Why is this important?
Quality green, open and public spaces are important to everyone. They are our free and publicly accessible parks, gardens and sports fields, walkable shady streets and plazas, and the libraries, museums and galleries at the heart of our communities.
Our public spaces make our local neighbourhoods more welcoming and accessible. They delight and connect people. They support our health and well-being, environmental resilience and thriving local economies. They're at the heart of everyday life.
We know that people who have access to green and public places are healthier and happier. We also know that for many people living in urban areas without a lush backyard, our parks and green spaces are vital to maintaining both physical and mental health.
The NSW Government is committed to delivering a network of welcoming and inclusive public spaces to create connected communities where people love to live.
How are we tracking?
Creating great public spaces takes a local, place-based approach. We are working with local governments and communities across NSW to increase access to quality public space.
Our target is to have 230,000 more homes in urban areas within 10 minutes’ walk of a new or improved quality green, open, and public space by 30 June 2023. As at January 2021, our projects have resulted in an additional 100,010 homes having access to great public spaces.
We launched the Streets as Shared Spaces program in collaboration with Transport for NSW, to support the community during Covid-19 and in the community’s re-emergence by creating more safe and attractive streets.
The program offered a $15 million competitive grant fund for temporary interventions, to support people to physically distance, and support essential workers and local businesses. This includes making more space for walking and cycling.
Read our Streets and Shared Spaces – ideas and opportunities (PDF 2.5MB) to find out what contributes to a great street.
As a part of The Festival of Place, we are working with 6 councils to deliver a variety of public space demonstration projects through our Places to Love program. These projects focus on improving walkable access and the quality of open spaces, public facilities and streets.
The 6 councils, which are from across the 3 cities of Sydney, as well as regional NSW, are:
- Blacktown City Council
- Burwood Council
- City of Sydney
- Liverpool City Council
- Penrith City Council
- Wagga Wagga City Council.
The aim is to demonstrate the vision for an area and build an evidence base for longer-term change. We hope to have a rolling program of demonstration projects with other councils in the future. Learn about temporary intervention projects that create great streets and more space for people, including our partnership with Liverpool City Council.
Railway service way project
Artist's impression of the Railway service way project currently underway in Liverpool City Council.
Photo credit: Liverpool City Council
We have released a draft NSW Public Spaces Charter – our commitment to quality public spaces for NSW. The charter has been developed to support the planning, design, management and activation of public spaces in NSW. It identifies 10 principles for quality public space, developed through evidence-based research and discussions with a diverse range of public space experts and we want your input on these.
We have also released a draft Evaluation Tool for Public Space and Public Life together with a Great Public Spaces Guide. The draft evaluation tool is a free resource developed to support local and state government, industry and the community. It aims to help these stakeholders assess the quality of public space, identify areas where a place is doing well and areas for improvement. The Great Public Spaces Guide is an introduction to understanding the meaning of place, and the elements that contribute to create a great public facility, open space or street.
You can find a local public space in your area using the ePlanning Spatial Viewer. The public spaces layer shows the location of known open spaces and public facilities across NSW.
What can you do?
If you would like to learn more about the Great Public Spaces program, contact the project team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org