities with public art. Examples include Bullets and Bibles by Fiona Foley and Urban Art Projects (in Redfern Park) and Aspire by Warren Langley (located under the freeway in Ultimo). On Glebe Point Road, Skippedy Skip by Nuha Saad decorates a fence and Wireless House by Nigel Helyer (in Foley Park) features stories and oral histories created by the local community.

As well as spreading art around we’re also greening the City’s streets – planting thousands more trees, laying garden beds and installing raingardens – so people can walk along tree-lined streets, through parks and across attractive public squares.

Don’t put your walking shoes away just yet because we’re also putting the finishing touches on the Glebe Foreshore Promenade. This $15 million project will eventually link 27.5ha of open space, including nearly 3ha of new foreshore parkland. It also involved the restoration of a historic house (“Bellevue” in Bicentennial Park) and of the Walter Burley Griffin incinerator.

The promenade, which totally reclaims the Glebe foreshore for the public, is just one of the ways we are re-connecting Sydney to the harbour – see the Cultural Ribbon and Eora Journey pages for more.

Towards 2030, we are giving pedestrians the upper hand to:

  • promote active transport
  • connect people and places
  • make our streets safer
  • encourage people to explore the city on foot.

Sydney 2030: green, global and connected. Go to the strategic directions.