Principle 7: Local business and economies

Public space supports a dynamic economic life and vibrant urban and town centres.

Public space can include lively main streets, outdoor dining and cafés, and popular tourist destinations. They can be ideal for markets, food vans and live performance. These elements all bring activity, attracting residents, customers, employees and services, which in turn attracts business and investment.

In this way, think about how public space works with other buildings and other activities, so that people will form more of a connection to place. Remember that privately-owned spaces and commercial activity can work to support public space and make it more exciting,  so long as this doesn’t prevent public space from being free and accessible for everyone.

People might come to a busy street area to get some shopping done, access services or have a meal –town centres or shopping areas will be more likely to thrive if there’s quality public spaces where people can sit, rest and connect with each other.

As a public space, a busy, active street will become a vibrant and dynamic shopping and dining precinct that attract foot traffic and creates buzz. Neighbourhoods become destinations, which spurs innovation and improves land and property value.

If places like parks, plazas, libraries, museums and community centres feel safe and welcoming after dark, the broader area might be more likely to become a night-time destination. Understanding how people use public space at different times of the day should be a starting point to make decisions that could benefit the local economy at all hours.

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