Experts shine a light on night-time global cities

Experts shine a light on night-time global cities

Night-time culture experts from global cities including Amsterdam, Berlin and London will come together to discuss what makes a world-class night-time economy at a forum in Sydney next week.

Speakers including Amsterdam’s first night mayor, Mirik Milan, will address night-time economy specialists from across Australia and abroad at Global Cities After Dark – A Night Culture Forum on Tuesday 28 November.

Keynote presentations, group workshops and expert sessions will cover everything from the importance of cultural diversity in night-time economies to transport, infrastructure, public health and gastronomy.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was proud to support the first Global Cities After Dark forum.

“Sydney’s night-time economy is critical to our future – it generates more than $3.64 billion in revenue each year, with more than 4,600 businesses employing more than 32,000 people,” the Lord Mayor said.

“There’s no question the NSW Government’s lockout laws have had a serious impact on our night-time economy, when evidence-based policies and changes to the laws could have achieved the same safety improvements while allowing well-managed venues to continue to trade as part of a safe, sustainable late-night culture.

“Now we need to listen to experts who have faced similar issues in their cities and look for practical ways to boost our night-time culture and support businesses operating in the night-time economy. This forum is a fantastic opportunity for Sydney to learn from best-practice examples from around the world.”

Recognised as one of the world’s leading advocates for thriving late-night culture, Mirik Milan will open the forum with a keynote presentation on the need for city governments, businesses and residents to work together to create a diverse and inclusive night-time economy.

“Being a part of Global Cities After Dark is like a dream come true, because by sharing ideas for a safe and vibrant nightlife, it empowers bottom-up initiatives after dark that contribute and strengthen creative cities around the world,” Mr Milan said.

“It will be one of the most innovative forums from a city planning perspective, because global thought leaders will gather in Sydney to discuss what strategies can be put in place for creating liveable, inclusive cities with high quality of life and culture for everyone.”

Other speakers include Lutz Leichsenring from the Berlin Clubcommission, Kate Becker from the City of Seattle’s Office of Film and Music, Andreina Seijas from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Boston and Dr Adam Winstock from the Global Drug Survey in London.

The City of Sydney and Create NSW will also co-host a panel on Sydney at night. This will examine the current state of the local night-time economy, new initiatives in development, and how the two levels of government are working together to support a vibrant, safe and sustainable late-night economy.

The forum comes as the City seeks feedback on several initiatives designed to revitalise Sydney’s nightlife.

A new discussion paper, An Open and Creative City, proposes planning reforms to make it easier for small businesses to trade later. The reforms would also encourage more small-scale cultural events and activities in the city, and better manage the impacts of live music and performance venues on the community.

The City also recently announced plans to establish an expert advisory panel offering advice on reforms to support a vibrant, safe and sustainable nightlife for Sydney in the wake of the lockout laws.

The City will also review the planning controls for its night-time precincts, taking into consideration venue size, location, mix and diversity of use. The review will recommend changes that better respond to the changing character of local late-night hotspots.

The Lord Mayor said that although the City had started its work to encourage a more diverse nightlife before the impact of the lockout laws, it was even more important now.

“We adopted our night-time economy policy, OPEN Sydney, after a two-year program of consultation and research. We looked at the ways people move around the city, used heat mapping to identify hotspots, consulted with residents, venues and emergency services, and built a deep understanding of how people use our city at night.

“While we’ve implemented many actions from OPEN – including small bars, food trucks, support for live music, upgraded taxi ranks, better wayfinding, increased CCTV and late-night ambassadors – we know there is more to be done.

“As Sydney becomes more densely populated, it’s critical we support and sustain nightlife and culture by minimising red tape for new businesses and cultural spaces, including live music and performance venues.

“I encourage people to give us their feedback on our proposals to help ensure the city’s future cultural life and night-time economy offer something for everyone.”

The discussion paper is on public exhibition until 13 December. For more information or to have your say, visit

Global Cities After Dark is presented by Electronic Music Conference and Mirik Milan, Night Mayor Amsterdam, and supported by the City of Sydney. For more information, visit

For media inquiries or images, contact Media Team Leader Keeley Irvin.
Phone 0448 005 718 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Communications Officer Julia Lenton.
Phone 02 8974 9612 or email