Thursday, April 25, 2024

City of Sydney plan to serve up new Chinatown

City of Sydney Council has unveiled a a $44 million plan to breathe new life into the city’s Haymarket and Chinatown districts.

Following a consultation process with more than 1,150 residents, businesses and community members, Council has prepared a Haymarket and Chinatown revitalisation strategy and updated its Haymarket public domain plan.

New initiatives include:

  • A grants program to help Dixon Street businesses upgrade and improve their shopfront facades;
  • Changes to planning controls to encourage investment in fine-grain small business renewal and strengthen cultural heritage;
  • Significant public domain improvements, lighting and new public art;
  • Grants for community-led cultural events and activations;
  • A new City of Sydney coordinator to assist local businesses and community collaboration.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore AO said the significant investment and work would safeguard the historic precinct’s success into the future.

“Haymarket is one of Sydney’s most iconic urban villages and has long been recognised as a focal point for Asian food, cultures, and communities both locally and internationally,” the Lord Mayor said.

“But the last few years have been incredibly challenging for the area, which was among the first areas in the city to be impacted by the pandemic. That’s why this is a perfect time for a new overarching plan for the area, and our communities have enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to work with us to celebrate the important precinct’s past and help shape its future.

“Through our extensive consultation we heard the community’s desire for a diverse, friendly and safe area that’s easy to navigate, with a range of food options and a streetscape that respects and celebrates the social and cultural history of the area.”

The plans include a long-term upgrade of public space, with more trees, seats, lighting and integrated public art, as well as a proposed review of planning controls to support businesses and make it easier for them to celebrate cultural heritage in lighting and building upgrades.

The Lord Mayor said there will be greater support for cultural events and activations in the area as well as a complete revitalisation of Dixon Street and its famous gates, in response to the community’s wish to revive the heart of Chinatown.

“But we won’t stop there because we want to transform the whole of Haymarket and celebrate its identity as a home for many Asian cultures, including the growing Thai Town and Koreatown. We will deliver a green spine, integrated with servicing, along Sussex Street, create a precinct of lights adorning the streetscape and embark on a significant upgrade of Belmore Park,” she said.

City of Sydney Councillor, HY William Chan said the Haymarket and Chinatown revitalisation brings together residents and businesses to create a world class destination, economic and cultural precinct.

“Nowhere else in the world boasts the wide array of Asian communities found in Sydney’s Haymarket,” said Cr Chan.

“Our focus is on collaborating with our multicultural communities to celebrate and respect the area’s place-based heritage, unique character and cultural vibrancy.

“The proposed public domain improvements will breathe new life into Haymarket, bolstering local businesses and economic activity.

“The review of the planning controls aim to make it more flexible for retail, business and property owners to express cultural heritage and implement fine-grain urban renewal. This includes lifting the street wall height, reducing building setbacks and encouraging shopfront activation,” he said.

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