Sydney’s Chinatown to undergo major make-over

Haymarket, Chinatown Sydney - 29th October 2022. Haymarket Sydney Streets. For one day only Haymarket transforms into a relaxed and convivial pedestrian-only zone. The public enjoy food, drinks and entertainment throughout the day and into the evening. Photo by Katherine Griffiths. Haymarket Sydney - 29th October 2022. Haymarket Sydney Streets. For one day only Haymarket transforms into a relaxed and convivial pedestrian-only zone between. The public enjoy food, drinks and entertainment throughout the day.

A new plan to upgrade and reinvigorate Dixon Street, Chinatown, has been unanimously endorsed by the City of Sydney Council.

Consultation with more than 1,150 residents and businesses shaped the plan, which includes $5 million to revive Dixon Street Mall, restore its famed gates, install new seating and creative lighting overlays and improve services to support events.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it was important for the City to work with local communities to breathe new life into the historic area, especially following the impacts of Covid-19.

“Our community in Chinatown was one of the first and hardest hit by the pandemic, and it continues to suffer while international tourism and study has not yet fully returned,” Moore said.

“While we have been safely activating public places and inviting people back to experience all Chinatown has to offer since COVID restrictions were eased, we’re excited to ensure its long-term future by reinvigorating Dixon Street as a dynamic space for people, daily life and culture.

“Our communities have enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to help us shape the Dixon Street precinct and painted a picture that celebrates the diversity of Asian cultures, food and history.

“We know the renewal of the Chinatown Gates is incredibly important and it is a focus for us as we move forward with our plans.”

Residents, businesses and visitors were invited to complete surveys and attend community forums in English and Asian languages to ensure they were part of the plans for the area.

Contributors highlighted the need to reflect the cultural diversity of the area, increasing authentic and affordable food and retail experiences. They said it was important to respect the heritage and traditions of Chinatown while exploring exciting new ways to express culture.

Haymarket, Chinatown Sydney (Katherine Griffiths)

The City of Sydney is also updating its Chinatown public domain plan of 2015 to outline future improvements that respond to the vision of local communities.

Dixon Street’s management is split between the City of Sydney and the NSW Government, with Placemaking NSW taking over Dixon Street north between Goulburn and Liverpool streets and the City of Sydney managing the pedestrianised area between Goulburn and Hay streets.

“We’re urging the State Government to work with us in a united way to improve Dixon Street north and best meet the needs of the local communities,” Moore said.

The City of Sydney will carry out an economic study in Haymarket to help support business and boost activity in the area as well as starting the design process for the public domain upgrades early next year.


Featured image: Haymarket, Chinatown Sydney (Katherine Griffiths)

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