GREATER Sydney's night-time economy would be boosted by keeping art galleries and museums open later, extending late-night shopping to Fridays and Saturdays, and allowing night-time operating hours for community pools, gyms and libraries.
These are just some of the 22 recommendations in 'Sydney as a 24-Hour City', a new report authored by the Committee for Sydney and based on a year of research looking at how to make Greater Sydney's night-time economy more diverse and vibrant.
Other suggestions from Sydney as a 24-Hour City include:
- NSW Government to drive a 24-hour economy strategy;
- Consideration of designated, planned night-time precincts;
- Expanding additional public transport for night-time entertainment precincts;
- Councils piloting 'Night-time Business Improvement Districts';
- Enhanced marketing for night-time activities across Greater Sydney; and
- The introduction of a coordinating figure to bring together different agencies and actors in the night-time economy.
The recommendations in Sydney as a 24-Hour City have been based on a Commission into the Night-time Economy in Greater Sydney, which included input from 40 private, public and civic sector organisations. The Commission was co-chaired by Peter Collins and Chair of the Committee for Sydney, Michael Rose.
The report draws on detailed transactional data from Mastercard, benchmarking Sydney against eight other global cities. The data showed:
- Sydney has room to grow in comparison to other key global cities. Only 23% of spending in Sydney happens after 6pm, compared with 36% in Berlin;
- Sydney's night spend is predominantly "non-communal" categories such as groceries and food stores; and
- Sydney's night-time spend falls behind when it comes to communal type spending at restaurants, bars, retail and the arts.
"Sydney is a great place to live and visit but more could be done to maximise the social, cultural and economic potential of the city at night," Mr Rose said.
"Our research shows that people want and need to use the city and its services at night. For some the night is when they work, shop or attend classes. For others, it is a time for entertainment, going out and enjoying the life of the city. It is a time when people want to be about and move around the city.
"Our research also shows how people of different backgrounds and ages want different things from the city at different times of the evening and night. Meeting their needs represents a significant opportunity for Sydney.
"We need a multi-disciplinary approach that answers questions about culture, transport, design, policing and community involvement," Mr Rose concluded.
Mr Collins said the Commission's focus has been on Greater Sydney, reflecting the fact that the city is growing rapidly westward and that a vibrant 24-hour economy should be priority for many areas of the city.
"The work has been unashamedly economic. We believe that Greater Sydney is losing out economically and financially by having an underperforming night-time economy," he said.
"A 24-hour economy must be seen as more than just a question of entertainment or licensing. It is about creating the amenity of a genuine 24-hour city, where normal day-to-day activities such as shopping, visiting a museum, going to the gym or a public library become as normal at 10pm as they would at 10am. We believe that there are substantial potential benefits to Sydneysiders having access to 24-hour services and amenities."
More information about the report, 'Sydney as a 24-Hour City', is available from the Committee for Sydney website at <http://www.sydney.org.au/sydney-as-a-24-hour-city-expert-commission-releases-findings/>.