George Street at Campbell Street. Image: Medianet
  • Works have begun to transform Sydney's George Street in to a "European boulevard"
  • The street will boast improvements like wider footpaths, more trees and street furniture
  • The $43.5 million project will receive funding from both state and federal governments

Sydney citizens have much to look forward to as work begins on transforming George Street in the city’s centre into a world-class pedestrian boulevard.

Improvements will include wider footpaths, more trees, new street furniture and extensive paving for walking and outdoor dining.

The city will boast 9,000 square metres of car-free space along this stretch.

Lord Mayor for the City of Sydney, Clover Moore, says the $43.5 million project will be a welcome boost for the local economy and help support recovery from the impacts of the pandemic.

“Block by block, we’re turning bitumen into beautiful paving with room for new trees, outdoor dining and street furniture,”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore

George Street in Sydney. Image: Canva

“We’ve loved seeing people reclaim George Street south while the temporary road closure measures have been in place. Now we want to make these measures permanent, giving people more space to window shop, dine and walk while maintaining physical distancing,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This work will complete our long-held vision of turning George Street into a wonderful tree-lined pedestrian and light rail boulevard through the heart of our City.”

The Lord Mayor hopes that the project will encourage walking through CBD by making it more appealing for workers, visitors, residents and local businesses.

She says the City of Sydney is aiming to minimise disruption to local businesses. Construction will be completed in stages to try and minimise disruption to people and businesses.

More information on timing, plans and staging can be found on the City of Sydney website.

George Street between Rawson Place and Hay Street. Image: Medianet

Gabriel Metcalf, Chief Executive of the Committee for Sydney, believes the pedestrianised section of George Street from Circular Quay to Town Hall has become one of the best streets in the world.

“George Street is becoming a magical place and a big draw into the city centre – it’s a place to enjoy public life in the city,”

Gabriel Metcalf, Chief Executive of the Committee for Sydney

“It makes so much sense to extend that magic to the cultural anchor of Chinatown and the emerging tech hub around Central station. We’re excited to see the next phase of Sydney’s public space renaissance unfold.”

Funding will be sourced from both state and federal government.  The Australian Government will contribute $7.05 million, while the NSW Government is funding $1 million.

George Street near Valentine Street. Image: Medianet

The street’s transformation will include:

  • extended pedestrianised zones
  • open space improvements
  • more than 9,000 square metres of new space for walking (car-free)
  • granite footpaths to replace car lanes
  • new street trees, seating and lighting
  •  spaces for outdoor dining
  •  simpler intersections to reduce travel times for everyone.

Emergency services and local access will be maintained along the stretch.

The Albion Place Hotel will be one of the local businesses to benefit from the transformed street. David Highet is the director of operations for venue owner, Reserve Hotels. He hopes the project will revitalise the area.

“This wonderful idea to turn George Street into a European-style boulevard will draw people back into the area and inspire us to explore new business opportunities.” 

David Highet, director of operations for Reserve Hotels

Works have begun near Bathurst Street and will progress south on both street sides, block by block, towards Railway Square.

To the south of Goulburn Street, works are planned to start in late 2021.

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