Meet Aaron Seeto – wheelie bins and utes filled with tools usually line Parker Street in Haymarket but the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Director knows that during Chinese New Year this small road is transformed with giant projector screens into a buzzing open air cinema showing contemporary Asian video art. Find out more.
Meet Vaughn de Vocht – an executive member of the Haymarket Chamber of Commerce, has helped play an important role in helping shopkeepers capitalise on the culture and thriving night-time economy in Chinatown. Find out more.
The Chinatown & CBD South area is home to bustling retail and dining hubs, residential and office towers, and attractions such as the Dixon Street eating strip, Capitol Theatre and Darling Harbour Convention Centre. The area has a high-energy and multicultural flavour, and much pedestrian activity.
The local economy is centred around robust retail and dining pockets, with ready access to fresh produce and groceries from Paddy’s Markets, Market City and small family run stores. The area is well connected to transport links, including Central and Town Hall stations, light rail and key bus routes.
Apartment living is typical, with more than 99% of homes in multi-storey blocks. Green space is provided by Darling Harbour to its west and Belmore Park on its eastern edge.
Chinatown & CBD South is home to people from a wide range of cultural and ethnic groups. Particularly, there are large Chinese, Indonesian and Korean communities.
There is a strong international atmosphere, with more than 85% of the population born overseas and more than 80% from a non-English-speaking background. The proximity to major education institutions such as Sydney University and University of Technology means the area has a student population more than six times the Sydney average, and a high proportion of young adults overall.
There are approximately 16,600 people living in Chinatown & CBD South and this number is expected to increase to approximately 23,000 by 2030.
City projects & services
Some projects the City has completed or are underway through our Local Action Plans and Sustainable Sydney 2030 include:
Parks, streets and facilities
- Chinatown Public Domain Plan developed following extensive community consultation, includes public domain improvements to celebrate the area’s unique character and heritage and create more space for pedestrians, public art and outdoor markets
- Chinatown Public Art Forum bringing together artists, thinkers, architects and the community to help shape Chinatown’s public realm
- Little Hay Street, Kimber Lane and Factory Street revitalised with wider footpaths, shared spaces, new trees, lighting, paving, street furniture and artwork
- Dixon Street Pagoda transformed into a tourism information kiosk
- Hyde Park Plan of Management being implemented with sustainable watering systems, planned tree replacement for aging and dying fig trees, and a cultural events program
- Belmore Park upgrade planned, including improved lighting, restoration of the rotunda, new furniture and improvements celebrating the park’s heritage significance
- $180 million committed to transform George Street into a world-class shopping and pedestrian boulevard, in conjunction with State Government construction of light rail
- Goulburn Street car park upgrade planned to transform it into a green building with public art and possible rooftop cinema
- Ian Thorpe and Cook + Phillip Park pools offering health and recreation services, with Prince Alfred Park Pool renewal underway
- Haymarket Library, including a large Chinese language book collection
- Town Hall House One Stop Shop providing access to council
services and information
- Draft City Plan, prepared with extensive consultation and urban design studies, establishes new planning controls to balance preservation of our distinctive villages with the need for housing and office, retail and industrial space
Culture and community
- Sydney Town Hall protected for future generations with a sustainability and essential services upgrade complete, and restoration planned for the sandstone façade and clock tower
- Work with student housing providers to encourage well designed student accommodation
- A Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) Project Coordinator helps with access and advocacy
- Eager Street closed to vehicles between Eager Lane and Douglass Lane, improving safety and creating a space for pop up events
- Safe cycling encouraged through free cycling confidence and bike maintenance courses
- Late Night Economy policy to balance residential amenity, public safety and economic activity. It includes precinct ambassadors in George Street, late opening for the tourism kiosk, food trucks, better cleansing, portable urinals and improved late night transport
- Retail Advisory Panel established to position Sydney as Australia’s best retail destination with annual Business Awards, local business precinct coordinators, and funding for business associations to promote
- Chinese New Year Festival – the biggest celebration of the Lunar calendar outside Asia – including the Twilight Parade, Belmore Park Markets, Dragon Boat races and Sydney-China business forum
- Responsible pet ownership supported with a companion animals officer and free obedience classes
- Haymarket Chamber of Commerce funding to develop a local Great Food Guide, visitor’s guide and marketing for businesses in the area
- Finegrain Business Development Matching Grants to attract and support small business in laneways and underutilised spaces in the city
- Community and matching grants, supporting Chinese language seminars on waste reduction and climate change, a self-guided walking tour from Haymarket to the Harbour, an interactive smart phone game set in Chinatown, and Cinema Alley
What is your vision for your area? Here are some suggestions –
- This village group is a celebration of multicultural living and diversity, with a reputation as a world-class cuisine and cultural destination
- Streets, malls and outdoor spaces are larger, safer and greener with more seating and outdoor dining
- George Street is a grand central boulevard with priority for public transport, pedestrians and bike riders, linking three major civic plazas at Circular Quay, Town Hall and Central Station
- A new Town Hall Square provides for intimate gathering space and large public celebrations, with improved transport connections and interchange
- An expanded light rail network links to the CBD, south and east to reduce traffic and parking congestion
- Adequate public transport, attractive walking routes and safe bike paths reduce vehicle congestion and allow residents to get to parks, shops, work, school and cultural facilities
- Residents from diverse backgrounds and economic groups connect through community projects
- Darling Harbour integrates into the CBD and Chinatown, with the Western Distributor lowered and sensitive redevelopment to restore connections
- Railway tracks south of Central are covered by a network of homes, shops, streets and parks to connect Surry Hills, Chippendale and Haymarket