Meet Norma Silcock – she turns 80 this year but her social-butterfly lifestyle, which includes cooking classes, tai chi, computer lessons and reading books in the stunning Surry Hills Library and Community Centre building, makes her feel more like a 65-year-old spring chicken. Find out more.
Meet Lexie Reeves – she has lived the high life – working with avant-garde fashion designer Rick Owens in Paris, then moving back home to Sydney as head designer for an exclusive label. But the talented designer couldn’t get past her fascination for those in the homeless shelter opposite her Surry Hills office – so she quit her job to keep a photographic record ever since. Find out more.
Neighbourhoods in Crown & Baptist Streets are known for their diverse landscapes and architecture. In Surry Hills and East Redfern, heritage homes sit alongside modern developments and large areas of public housing.
The traditional fashion and rag trade retains a presence, supported by an increasing focus of media, design and creative services.
At the heart of the area, Crown Street provides a dining, café and shopping scene, with late night options. In recent years the street has become a destination, with several famous restaurants.
The green space of Moore Park, Prince Alfred Park, Edmund Resch Reserve, Shannon Reserve, Harmony Park, Frog Hollow, Ward Park and other pocket parks provide residents with opportunities for recreation and relaxation.
The Crown & Baptist Streets area has a mix of short-term renters and long-term residents. The area has a high proportion of educated residents and those on higher incomes, as well as a strong GLBT community and public housing tenants.
Along with the Redfern Street village group, the area houses the majority of public housing tenants in the City of Sydney with approximately 2,400 public housing tenancies in Surry Hills and East Redfern.
Residents benefit from the proximity of their neighbourhood to the city centre and its amenities, with 33.8% of households not owning a vehicle.
There are approximately 22,000 people living in the area and this is expected to increase to approximately 23,800 by 2030.
This is a lower growth than that expected for other areas in the City of Sydney.
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
- The new Harmony Park, transforming a former car park and construction site with grassed terraces, trees, and an in-ground water storage tank that collects and treats stormwater for irrigation reuse— Frog Hollow Reserve renewal, including new trees and plantings, and heritage restoration and interpretation
- Redfern Park and Oval refurbishment with new trees, shrubs, park furniture, lights and children’s playgrounds; upgraded paths; and restoration of the park’s historic features. Improvements to the oval created more space, removed concrete walls, replaced old grandstands, and provide new training facilities for local and regional sports groups
- Prince Alfred Park & Pool and Coronation Centre renewal, including new basketball courts, tennis courts and children’s playground; and soon to be complete redevelopment of the swimming pool complex
- Edmund Resch Reserve, Ward Park and Shannon Reserve renewal
- The Bourke Street cycleway, with widened footpaths, new street furniture and lighting, stormwater treatment and new gardens
- Traffic calming and street landscaping implemented as part of the Surry Hills and East Redfern Pedestrian Cycling and Traffic Calming plan to make walking and cycling safer
- Crown, Baptist and Cleveland Streets intersection improvements planned, including landscaping, street plantings, wider footpaths and seating and better lighting
- 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
- Options for light rail, being developed in collaboration with the State Government to link the CBD with Moore Park sporting stadia, the University of NSW and Central Station
Culture and community
- Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, which sets a benchmark for sustainable design in public buildings, receiving national and international design awards. The Centre provides child care, Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre, a function hall, late night library programs on Thursday nights, children’s programs in the library, Green Village environmental and sustainability workshops
- New public art and installations, guided by the Public Art Panel, including the Lamp for Mary in Mary’s Place, the What Bird is That? mural in Pawley Street Playground and the Stonemason’s monument in Wimbo Park
- Safe cycling encouraged through free cycling confidence and bike maintenance courses
- Over 55s services in the Ron Williams Centre, including transport to and from the centre, Meals on Wheels, free computer use, and an on-site community worker and recreational activities
- A GLBT Project Coordinator helps with access and advocacy
- Children’s after school and holiday programs at the Girls and Boys Brigade
- Memorandum of Understanding with Housing NSW and regular public housing tenant meetings to give public housing tenants the opportunity to raise concerns and ask questions of the City, Housing NSW and the police
- Public Housing Liaison Officer employed to support public housing tenants and help resolve their concerns with the City and Housing NSW
- Responsible pet ownership supported with a companion animals officer, free obedience classes and help for low-income residents
- Annual Northcott Pet Day hosted with Housing NSW and community partners
- James Street Community Garden funded and supported Surry Hills Festival and other local celebrations funded
- Community and matching grants for activities such as the Great Buckingham Street postcard archive project, Sydney Story Factory, Garage Sale Trail, Surry Hills Public Tenants Association, and ACON Health
- A local business precinct coordinator appointed to support local economic development and business associations
What is your vision for your area? Here are some suggestions –
- The Crown, Baptist & Cleveland Street public domain is inviting for residents, visitors and business
- The area over the railway tracks south of Central Station has been redeveloped providing a network of parkland, homes, shops and streets to connect Surry Hills and Chippendale
- Influences of the area’s migrant past are maintained and celebrated
- The area’s mix of people from diverse backgrounds and economic groups is supported through community projects and cultural activities
- Parklands are protected and improved, especially the Centennial and Moore Parklands
- Small creative and start-up industries reuse warehouse buildings, enhancing the area’s creative and cultural character
- An expanded light rail network links the CBD to the south and east reducing traffic and parking congestion
- Adequate public transport and safe walking and bike riding routes reduce vehicle congestion and allow residents to get to parks, shops, work, school and cultural facilities