Sydney City Council plans to revitalise the Chinatown district making it more inviting for pedestrians with better pedestrian links to other key areas including George Street and World Square, improving the streetscape, as well as promoting a better use of buildings and space.
In line with Haymarket district’s designation as a key activity hub in the Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision, the city aims to “strengthen its economic, cultural and community-building contributions”. The key actions include:
- supporting the Haymarket activity hub through various project plans;
- fostering Chinatown’s traditional and contemporary characteristics through maximising opportunities for public art;
- investigating options for the expansion of the street markets, and options for flexible structures to support these festivals and events;
- investigating opportunities for footpath widening and improved pedestrian crossings;
- investigating and prioritising the upgrade of Sussex, Goulburn, Thomas and Ultimo Streets; and
- investigating and prioritising the activiating of underused streets like Harbour, Hay, Little Hay, Factory, North Dixon Streets and Kimber Lane.
Concepts for street improvements
Dixon Street (North) has been marked for renewal. This is the pedestrian/vehicular shared road next to the Dixon One Apartments, north of Chinatown proper. It will be home to a planned expanded market area (that also includes Hay and Harbour Streets) with improved streetscape and installation of flexible street furniture. Did you know that the swirly sculpture opposite Kura III (below) on Dixon Street (North) is in fact a monument to the Australian Chinese Ex-Services?
Hay Street (adjacent to the light rail) and Harbour Street (opposite the Entertainment Centre) is to be revitalised by the complete removal of cars and the planting of golden rain trees. This will make the Hay Street precinct the third street area of the city proper to be designated pedestrian only after Martin Place and Pitt Street. The thoroughfare will complete the missing link connecting Chinatown, Belmore Park and Ultimo.
Thomas Street (opposite Menya) will be revitalised with the intention of the street becoming southern Chinatown’s main pedestrian artery. There are also plans for the street to be home to a permanent art project.
Little Hay Street will have reduced traffic access, and a tree-lined corridor, whilst Factory Street (next to Eating World) will be completely closed to traffic and refurbished with decorative lighting and seating.
Kimber Lane (the derelict lane parallel to Dixon Street, next to Emperor Garden 皇冠海鮮酒樓) is to be revitalised by encouraging store owners to trade in it at certain hours and with greatly improving lighting. It would almost resemble a lane in Melbourne, or one in Japan with random street fronts and designs. The lane will remain a road open to cars at specified times.
The City of Sydney “Chinatown Public Domain Study” February 2009 consultation draft can be downloaded here (pdf).
The draft Chinatown plan is to submitted to Council for consideration on May 31. Once approved, the plan will be placed on exbibition and the community invited for comment. Council aims to implement this plan in 2010-2011 with construction on Little Hay Street, Factory Street and Kimber Lane to begin in early 2011.
(Images reproduced via the City of Sydney)