May 10 - 16, 2020: Issue 449


Streets as Shared Spaces grants now available for councils: Community members Ideas welcomed

temporary activation - pilots - pop ups - interim improvements

Avalon Art Carnival in 2015 activated Simmonds Lane and the village with a display of artworks of all kinds and a program of Workshops, classes and Talks. Initiated by the Avalon Beach -Palm Beach Business chamber, the two week festival was a huge success -  2015 program here. A J Guesdon photo 

The NSW Dept. of Planning, Industry and Environment are rolling out a state-wide pilot program to promote temporary activation projects in local government areas. The program aims to increase the amount of public space and improve local streets and paths as shared spaces for people and transport.

Councils are encouraged to apply for Streets as Shared Spaces grants for temporary activation projects to deliver short-term improvements to our local streets, paths or public spaces.

Temporary activation is an approach to neighbourhood building, using short-term methods such as pilots, pop-ups or interim improvements. These projects can help support physical distancing requirements and local business, and build on the local character and improve the attractiveness of centres and public spaces. They can be a quick, low cost method to demonstrate the value of a concept and test future permanent change.

The pilot program will fund a range of improvements to local streets, paths and public spaces, with no project too small. Projects may deliver short-term improvements that:

  • support essential workers to travel to work, and people working from home
  • contribute to NSW economic recovery in our local centres by creating vibrant streets and additional safe space to support local business
  • activate high streets to create better quality public space
  • support physical distancing requirements and encourage safe social connection
  • support our communities well-being and ability to exercise
  • attract people back into public spaces in a safe way, when appropriate to do so.

They’re asking councils to think differently about their public spaces and amenity. Grants are available for a range of improvements to local streets, pavements, plazas, with no project too small.

On Friday May 8th Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes announced three trial pedestrianisation programs alongside a new $15 million Streets as Shared Spaces program that will fund council projects to provide more space for communities to safely walk, cycle and exercise.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the demand for more public spaces – and easy, safe access to it,” Mr Stokes said. 

“Whether it’s new cycle lanes, pedestrian-only streets or wider footpaths, we’re committed to working with councils and communities to fund projects that can make life better for everyone – both now and once the pandemic is over.”  

The three trial programs announced included: 

  • Eastern Harbour City: The NSW Government is partnering with the City of Sydney to extend George Street’s car-free zone in both directions between Bathurst Street and Campbell Street and extended in the southbound direction to Rawson Place. The existing temporary closure in the southbound direction from Bathurst Street to Campbell Street will be made permanent
  • Central River City: World Heritage-listed Parramatta Park’s People Loop Trial will see temporary changes made to vehicle access, parking and circulation for two-months from 19 May 2020, to improve the experience of walking and cycling in the park
  • Western Parkland City: The NSW Government is partnering with Liverpool City Council to install temporary street furniture and trees to slow vehicle traffic and pedestrianise the laneway behind Railway Street in the Liverpool City Centre.  

Councils will be able to apply for Streets as Shared Spaces program grants of up to $100,000 for immediate temporary projects, such as widening footpaths and cycle lanes and up to $1 million for medium-term pilot projects, such as extra crossing points, wider kerbs and trialling lower speed limits. 

The community can also submit their ideas for local projects through an new online social pinpoint map that allows users to click on an area and leave their comments and ideas. 

To share your ideas, visit:

Applications are now open and close June 10th, 2020 at 5pm.

For more information visit the Streets as Shared Spaces webpage at NSW Planning, Industry & Environment.

The Streets as Shared Spaces program is part of delivering the Premier’s Priority to increase the proportion of homes in urban areas within 10 minutes’ walk of quality green, open and public space.

It is also part of a cross-department campaign to increase awareness that public space, and spaces for walking and cycling are essential infrastructure for a successful and healthy neighbourhoods and centres.