A busy living city

Placemaking considers the planning, design and management of public spaces to enhance the local amenity and create public spaces which support personal and community wellbeing and enjoyment of an area. Transport plays a key role in how people and goods are moved around our cities and towns and it is important to ensure transport does not detract from places by creating barriers and increasing safety risks.

Successful placemaking either preserves or enhances the character of our public spaces, making them more accessible, attractive, comfortable and safe. The role of transport in placemaking can be considered through the following lenses:

  • Shaping places with transport
  • Balancing the freight and service needs of an area, whilst maintaining accessibility and a sense of place for other users
  • Being sensitive to local character.

The design of transport infrastructure, the impact it has on the local environment and other factors can influence the character of a place.

A successfully integrated transport network ensures that transport infrastructure is complementary to with the current landscape of the city, creates vibrant streets and integrates places for people. In collaboration with the City of Sydney, we have both prepared strategic plans, committed to providing integrated developments and placemaking opportunities for people throughout the city.

Sydney city centre

Throughout the city centre there are new and old places being developed and upgraded to provide better experiences for transport customers, residents, workers and visitors to the Sydney city centre. We are committed to ensuring that these places are connected, accessible, safe and hospitable, for all network customers.

The construction of the CBD and South East Light Rail (CSELR) has created opportunities for place making along the light rail corridor as well as connecting places throughout the Sydney city centre and beyond. George Street will be enhanced by providing better access to surrounding precincts. Recent pedestrian counts (undertaken by us during the CSELR construction) indicate that pedestrian numbers have already increased along George Street.

Following on from the completion of the CSELR, further place making opportunities will arise with the Sydney Metro city centre station developments, particularly around the stations at Pitt Street and Martin Place. By 2036, employment growth is expected to increase to 430,000 jobs.

Artwork and activation plays an important role in placemaking, attracting more pedestrians through the streets, to encourage walking and active transport. Along the CSELR alignment in Kensington and Kingsford, the ArtMoves project provided an opportunity to work with artists to provide exciting installations to improve the amenity and sense of ‘place’ in local neighbourhoods.

Circular Quay

Circular Quay is a major destination for both regular commuters, tourists and the wider Sydney community.

As part of the CSELR project, Alfred Street has been closed to general vehicular traffic, between George and Loftus Streets. This will create the opportunity for a key transport interchange for customers using the light rail and to connect people between Circular Quay and precincts such as Walsh Bay, the Botanic Gardens, The Rocks and the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Circular Quay is changing with a significant number of developments underway in the area. These new developments combined with Circular Quay significance as a place, enhance place making opportunities, particularly given the high levels of pedestrians moving through and to this area as a destination.   

The NSW Government is currently seeking partners who can deliver its vision of upgrading the ferry wharves and renewing the precinct to create a world-class destination for the Circular Quay Precinct. More information is available on the Circular Quay Precinct Renewal.

See Circular Quay on our interactive map


The recent development of the Barangaroo precinct integrates transport infrastructure, major commercial development, public spaces, parkland and residential developments.

Barangaroo can be reached by ferry, bus and train services as well as being safely accessed via walking and cycling routes. Wynyard Walk (December 2016) allows a six-minute walk between Wynyard Station and Barangaroo, including the new ferry wharf (opened in June 2017). More commercial, residential and entertainment developments at Barangaroo are being built over the coming years and this precinct will also be serviced by a new Metro station; all of which will contribute to, and allow for, further placemaking opportunities.

The infrastructure developed at Barangaroo enables efficient access for goods and servicing vehicles to the extent where 10,000 commercial vehicle movements per month go unnoticed. This activity substantially contributes to the amenity of the precinct as a place for commerce, retail, leisure and living.

See Barangaroo on our interactive map

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is a place within the Sydney city centre that attracts both locals and tourists. There are many different approaches and transport modes to access Darling Harbour including ferry, light rail and walking from city centre train stations such as Central, Wynyard and Town Hall. Neighbouring precincts like Pyrmont, Central and Surry Hills connect Darling Harbour via the Goods Line elevated walkway. Pyrmont Bridge also provides active transport links between Darling Harbour and the city, including the King Street cycleway.

See Darling Harbour on our interactive map

Town Hall

Town Hall station is situated on the city centre’s North-South spine of George Street and is a major access point to public transport services.

When complete, the CSELR and the Pitt Street Sydney Metro station, along with the planned City of Sydney redevelopment of Town Hall Square, will provide a key interchange for transport customers and Town Hall will be even more accessible to pedestrians. The precinct will be an extension of the placemaking in George Street.

See Town Hall on our interactive map

Central Station

Central Station is the southern end of the George Street CSELR corridor, providing a transport hub for people using coach, bus, heavy rail, current and future light rail and the future Sydney Metro. We have recently awarded a contract to undertake the biggest improvement to the station in decades - making it easier for customers to connect between light rail, suburban and inter-city trains, the new Sydney Metro and buses.

The improvements to Central Station will include:

  • Direct access to suburban train platforms for the first time
  • A new underground concourse (Central Walk) to comfortably cater for a surge in customers
  • Central Walk will also link customers with new Metro platforms

More information is available on the upgrades to the Central Precinct.

See Central Station on our interactive map


Wynyard Station is one of the city’s busiest stations and is adjacent to the York Street/ Carrington Street bus stops. The new CSELR stop on George Street at Wynyard will allow additional interchange opportunities between light rail, heavy rail, bus and ferry at Circular Quay.

Wynyard Place is currently being developed and will accommodate office and retail space, including fresh food providers, retail, bars, restaurants, cafes, outdoor dining and entertainment. Wynyard Place will link George Street to Carrington Street, and through to Wynyard Walk, York, Clarence and Kent Streets and Barangaroo.

See Wynyard on our interactive map

Martin Place

Martin Place is a busy hub in Sydney’s city centre, attracting workers and visitors. Martin Place has been a pedestrian-only access route to Macquarie Street since 1980. This has made it one of Sydney’s busiest places for people, with easy access for pedestrians and train commuters. Martin Place will also provide a station location for the Sydney Metro, connecting more people to Sydney’s North West and South West regions.  

See Martin Place on our interactive map

Sydney City Centre outer precincts

Bays Precinct

The Bays Precinct is one of the highest potential urban transformation sites in the world and will deliver eight stunning waterfront destinations, including a rejuvenated Sydney Fish Market, in three phases, over the coming 10 to 30 years. Due to this transformation into a recreational, retail and commercial precinct, the Bays will require adequate transport networks to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people.

More information is available on The Bays Precinct.

The Sydney Metro West project has identified the Bays as a precinct to be served by the future Metro route, with a Metro station at this location. Planning will also need to incorporate adequate ferry, bus, bike, logistics and pedestrian networks, to move people and goods to and from the city centre to the Bays, as well as from light rail stations. (Urban Growth, 2017).

Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, including Royal Randwick Race Course

Moore Park is a key precinct on the perimeter of the Sydney city centre. It facilitates sporting and live music events as well as restaurants, cinemas and theatres. The new CSELR, will help facilitate easier access for visitors and encourage spectators to leave their cars at home.

Surry Hills

Surry Hills will benefit from the construction of the CSELR, with stops facilitating the easier movement of people into the area. There are current projects to facilitate the better movement of pedestrians, with wider footpaths and better pedestrian facilities.

Central to Eveleigh

Central to Eveleigh will be an area of smaller homes, office buildings, shared spaces and more communal lifestyles; comprising mixed businesses and communities. Central to Eveleigh is well served with four heavy rail stations and a bus network, with a new Metro station planned for Waterloo and train station upgrades.

Green Square

Green Square is Sydney’s oldest industrial heartland and is currently undergoing transformation into a vibrant, sustainable and connected community. Green Square is evolving into a significant place for people with a connected transport network of rail, bus and cycleway.
See Green Square on our interactive map

Randwick, Kensington, Kingsford and UNSW

This area will be serviced by the new light rail and provides access to the major university campus at UNSW. The integrated transport network in this precinct will continue to be refined and reviewed at the opening of the CSELR.

We will consider how transport connectivity can continue to be improved, between and within each of these key city centre precincts.