Media Release
Reviving high streets key to Sydney’s recovery – new report offers toolkit from top performers
28 November, 2021

Media contact

Matt Levinson
  • Sydney’s high streets have been mapped in detail for the first time
  • Recommendations include wider footpaths, all day on-street parking, reduced speeds and tailored development controls
  • New Committee for Sydney report accompanied by new database and interactive map, with high street panoramas and illustrations available.  

Sydney’s high streets have been mapped in detail for the first time in a new report, database and interactive map released today by Cox Architecture and think tank Committee for Sydney.

“The past two years have given many of us a newfound appreciation for our local high streets,” said Gabriel Metcalf, CEO of the Committee for Sydney.  

“At a time when high streets are threatened by major shifts in retail, these results offer a relatively simple and easy to follow recipe for what makes a great high street – whether it’s improving a street that’s struggling, or building one from scratch.

“There is a huge opportunity right now for councils and government to make improvements to local high streets.

“In some cases, what’s needed is simple – reducing traffic speeds or allowing kerbside parking to remain in place all day.

“In other cases, a bigger investment is needed to widen footpaths or undertake a more significant street redesign.

“But it’s worth doing these things because high streets add so much to everyone’s daily quality of life.

“In this project, we’ve mapped Sydney’s high streets with their key characteristics for the first time. It’s a research project and a labour of love that we hope people will add to and improve over time.”

High streets are defined in the report as continuous two-sided shopping streets, longer than 100 metres.

Some of the highest performers identified include:

  • Darling Street, Balmain
  • Argyle Street, Camden
  • Beamish Street, Campsie
  • Erskineville Road, Erskineville
  • Glebe Point Road, Glebe
  • South Street, Granville
  • The Spot, Randwick
  • Longueville Road, Longueville
  • Church Street, Parramatta
  • Crown Street, Surry Hills

Characteristics collected include length of the high street area, the nearby population, speed limits, the width of the footpath, street and between the buildings, presence of awnings, street orientation and zoning.