People first for changing Chinatown

People first for changing Chinatown

Chinatown residents, workers and visitors are invited to have their say on the City of Sydney’s plans to transform Thomas Street into a pedestrian plaza, complete with new public artworks, trees and street furniture.

The works are part of the Chinatown Public Domain Plan, the City’s long-term vision for making Chinatown an even more enjoyable place to live, work and visit.

The plans include a new public space on Thomas Street between Ultimo Road and Thomas Lane, designed by award-winning contemporary Chinese-Australian artist Lindy Lee and inspired by principles from Taoist and Buddhist philosophy.

Widened footpaths, more street trees, new public artworks, street furniture and lighting will also be installed to improve the look and feel of the area.

“Chinatown is one of Sydney’s jewels. It is a big part of our city’s cultural life and our plans for Thomas Street will make the area even better for the thousands of people in the area each day,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“The new public plaza on Thomas Street will give people a reason to stop, take a moment out of their busy day and enjoy the unique character of the area. I encourage everyone to take a look at our plans for Thomas Street and share their ideas with us.”

The proposed works will be accompanied by traffic changes in the area to give pedestrians priority, including making Thomas Street between Ultimo Road and Thomas Lane a 10km/h shared zone with timed closures.

The Chinatown Public Domain Plan was launched in 2010 following an extensive consultation process with the local community. It proposes a suite of improvements to support the rich local program of events, cultural experiences and public life on Chinatown’s streets.

The first stage of works, completed in early 2012, included a $5 million makeover of three laneways in the heart of Haymarket – Little Hay Street, Factory Street and Kimber Lane.

The facelift included widened footpaths, custom-made street furniture and new trees, lighting and paving, and local Chinese-Aboriginal artist Jason Wing’s stunning artwork In Between Two Worlds in Kimber Lane.

The first stage of works also transformed a disused pagoda at the northern end of Dixon Street Mall into a new information kiosk, which glows bright red at night and serves hundreds of visitors each day.

The kiosk, which features energy-efficient lighting, access for people living with mobility and hearing impairments, and a striking Chinese-inspired artwork, was awarded a prestigious prize in last year’s Australian Institute of Architects NSW awards.

The City’s plans for Thomas Street are on public exhibition until 3 June.
For more information and to have your say, visit:

For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Keeley Irvin.
Phone 0448 005 718 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin.
Phone 0477 310 149 or email