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2030 in Your Village:

CBD & Harbour

Community builders

Meet Jane Barwell – she loves her one-bedroom Housing Commission flat in Millers Point so much, she’s written a song about it. It’s a far cry from the 56-year-old’s previous situation: Jane escaped domestic violence only to go back and forth between refuges and struggle for food. Find out more.

Meet Martin O’Sullivan – he is a co-owner of Grasshopper, a small bar built with recycled materials, and kick-started with matched grant funding from the City of Sydney.The venue has reactivated a laneway basement that had been empty for several years. Find out more. 

The area

The CBD & Harbour area includes the commercial and residential skyscrapers of the CBD; heritage laneways and terraces in The Rocks, Millers Point and Dawes Point; and the 22-hectare Barangaroo urban renewal site.

Walsh Bay, with the development of the Hickson Road wharves, attracts a mix of residents, workers and visitors to this emerging cultural precinct. The Barangaroo redevelopment will create new apartments and commercial offices, and open up the Harbour with foreshore parks and walks.

The CBD is the main commercial centre of Sydney. The harbour views, iconic landmarks and program of major cultural events draw thousands of visitors, workers and residents each day.

The retail core, focused around Pitt Street Mall, provides a premier shopping destination.

The CBD & Harbour area includes many of Australia’s most historic sites and buildings, with many constructed in distinctive ‘yellow block’ sandstone. The area includes major cultural institutions, including museums, theatres and galleries, as well as world-class parklands such as The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain, Observatory Hill Park and Hyde Park.

The people

The CBD & Harbour area is home to a diverse mix of residents, from executives and entrepreneurs to public housing tenants in Millers Point and The Rocks. It is also a world-renowned tourist destination.

Many residents live in one person households, at a rate more than double the Sydney average. Sydney CBD, its busiest precinct, has more than 600,000 workers, shoppers, visitors and students every day.

There are approximately 9,300 people living in the CBD & Harbour and this is expected to increase to approximately 19,900 by 2030. This is an increase of 114% in the resident population and ranks CBD & Harbour second in terms of growth across the City of Sydney’s ten village groups. 

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

  • $180 million committed to transform George Street into a world-class shopping and pedestrian boulevard, in conjunction with State Government construction of light rail 
  • Pitt Street Mall refurbished
  • ‘Bridge to Bridge’ bike route from Anzac Bridge to the Harbour Bridge, via Union Street and Kent Street, connecting the inner west with the CBD and North Sydney 
  • College Street bike path, the first stage of a route to Redfern and beyond
  • 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
  • Observatory Hill Park improved with new fitness equipment, garden beds, bins and seats
  • Public domain improvements, including Angel Place, Albion Lane and Bulletin Place improved for small bars, cafes, shops and cultural activities
  • John Christie Wright Fountain restored in Macquarie Place Park with new paving and landscaping
  • Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton, Ian Thorpe and Cook + Phillip Park pools offer health and recreation services 
  • Award winning Customs House Library and Haymarket Library, which includes a large Chinese collection 
  • Town Hall One Stop Shop providing access to council services and information  


  • Draft Harbour Village North Public Domain Study prepared to guide future work in Millers Point, Dawes Point, Walsh Bay and The Rocks
  • 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
  • Strategic planning for significant CBD sites, including Alfred Street Circular Quay and the iconic Commonwealth Bank Building at Martin Place
  • Extensive City review of Barangaroo planning, focused on transport, urban design, sustainability, connection with the CBD, active waterfront and site remediation
  • A Design Excellence Program promoting projects such as 1 Bligh Street, awarded a 6 Star Green Rating 
  • Design Advisory Panel created to involve leading experts in achieving design excellence 
  • Late Night Economy policy to balance residential amenity, public safety and economic activity
  • Central Sydney Planning Committee, which balances state and local planning objectives
  • Trigeneration network plans for greener local energy, with low carbon precincts proposed at Town Hall and Martin Place 

Culture and community

  • Abraham Mott Hall and King George V Recreation Centre, which have been upgraded to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30%. These facilities offer recreation and sporting activities and community space
  • Over 55s services in the Harry Jensen Centre, including transport, Meals on Wheels, free computer use, an on-site community worker and recreational activities 
  • Programs for young people, provided through the Millers Point Youth Program
  • Safe cycling encouraged through free cycling confidence and bike maintenance courses
  • Major City-produced or sponsored events showcasing Sydney, such as New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Sydney Mardi Gras, Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Sydney Film Festival and Biennale of Sydney
  • Public Art Advisory Panel, with new projects including Windlines, created in partnership with Scouts NSW for the centenary of Scouts in Australia; Forgotten Songs in Angel Place; and laneways activated with temporary art. A new City Art website maps Sydney’s public art
  • A Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) Project Coordinator helps with access and advocacy 
  • Public Housing Liaison Officer employed to support public housing tenants
  • Homeless outreach and a phone support service, with a twice-yearly Homelessness Street Count to help put the case forward for resources
  • Responsible pet ownership supported with a companion animals officer and free obedience classes  


  • 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
  • Finegrain Business Development Matching Grants to attract small business to laneways and underused spaces 
  • Grants and sponsorships, including support for the Walsh Bay Precinct Association and Millers Point Festival

Your vision

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


Click below to explore your village group

Download Village Plan


  • Observatory Hill Park
  • Andrew Boy Charleton Pool
  • Artists Impression of George Street
  • Cook Phillip Park Pool
  • Customs House

Village Group Map

  • CBD & Harbour