14 Feb 2019

Sydney’s nightlife has suffered dreadful and high-profile setbacks after the lockout laws came into play, but the NSW government and councils are now pulling out all stops to revive it.

Integral to this campaign is reorienting the night time economy so that it’s about more than just drinking and nightclubbing.

Speaking to Poppy Johnson of The Fifth Estate, Urbis Director Dianne Knott said, “Cities have much to benefit from a vibrant night time economy.”

Not only is the NTE a major contributor to the state’s economy, there’s also the safety aspect with more “eyes on the street” as well as “lots of place-making benefits”, including a sense of pride in your community.

Cities have much to benefit from a vibrant night time economy.

Dianne Knott View Profile

Urbis has been involved in a number of night time economy activation projects, including in Penrith and the Blue Mountains. Its opinion as “city shapers” is that night time precincts need to be dispersed throughout cities and regions, and offer variety.

“Our view as city shapers and economists is that a NTE that is dispersed across cities makes it a strong city. It’s about attracting people to an arrival experience and keeping them there,” Knott told The Fifth Estate.

“If everyone is sucked out to somewhere else then that location misses out on the vibrancy, economic and safety benefits, it’s a vicious cycle.”

Urbis recently worked with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment on a new guide that helps aspiring entrants to the night time economy navigate the development approvals process.

Learn more about this project here

Knott says the guide is primarily pitched at daytime businesses looking to open at night and entrepreneurs with a “great idea” for a night time business.

“It’s about late-night bookstores, pop up markets, live music – not just pubs and clubs operating until late, the goal is to create more choice for people.”

One example she mentioned was a group that wanted to run night time theatre events in a hair salon.

She says the guide is “really clear” on what entrants to the night time economy must consider regarding traffic, amenity and other community impacts before they even “put pen to paper” on a planning application.

The above is an excerpt from The Fifth Estate. To continue reading the article, please click here.