Principle 4: Local character and identity

Public space reflects who we are and our diverse stories and histories.

The many layers of built and natural heritage within public space create a sense of character, place and identity. This heritage might be evident in a building or in the landscape, or embraced in stories, memories and oral histories.

Public space should acknowledge and reflect Aboriginal languages, place names and histories and be a place where Aboriginal cultures can be practised and shared to create connections to Country.

Think about how parks, libraries, community centres, plazas or sportsgrounds can bring value to communities – perhaps because of what they offer today or what they represent about the past.

Maintain the character and quality of heritage in public spaces so that all generations will understand the history of a place. Think about how heritage buildings such as town halls, fire stations or hospitals can be adapted as exciting public spaces, while incorporating and promoting their history.

Local artists and creatives can get involved and create public art or creative programs that bring local stories, cultures and histories to life.

Engage across the community to reflect the diverse voices, cultures and histories when planning for the type of character that different public spaces might have.

This is an edited version of the charter. For the full text, please download: NSW Public Spaces Charter (PDF, 3.34 MB).