Chinatown and CBD South

In Chinatown and CBD South, high-rise residential buildings are dispersed among office blocks. It is the most centrally located of the City of Sydney's villages, benefitting from unrivalled public transport accessibility. The village provides an assortment of facilities, catering to the resident and worker population, in addition to the tourist market.

The village has a range of ‘finegrain’ businesses, particularly retail and food and drink businesses, which are diverse and innovative in nature and are dispersed throughout the village, particularly in Chinatown. Events held in the village have a significant international influence, particularly in the Chinatown precinct.

Chinatown and CBD South is located to the south of Bathurst Street and is solely comprised of the suburb of Haymarket. The village is bounded by Murray Street in the west, Bathurst Street and Darling Harbour in the north, Elizabeth and Chalmers streets to the east, and the Central railway station pedestrian subway to the south.

Despite the abundance of high-rise office buildings and residential towers, the village provides a range of local green spaces as respite for the urban community and worker population. The main green space of the village is Belmore Park, but additional open space is provided by Hyde Park and Tumbalong Park in adjacent villages.

What do residents like about their village?

  • Proud of its culture and traditions and wanting to share it with the rest of Sydney.
  • Friendly, multicultural, many shops locally, a lot of transport.
Source: City of Sydney Resident Consultations

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The village is home to an increasing number of residents, primarily as a result of changes to planning controls in the 1990s which saw an increase in apartment dwellings, a trend that has continued to this day. Additionally, the proximity of the village to the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and The University of Sydney has been influential, with a significant supply of student accommodation in the area. Chart 1 shows that 100% of the residential dwellings within Chinatown and CBD South are flats, units and apartments. The growing demand for inner city living options, combined with the relative scarcity of land in the village, has underpinned the development of high density residential towers across the village.

Chart 1 – Dwelling Types

Chart 1 – Dwelling Types   


The major north-south corridors in the village are George and Pitt streets, which lead from the city centre towards Central railway station. The main streets that traverse the village in an east to west direction include Goulburn and Liverpool streets, with the latter connecting to Oxford Street in the east. The village also includes Darling Harbour and Tumbalong Park precincts which are pedestrian only areas. Pyrmont Bridge in the north of the village provides a connection between the city centre and the Pyrmont/Ultimo area for pedestrians and cyclists.

Figure 1 shows the public transport infrastructure in the City of Sydney local area, including barrier counts for train and ferry stations in 2012. The map shows that this village includes Central train station, Sydney’s most frequented train station, with a daily passenger count in excess of 182,000 in 2012. Town Hall train station, being the second most frequented station, is just north of the village boundary.

The village is also serviced by ferries, with the Pyrmont ferry wharf having a daily passenger count of over 4,300 in 2012. Additionally, passenger movements within and around the village are aided by the light rail line and an abundance of bus services, with Central railway station being the focal point of many of these services.

The village also receives a large amount of pedestrian traffic, including commuters and shoppers. George Street in particular is a busy pedestrian thoroughfare, linking Central railway station to the city centre. A pedestrian study conducted in October 2013 counted 121,700 pedestrians on a weekday and 62,800 on a weekend on George Street near the corner of Liverpool Street, making it one of the busiest locations in the city centre.

Figure 1 – Transport Infrastructure & Barrier Counts

Figure 1 – Transport Infrastructure & Barrier Counts


Chinatown and CBD South has an assortment of facilities, catering to worker and resident populations. As shown in Figure 2, the main open space within the village is Belmore Park in the south-eastern portion of the area. Adjacent to the village boundaries, Hyde and Tumbalong parks also provide green open space for village goers. Haymarket Library is a significant community resource for local residents and is shown in Figure 2.

The City of Sydney Wellbeing (Residents) Survey highlighted the following opinions of residents regarding community facilities in their village:

  • households believe their access to libraries is above average
  • the residents feel that the opportunities to participate in arts and cultural activities in the local area are above average
  • the residents are satisfied with the range and quality of public art installations and artworks within their village.

Figure 2 – Parks and Council Facilities

Figure 2 – Parks and Council Facilities


The community events held within the village are heavily influenced by local residents and international visitors, primarily due to the cultural significance of the Chinatown precinct. Popular events within the village include:

  • Chinese New Year: Held yearly in February, over 100,000 people attend over 80 different events in celebration of the Chinese New Year, which is the main event for the village, especially for Chinatown. The festival includes cultural events, markets, tours, exhibitions and entertainment as well as parades and dragon boat races, attracting significant crowds to the area and to local businesses.
  • Asia on Your Doorstep: Held in October of each year as part of Good Food Month, this event allows a large number of local businesses to showcase their food offerings, featuring a strong promotion of Chinatown in addition to the less-well-known precincts of Koreatown and Thaitown. This event attracts significant crowds that benefit not only the businesses involved, but also those in the surrounding area.
  • Friday Night Market: The Friday Night Market held weekly in Chinatown offers more than 50 market stalls for shopping and gourmet food from a range of cultures. The event is a major event of the village and its regularity makes it a major driver of visitation to Chinatown.
  • Paddy’s Markets: These markets are open every Wednesday through to Sunday with a range of different stalls and offerings, making it another major driver of patronage to Chinatown.



This information has been compiled from various sources. The publisher and contributors accept no responsibility for any injury, loss or damage arising from the use, error or omissions therein. While all care is taken to ensure a high degree of accuracy, users are invited to notify the City of Sydney of any discrepancies. No part of this information, including maps or data, may be reproduced without written permission.

Last updated: Tuesday, 16 June 2015