The City of Sydney is making more outdoor space available to the community as it kicks off 2022 with a series of special street closures that will allow residents to enjoy the outdoors and support business.
Spread across a number of weekends in January and February, the ‘Summer Streets’ program will see main streets in some of the city’s villages closed to traffic from 11am to late in the evening to encourage people to re-engage with the businesses in their local area.
“Having brunch with friends, a wine after work or grabbing a quick bite and watching the world go by are some of the best moments of urban life. Being able to shop, dine or drink on our footpaths and roadways make it easier for us to enjoy those things and support local businesses in a Covid-safe way,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
Retailers and hospitality venues in the city’s villages are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summer Streets’ program with special events or offers. Roving performers and entertainers will help bring the streets to life during each event.
The Lord Mayor said Summer Streets is a natural extension of the outdoor dining program that has been in place since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Waiving footpath dining fees was one of the first things we did when the pandemic hit Sydney. We wanted to relieve financial strain where we could, and help businesses operate under the social distancing requirements.
“Almost two years later, expanding outdoor dining remains an essential part of what we’re doing to support business through these challenging times. People want to get out of the house and enjoy what Sydney has to offer, safely. We’re now closing off entire streets and hope the extra space will give people a safe way to support local businesses and re-engage with their community.
“Given the ongoing spread of the Omicron variant, people still need to exercise caution and follow health guidance – stay home if you’re unwell, wear a mask and ensure you practise safe distancing. There will certainly be many more opportunities to come back into the city and enjoy everything on offer as we work closely with local businesses to recover post-Covid.”
High street closures as part of the Summer Streets schedule include:
- 22 January – Darlinghurst Road and Macleay Street, Darlinghurst
- 23 January – Redfern Street, Redfern
- 6 February – Crown Street, Surry Hills
- 12 February – Glebe Point Road, Glebe
- 19 February – Harris Street, Pyrmont
A special evening-only event will also take place at Green Square plaza from 6pm on 19 February.
“For many local businesses in the Kings Cross area, it’s been a really tough couple of years. I think Summer Streets is a great initiative where we can get out on the street and share with everyone who we are and what we do,” said Larry Papadopoulos, owner of Boxing Works.
“We’re really excited to be part of the event and we’ll be offering free sessions and membership discounts for anyone joining on the day.”
Summer Streets is part of a $12 million recovery plan to help business and communities adapt and thrive in the face of the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, with similar events planned throughout the year.
The Summer Streets events on Crown Street and Darlinghurst Road are proudly funded by the NSW Government’s The Festival of Place.
The City of Sydney can access up to $500,000 of funding through this NSW Government program.
The City of Sydney is working with the NSW Government to ensure the events are managed in line with public health orders. We recommend attendees are fully vaccinated and wear a face mask whenever they are unable to socially distance. If people feel unwell, we ask that they stay home.