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Public Space Ideas

The Public Space Ideas Competition invited communities to re-imagine public spaces across Sydney.

We showcased ideas for public spaces in Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks, and sparked conversations within the community and with the City of Sydney, the NSW Government and Place Management NSW.

These conversations will continue. Below are the seven proposals put forward by the Millers Point Community Resident Action Group. Follow the links to reveal the full proposals.

We look forward to your responses to these proposals and we will update what we hear back from the City of Sydney, the NSW Government and Place Management NSW.


Return to the Harbour

January 1, 2020

Swim at Barangaroo Swimming Hole, Marrinawi Cove,

surrounded by native flora.

Sydneysiders and visitors alike have a deep affection for Sydney Harbour and enjoy a long association with bathing. Gadigal people bathed along the inner harbour’s shores prior to and after European settlement, and the Colony’s early baths were built at Dawes Point and Soldiers Point (Erskine Street).

Submission by Yasmina Bonnet, Anne Warr, Tim Schwager and John Dunn

Download Return to the Harbour

Update: Infrastructure NSW is “exploring the opportunity for a swimming area at Barangaroo”. Download the CEO’s letter to Alex Greenwich.



January 1, 2020

Connecting Dawes Point and The Rocks and Celebrating

William Dawes and Patyegarang

George Street, the first street of Sydney, once ended at Dawes’ observatory, a safe and welcoming place for Aboriginal and English people to share knowledge and friendship, where Dawes and Patyegarang recorded indigenous language and customs.

Submission by John Dunn, Anne Warr and Tim Schwager

Download Archway

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Extinction Lane

January 1, 2020

Adults don't understand that the world they're handing

over to us will be broken.

Extinction Lane will be a place created by children and young adults. It will be our place to express our concerns. My idea is to ask other school children, especially indigenous school children, to help create this lane, which will be a place for us to explain to adults the world that we might inherit.

Submission by Clementine Cockrell

Download Extinction Lane

Before European Settlement

January 1, 2020

Re-imagining the public spaces of Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks led to conversations about the Gadigal people who occupied this land before European settlement, and in each case this became a central aspect of the proposal – how Aboriginal people fished and swam in the harbour; how Dawes’ observatory was a place where Aboriginal and European people met and learned from one another; how Aboriginal people were displaced from the centre of our city; and how we might heal significant sites such as Observatory Hill.

Coming soon to this site is Our Place, a section that will present histories of Dawes Point, Millers Point, The Rocks and Walsh Bay, especially the early maritime and Indgenous histories of this historic precinct. A grant from Sydney Water was awarded to present this material on this site.

Joseph Lycett’s watercolour of Aboriginal people swimming and spear fishing in Sydney Harbour around 1817 (National Gallery of Australia)

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Public Space Ideas: News & Updates
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1. Pop Up High Line Weekend Trial

Sydney from a new perspective

The Cahill Expressway, now devoted to giving cars a spectacular journey across Circular Quay, could be transformed into a world-class public space, giving pedestrians and cyclists the spectacular journey as they safely traverse the city from east to west and north to south.

Submission by Nigel Dickson from Dickson Rothschild

See more here

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2. High Line Begins

Reclaiming the space for the people

Reclaiming roads from cars and giving them back to the public is the key theme for this big idea.

Submission by Nigel Dickson from Dickson Rothschild

See more here

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3. High Line Completed

A world class setting deserves a world class public space

Imagine a place, once devoted to cars and seen by many as an eye-sore, becoming a much-loved pedestrian and cycling precinct, allowing active, healthy and enjoyable connections from east to west across the city and north to south across the harbour. An asset that includes cafes, bars and retail spaces amongst the landscaped open space, celebrating the best of our harbour city.

submission by Nigel Dickson from Dickson Rothschild

See more here

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4. The Healing of the Hill

Becoming Sydney’s Foremost Education Precinct

Imagine the Cahill Expressway loop, once occupied by cars and trucks now becoming a sanctuary for pedestrians, cyclists and artists. Parents can bring their children safely to school, while tourists can easily access the cultural gems of Sydney from The Domain through to Darling Harbour away from Expressway traffic.

submission by Nigel Dickson from Dickson Rothschild

See more here

Public Space Ideas: News & Updates
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