Will The Pandemic Push Sydney To Become The 24-Hour-City It So Badly Wants To Be?

Love your ambition, Sydney.

Love your ambition, Sydney.

Well well well, it looks like Sydney has ambitions to go from lockout law-induced ghost town to nightlife capital of the world. Is it actually going to happen? Probably not, but it’s cute that they’re trying.

A blueprint released by the NSW Treasury yesterday makes the case for turning the city into a “24-hour metropolis” to cement Sydney’s position as a “truly global city”. 

If these sound like turns of phrase you’ve heard before, you probably have. Every year, some guy on a soapbox seems to announce their plan to make Sydney or Melbourne an illustrious “world-class city” on par with “New York City or Tokyo”, and it’s all very boring and embarrassing. And don't get me started on that whiff of cultural cringe.

But will an economic sucker punch courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic finally give this initiative the push into reality it needs? 

Obviously, the plan isn’t just about helping people have a fun time, but about unlocking the treasure chest known as the night-time economy. This would involve things like more late-night public transport, extended opening hours for cultural institutions, late-night retail and removing restrictions on pop-up bars and food trucks. Get all the deets here

The blueprint comes after the city's lock-out laws were scrapped about eight months ago, and takes inspiration from international cities like San Francisco, Montreal and Amsterdam. 

“The focus is on how we make our economy just as vibrant, productive and diverse in the night as it is throughout the day," the report reads. 

"This strategy aims to drive investment, create jobs and attract more businesses to the CBD and surrounding suburbs, laying the groundwork for our state’s economic recovery so we can keep more businesses in business and people in jobs,” NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said in a press release.

“There is no denying Sydney is one of the best cities in the world, but we need to continue to do everything we can to ensure the jewel in our crown continues to shine both day and night,” he added. 

Keep reaching for the stars, Sydney. We love your energy. 

Full disclosure: this was written by a Melburnian, if you couldn’t already tell.

Main Image Credit: Destination NSW

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