Meet Christine Byrne – she is the organiser of the Taylor Square swap parties. The parties started as a one-off event but have proven so popular they’re now held about four times a year. Find out more.
Meet Kristy Moore – in a past life the self-confessed foodie was an art director for celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart, but she says that running Cooking Camp for Kids at the Sydney Sustainable Markets in Taylor Square is far more rewarding. Find out more.
Neighbourhoods around Oxford Street are known for their galleries, educational institutions, film and media services, restaurants and cafés, art-house cinemas, bookshops and theatres. They also host vital community services such as hostels and medical facilities, including St Vincent’s Hospital.
Oxford Street is an internationally recognised destination, with its diverse retail mix threatened by tough economic times and the area’s growth as a nightclub strip. This heritage shopping strip, stretching from Whitlam Square to Centennial Park, is home to the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade and could be revitalised as one of Sydney’s most exciting main streets.
Across East Sydney, Darlinghurst, Paddington and Centennial Park significant heritage buildings and historic terraces sit alongside newer high-rise apartments. Nearby Moore Park, Centennial Park, Rushcutters Bay Park, Hyde Park and the Domain provide expansive green space, with 25 pocket parks throughout the area.
Oxford Street is home to artistic and cultural communities and its residents value the area’s creativity, diversity and acceptance. As Australia’s historic gay heartland, a high proportion of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) residents live in surrounding neighbourhoods.
The community is well-educated and nearly 50% of residents hold a bachelor degree or higher. Even though average wealth continues to rise, some residents are on low incomes, including those in social housing, boarding houses or emergency accommodation.
There are approximately 17,800 people living in the area and this is expected to rise to approximately 19,600 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 & facilities
- Oxford Street and Stanley Street upgrades, including new landscaping, paving and street tree plantings
- Bourke Street separated cycleway, including wider footpaths, new street furniture and improved lighting, stormwater treatment and new gardens
- Award-winning restoration of historic Paddington Reservoir Gardens, providing high-quality public parkland and cultural space
- Renewal of local parks including Oatley Reserve, Ethel Turner Playground, Barcom Avenue Reserve, Lacrozia Playground, Rose Terrace and Albert Sloss Reserve
- Three Saints Square pocket park created with new seating, sculpture, raingarden, drainage, kerb works, and garden beds and tree planting
- 1-5 Flinders Street purchased to develop a cycle hub
- Options for light rail developed in collaboration with the State Government to link the CBD with the Moore Park Stadia, University of NSW and Central Station
- Moore Park lands prevented from being transferred to the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sports Ground Trust through City and community campaign
- The Napier Street ‘COFA Plaza’ being developed with city support and advice to provide public space and a new front entry to the UNSW College of Fine Arts
- Cook+Phillip Park Aquatic & Fitness Centre provides heated pools, gym facilities and health services; with the Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Pool on the Harbour
- Paddington Town Hall maintenance and planned lift upgrade to improve access, strengthening this important civic and cultural hub, including the Paddington Library
Culture and community
- A new cultural and community hub being created, focused on Council properties in Oxford Street to provide temporary spaces for creative, cultural and not-for-profit groups; refurbishment of the Burton Street Tabernacle as the Eternity Playhouse, a 200-seat theatre with gallery and café, and planned upgrade of Heffron Hall; and proposed new artist live/work spaces in Council-owned properties in William Street
- 277 Bourke Street Darlinghurst purchased for a child care facility
- Late Night Economy policy with extensive consultation to balance residential amenity, public safety and economic activity. It includes precinct ambassadors, a tourism kiosk in Kings Cross, portable urinals and food trucks, better cleansing, and improved late night transport to get people home
- Oxford Street’s gay and lesbian heritage celebrated with the self-guided ‘Parade’ walking tour map, rainbow banners and programs to reduce homophobic violence
- A GLBT Project Coordinator helps with access and advocacy
- Village to Village shuttle bus to link residents in Woolloomooloo, Potts Point, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Redfern to local services
- Over 55s services including Meals on Wheels, recreational activities and transport to centres
- Safe cycling encouraged through free cycling confidence and bike maintenance courses
- Responsible pet ownership supported with a companion animals officer and free obedience classes
- 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
- Matching grant funding for community initiated projects, including a Taylor Square Swap bringing people together to trade goods at the Taylor Square Markets
- Sydney Mardi Gras Festival and Parade sponsored and promoted
- Partnerships with local organisations on social, cultural and economic projects, including the National Art School and UNSW College of Fine Arts for public art projects to enliven Taylor Square and support Sustainable Sydney 2030 plans for a cultural and creative City
- A local business precinct coordinator to support local economic development and business associations
- Support to Darlinghurst Business Partnership for Taylor Square markets; and to Paddington Chamber of Commerce for the Paddington Festival
What is your vision for your area? Here are some suggestions –
- Oxford Street is revitalised into a lively retail strip including artists’ studios, galleries, restaurants and small bars
- A community and cultural hub of artists studios and performance spaces focuses on Eternity Playhouse and Heffron Hall
- Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Paddington Town Hall and Library and surrounds develop as a community and cultural precinct
- The area’s GLBT character and history is celebrated
- Residents from diverse backgrounds and economic groups connect through community projects
- Parklands are protected and improved, especially the Centennial and Moore Parklands
- The area’s residential character and local heritage are maintained and celebrated
- 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
- A light rail route is completed to link with the Moore Park sports stadia and University of NSW