Future outlook

Harris Street

The well-established Harris Street village is expected to experience relatively low population growth over the next 2 decades, as there is limited land available for new residential development.

Growth in the workforce population is expected to be at a slightly higher rate.

Several major infrastructure projects are currently underway or expected to commence within the village and its surrounds, with projects including The Star redevelopment, the UTS campus master plan and the Ultimo pedestrian network. 

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Population growth

The population of the village is forecast to increase from 17,706 to 20,265 between 2011 and 2031 (see Table 15). This equates to an average population growth rate of 128 people or 0.7% per annum.

Table 15 – Forecast Village Population, 2011–2031

Estimated Resident Population Av. Annual Growth 2011–2031
2011 2021 2031 No. %
17,706 19792 20,265 128 0.7%
Source: id Forecast

Figure 11 highlights that when compared to other villages within the City of Sydney, Harris Street village has one of the lowest forecast growth rates. Most of the vacant land has now been developed with high density residential apartments and many of the historical warehouses have been converted into residential dwellings already, meaning population growth will be slower than in areas with more new residential construction.

Figure 11 – Forecast Average Annual Population Growth, 2011–2031

Figure 11 – Forecast Average Annual Population Growth, 2011–2031

Source: id Forecast

Demographic change

Chart 8 compares the number of residents by age group in 2011 and 2031. The strong presence of parents and homebuilders (35-49 years) within the village is expected to increase by 2031, as the area attracts more professional families looking to live in inner city locations. This trend of families moving into the village will also result in growth in younger age groups including babies and preschoolers (0-4), primary schoolers (5-11) and secondary schoolers (12-17).

Interestingly, the number of residents in the tertiary education and independence (18-24) age group is expected to decrease despite the village’s location relative to many tertiary education institutions. These residents, along with the young workforce (25-34), will make way for older workers and retirees.

Chart 8 - Population by Age Group, 2011 & 2031

Chart 8 - Population by Age Group, 2011 & 2031

Workforce changes

Using projections made by the NSW Bureau of Transport Statistics, Chart 9 illustrates forecasts growth in the village workforce. Over the 20 year period between 2011 and 2031 growth in the local workforce is forecast to be 303 workers per year, or 1.1%. Over the entire 35 year forecast period between 2011 and 2046 the average annual growth rate is slightly lower at 293 workers, or 1.0% per annum.

Chart 9 – Forecast Workforce Growth, 2011–2046

Chart 9 – Forecast Workforce Growth, 2011–2046

Major infrastructure

Significant infrastructure projects within the village include:

  • UTS Campus Master Plan: The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) is undergoing a $1 billion redevelopment of its main campus. The redevelopment will involve the construction of 4 new buildings and the revitalisation of existing facilities and infrastructure, with completion anticipated by 2018.
  • Ultimo Pedestrian Network: Running along the eastern edge of the village, the network involves the redevelopment of part of the old freight rail system into an activated public space. This will provide a link for pedestrian and bicycle traffic between Central railway station and Darling Harbour, connecting key cultural and educational institutions along the way.

Residential development activity

Figure 12 displays recently completed and future residential developments in the village as recorded by the City of Sydney’s Residential Development Monitor. This shows that relatively few developments have been recently completed in the village, although there were 4 developments with more than 100 units. Upcoming development will be similarly limited with several medium-sized developments spread throughout the village. 

Figure 12 – City of Sydney Residential Development Monitor, June 2013

Figure 12 – City of Sydney Residential Development Monitor, June 2013

What does this mean for my business?

Understanding the future outlook for the village is important for all local businesses and those considering locating in the area. Anticipating changes to the local resident and worker populations, along with changes to the physical environment, are important for successful long-term business planning.

In terms of future population and workforce, the outlook for Harris Street is fairly stable but without the prospect of high growth. Therefore business strategies should be more focussed on catering to the specific needs of the local market and understanding how changing demographics will affect demand. There is also the potential for businesses to benefit by finding innovative ways to attract business from outside the village, such as focusing on the significant tourist market.


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