We care, we ask: ‘What’s the future for Sydney’s CBD?’

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
23 October 2020

With Australia’s foremost city, Sydney, struck down by the covid pandemic and a recession, Arup and the Committee for Sydney are researching the symptoms, side-effects and possible remedies with a Commission on the Future of the CBD. 

Even as restrictions ease, the city needs a serious infusion of vitality, said Arup’s NSW/ACT Business Leader David Harding.

“We have one of the world’s most beautiful CBDs, ringed by water and with grand streets and buildings, but we need to look at making the CBD much wider in appeal and diverse in its users, and work with the suburbs to create a strong economic city for the future,” said David.

“We might have relied too much on the enforced attendance of the corporate worker and the presence of the tourist.”

For the CBD’s longer-term vibrancy, we should investigate the possible range of workers and how we make it a lovely place for all people of all ages and interests, for more hours of the day and night. ”

David Harding David Harding NSW and ACT Business Leader

Recognising that CBDs are essential to a wider city’s economic and cultural life, the Commission will explore the dynamics of work, tourism, retail, residential, transport, hospitality, arts and culture, events and so on. 

It will also consider policy, planning and investment interventions.

We should do everything possible to make the CBD an enticing destination, so that people choose to be there, rather than going out of a sense of obligation. ” Gabriel Metcalf CEO of the Committee for Sydney

“Where are the new opportunities to make the CBD better, to strive not just for bringing it back to what it was, but to make Sydney’s CBD into one of the greatest mixed use working/living/entertainment/cultural precincts in the world?” Gabriel asked.

From November, the Commission will engage with a broad cross section of Sydney to understand what was working and what wasn’t about the CBD pre-covid, and will draw on the experiences of other cities around the world.