About the City of Sydney
Sydney is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a diverse population. It counts a rich history, internationally-recognised tourist attractions and an exciting calendar of events as some of its features.
The City of Sydney is the local government authority responsible for the city centre and more than 30 suburbs and parts of suburbs within our boundaries.
In 2007, we asked residents and businesses what they wanted to see happen over the next 20 years and beyond. The result is a collective vision for Sydney’s sustainable development, called Sustainable Sydney 2030, which will make Sydney a green, global and connected city.
The City is fast becoming a leading environmental performer and our sustainability plan guides what we do. Sustainable development is not just about the physical environment, but also about fostering Sydney’s economy, society and culture.
The area we look after covers about 26 square kilometres of inner Sydney. The region extends from Sydney Harbour at Rushcutters Bay, to Glebe and Annandale in the west, from Sydney Park and Rosebery in the south to Centennial Park and Paddington in the east.
Our role is to provide services for more than 176,255 residents as well as for the daily influx of workers and visitors to the city. On any given day, Sydney's population swells to more than 1 million, with people commuting to and from, doing business, shopping, playing, studying, and seeing the sights.
The City is also the main consent authority for new development in most parts of the local area. Larger applications worth more than $50 million are considered by the Central Sydney Planning Committee of which the City is a member.
We meet the needs of our communities by providing essential services such as street cleaning, road maintenance, a network of libraries, approval processes for development, collection of recycling and waste, beautiful parks, playgrounds and gardens, and sports and recreation venues, including swimming pools.
We also encourage responsible pet ownership through our registration service and other services for domestic animals and their owners.
The City looks after the big picture too. Delivered in consultation with the City, light rail, wide boulevards and pedestrian-friendly precincts will see George Street transformed, with laneway revitalisation an extension of the city centre's new look.
We work with residents, government and transport operators to campaign for a high quality, integrated transport network and we take action by building cycleways and increasing open space for people. We partner with other groups and organisations to care for the natural and built environment, and team with police, businesses and communities to increase safety in the city.
We offer a range of services, programs, and projects to support the community and foster community-building. For example, the City operates activity centres for older people and services for young people, as well as child care facilities. Our homelessness services help many thousands of people each year.
Also on offer are our grants and sponsorship programs which are designed to invigorate our communities and help individual residents and groups.
The City works in partnership with business on many projects and has a range of awards and programs available for that sector. There are more than 20,000 businesses in the local area and we work to support them through these awards and other services.
We are responsible for health policy, regulations and standards in the City and monitor food safety, public and environmental health.
Business and property owners help fund City of Sydney services, programs and projects through rates. Residential rates in the City of Sydney continue to be among the cheapest in NSW.
The City is committed to public consultation and ensures all major proposals are publicly exhibited to encourage community feedback. Members of the public are welcome to address council committee meetings and we regularly welcome feedback from the public to discuss specific issues.
Another part of the City of Sydney's role is important on a national and international level. We act as a champion for Sydney and strive to advance and enhance its reputation as Australia's premier city. We do this by:
- Encouraging, fostering and providing small business support
- Delivering innovative design and major redevelopment projects
- Producing, maintaining and supporting a range of public art projects
- Making sure the city's many beautiful buildings, landmarks and heritage are preserved
- Funding major events in the city - such as the Sydney Festival, the Sydney Mardi Gras, the Biennale and the Sydney Writers' Festival
- Producing our own internationally acclaimed events such as Sydney New Year's Eve, Art & About and Chinese New Year
- Promoting Sydney as a tourist destination and providing services for visitors, including maps, dining guides and information booths.
The City of Sydney and all other councils in NSW operate within a legislative framework decided by the state government. The City's 10 councillors are elected for a 4 year term by residents and ratepayers (business and property owners). The Lord Mayor is popularly elected.
Councillors make decisions on all key matters at council and committee meetings. Members of the public can address committee meetings and may also attend council meetings. The City of Sydney consults the community and the opinions of residents, business owners and other interested parties are given great importance in the decision-making process.
Your City of Villages
Each village precinct has its own unique character. Central Sydney is bordered by areas with their own unique character, including the Rocks, Surry Hills, Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Glebe, Erskineville, Newtown and Redfern.
We think it's important to maintain the unique qualities and charisma of these village precincts and aim to foster the best possible standard of city living in each one. Here we focus on delivering an appealing urban environment and attractive leisure, recreation and community facilities. Our community events encourage people to interact with their neighbours and explore their local area.
The City also runs various programs that make sure our most vulnerable and isolated residents are connected to services and their local communities.
The City values Sydney's diverse communities and seeks to support all members to participate in a rich and rewarding community life. The local area has one of Australia's most ethnically diverse populations - almost half of our residents were born overseas and about 30% speak a language other than English. The most common language spoken at home (after English) is Chinese, followed by Indonesian, Greek and Russian.
We aim to foster a range of multicultural programs and initiatives, recognising the rich contribution multicultural groups make to city life. The local is home to one of Sydney's largest Aboriginal communities and we are committed to a process of reconciliation with traditional custodians. We also offer specific services and programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who live in the local area.
We also respect and recognise the significant contributions of other groups that are well represented in our local area, such as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.
Almost half of our residents are aged between 18 and 34. There are proportionally fewer teenagers, children and older people living in the local area than the rest of Sydney metropolitan region. All our residents are equally important.
The City provides programs tailored to help over 55s keep enjoying a healthy, active, involved lifestyle. Our less active older residents receive support services to help them to continue living comfortably and independently at home. We also offer a range of services to help young people and encourage their contributions to the city.
We are committed to being as inclusive and accessible as possible. We provide information and services to cater specifically to our residents, workers and visitors with a disability.Housing for a diverse population is part of our Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan and we are finding innovative ways of creating affordable housing so everyone can enjoy the benefits of inner-city life. At present, more than half of all City residents rent their home from the private sector, the remaining third own or are paying off their home and just over 10 per cent are public and community housing tenants. Not-for-profit housing for low to moderate income workers and social housing for our most disadvantaged residents will increase by 2030.
Last updated: Tuesday, 21 May 2013