Sydney will be transformed by three public squares in the heart of the city, wider pathways and harbor pools as part of a City of Sydney plan to provide more urban spaces for residents by 2050.

The council’s long-term strategy for what post-pandemic Sydney might look like in 30 years includes better connections to culture, Indigenous history and the port, and the gradual greening of the city centre.

The City of Sydney wants to create a new public realm at Circular Quay by 2050. Credit:City of Sydney

Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who won a historic fifth term in December, said the strategy was a continuation of the council’s Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision, released in 2012, and that there was “more work to do”.

“All successful cities have long-term plans to keep their economies and communities thriving, businesses invest with confidence, and all governments are working together to deliver essential infrastructure and services,” he said. she stated.


But one councilor criticized the strategy as a ‘cut and paste’ of the 2030 strategy which failed to show how the council could make Sydney ‘the undisputed biggest city in the southern hemisphere’.

The council launched an extensive public consultation process for the new plan in 2019. It used conversations with residents, children, workers, businesses, visitors from across Sydney, First Nations people and a jury of citizens to shape the strategy. Common themes included the desire for climate action and equitable access to the city.

This research identified 10 “ambitious” city-shaping projects that the council hopes to complete by 2050. They include the long-planned pedestrian spine along George Street connecting three major public squares in Central, Town Hall and Circular Quay.

The council has slowly acquired a parcel of properties across George Street from City Hall over the past 10 years, hoping to create a rare open space in the city. The proposed public realm at Circular Quay, aimed at improving access to the waterfront, would require the removal of the Cahill Expressway.