\ Sydney as a 24-Hour City: expert Commission releases findings – Committee For Sydney

Media Release

Sydney as a 24-Hour City: expert Commission releases findings

March 20, 2018

Sydney as a 24-Hour City: expert Commission releases findings

20 March, 2018

Greater Sydney’s night-time economy would be boosted by keeping art galleries and museums open later, extending late-night shopping to Fridays and Saturdays, and allowing night-time operating hours for community pools, gyms and libraries.

These are just some of the 23 recommendations in Sydney as a 24-Hour City, a new report authored by the Committee for Sydney and based on a year of research looking at how to make Greater Sydney’s night-time economy more diverse and vibrant.  Other suggestions from Sydney as a 24-Hour City include:

  • NSW Government to drive a 24-hour economy strategy;
  • Consideration of designated, planned night-time precincts;
  • Expanding additional public transport for night-time entertainment precincts;
  • Councils piloting ‘Night-time Business Improvement Districts’;
  • Enhanced marketing for night-time activities across Greater Sydney;
  • The introduction of a coordinating figure to bring together different agencies and actors in the night-time economy.

The recommendations in Sydney as a 24-Hour City have been based on a Commission into the Night-time Economy in Greater Sydney, which included input from 40 private, public and civic sector organisations (see note below.) The Commission was co-chaired by the Hon. Peter Collins AM QC and Michael Rose, Chair of the Committee for Sydney.

The report draws on detailed transactional data from Mastercard, benchmarking Sydney against eight other global cities. The data showed:

  • Sydney has room to grow in comparison to other key global cities. Only 23% of spending in Sydney happens after 6pm, compared with 36% in Berlin;
  • Sydney’s night spend is predominantly “non-communal” categories such as groceries and food stores;
  • Sydney’s night-time spend falls behind when it comes to communal type spending at restaurants, bars, retail and the arts.

Michael Rose said:

“Sydney is a great place to live and visit but more could be done to maximise the social, cultural and economic potential of the city at night.

“Our research shows that people want and need to use the city and its services at night.  For some the night is when they work, shop or attend classes. For others, it is a time for entertainment, going out and enjoying the life of the city. It is a time when people want to be about and move around the city.  Our research also shows how people of different backgrounds and ages want different things from the city at different times of the evening and night.  Meeting their needs represents a significant opportunity for Sydney.

“We need a multi-disciplinary approach that answers questions about culture, transport, design, policing and community involvement.”

Peter Collins said:

“Our Commission’s focus has been on Greater Sydney, reflecting the fact that our city is growing rapidly westward and that a vibrant 24-hour economy should be priority for many areas of the city.

“The work has been unashamedly economic. We believe that Greater Sydney is losing out economically and financially by having an underperforming night-time economy.

“A 24-hour economy must be seen as more than just a question of entertainment or licensing. It is about creating the amenity of a genuine 24-hour city, where normal day-to-day activities such as shopping, visiting a museum, going to the gym or a public library become as normal at 10pm as they would at 10am. We believe that there are substantial potential benefits to Sydneysiders having access to 24-hour services and amenities.”

The report can be downloaded here.


Note to editors:

  1. The following organisations were involved in the Commission:
  • Accor
  • Airbnb
  • Art Gallery of NSW
  • Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce
  • Australian Hotels Association NSW
  • Australian Turf Club
  • Business Events Sydney
  • City of Canterbury Bankstown
  • City of Parramatta
  • City of Sydney
  • Create NSW
  • Destination NSW
  • Ethos Urban
  • Financial Services Council
  • Grimshaw Architects
  • Haymarket Chamber of Commerce
  • International Convention Centre Sydney
  • Lendlease
  • Live Music Office
  • Liverpool City Council
  • Luna Park Sydney
  • Mastercard
  • McKinsey & Company
  • News Corp Australia
  • NSW Department for Planning & Environment
  • NSW Police Force
  • Outdoor Media Association
  • Scentre Group
  • PwC
  • Sydney Fringe
  • Sydney Fringe Festival
  • Sydney Living Museums
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  • The Hornery Institute
  • The Star Entertainment Group
  • Transport for NSW
  • Uber Australia
  • Western Sydney Business Chamber
  • Western Sydney University
  1. The Committee for Sydney is an independent think tank and champion for the whole of Sydney, providing thought leadership beyond the electoral cycle. The Committee aims to enhance the economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions that make Sydney a competitive, resilient and liveable global city. The Committee has a diverse membership with over 150 member organisations: including the major corporate sectors driving Sydney’s economy; strategically minded local authorities; key NSW Government departments and agencies; not- for-profit organisations; and leading arts and sporting institutions. Members help develop and deliver priorities, provide expertise and ensure a representative geographical spread across the greater Sydney region.


Subscribe for the latest news