Redfern Street

Redfern Street village is one of Sydney’s most culturally, ethnically and economically diverse communities, underpinned by the emerging hub of creative and small businesses particularly in Redfern.

It is an area undergoing rapid change due to substantial amounts of urban renewal and reactivation of the village, particularly with Chippendale emerging as an arts precinct.

At present, the locals enjoy access to Broadway Shopping Centre and the distinctive precincts of Chalmers Street, Redfern Street, Regent Street and Australian Technology Park, as well as Victoria Park and Prince Alfred Park.

The village is located in the centre of the City of Sydney local area, to the south-west of the city centre and includes the suburbs of Chippendale, Darlington, Eveleigh, and parts of Redfern, Waterloo, Alexandria, Erskineville, Newtown, Camperdown and Surry Hills.

It is bounded by Broadway in the north, Chalmers Street to the east and The University of Sydney to the west.  

What do residents like about their village?

“The people, including local café/shop owners and the residents- their friendliness and ‘country community’ style and way of doing things… very trusting, open and helpful.”

“Completely diverse mix that works – artists, students, professionals, architects, scholars, working class, middle class, migrants, Aboriginal people, Anglo-Saxons.”

“Diverse, dirty/grungy, dangerous, fun, conveniently located.”

Source: City of Sydney Resident Consultations

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Heritage buildings line the streets alongside working and converted warehouses, with many households claiming the footpaths as a garden space. Redfern has an iconic status with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, housing a large share of the community and organisations. Macdonaldtown, Eveleigh and Golden Grove are all small neighbourhoods within the village that are predominantly made up of tree-lined streets, in addition to the small residential component of Alexandria.

The suburb of Darlington, to the east of Redfern, consists of terrace houses and weatherboard cottages that are being restored by a new population of academics and professionals due to the proximity to The University of Sydney. Chippendale, an established community, is also undergoing change with the attraction of the area for inner city professionals who appreciate the quiet and leafy terrace-lined streets. The Central Park development within Chippendale has also catered to the strong housing demand.

Chart 1 shows the distribution of dwelling types within Redfern Street village.

The dominant dwelling type within this village is flats/units/apartments which make up 65% of all dwellings. This is currently below the City of Sydney average but the significant development occurring within the village is likely to push this figure upwards in the future. The presence of semi-detached dwellings is also significant due to the number of terrace houses in suburbs such as Darlington and Chippendale. 

Chart 1 – Dwelling Types

Chart 1 – Dwelling Types  


Redfern railway station is situated in the middle of Redfern Street village, providing access to the north shore, northern and western lines, airport, inner west and south lines, the Bankstown line and the eastern suburbs and Illawarra line. On the northern boundary of the village, Broadway runs west into Parramatta Road and provides access to the western suburbs of Sydney. Access from the village to the south and south-western suburbs is provided by City Road and King Street as well as Botany Road. Access to eastern suburbs from the village is predominantly provided by Cleveland Street.

Figure 1 displays major public transport infrastructure in the City of Sydney local area, including barrier counts for train and ferry stations in 2012. In the centre of the village is Redfern train station, which had a daily passenger count of over 44,000 in 2012, making it the fourth busiest station within Sydney at the time. In addition to the train station, Redfern Street village is serviced by buses that provide substantial coverage across the entire village.

In terms of pedestrian activity, Broadway on the northern edge of the village is a busy shopping strip, as is Redfern Street, which forms the retail heart of the village. Cleveland Street runs east-west through the village, linking The University of Sydney to Surry Hills, and also receives significant foot traffic. A pedestrian study conducted in October 2013 estimated daily foot traffic on some of the village’s busiest streets. On Broadway, pedestrian traffic was estimated at 23,000 people per day on a weekday and 21,000 people on a weekend. Meanwhile on Redfern Street near the corner of Regent Street, estimates were 7,000 per day for a weekday and 13,000 per day for a weekend.

Figure 1 – Transport Infrastructure & Barrier Counts

Figure 1 – Transport Infrastructure & Barrier Counts


Redfern Street village has a diverse range of community assets which are shown in Figure 2 and include:

  • Waterloo Library
  • Redfern Customer Service Centre
  • Victoria Park Pool
  • Cliff Noble Centre
  • Alexandria Child Care Centre
  • Redfern Occasional Child Care
  • Jensen's Tennis Centre
  • Prince Alfred Park Pool
  • Pine Street Creative Arts Centre
  • Redfern Community Centre
  • Redfern Town Hall.

There is also a significant presence of tertiary education campuses in the village. Aside from encompassing part of The University of Sydney, the village is also home to campuses of The University of Notre Dame and Curtin University, while the University of Technology, Sydney and TAFE NSW are just outside the village north of Broadway.

The village also has a high provision of open space and parklands including Prince Alfred Park, Charles Kernan Reserve, Harry Noble Reserve, Reconciliation Park, South Sydney Rotary Park, Vice Chancellors Oval, Victoria Park, Waterloo Park and Lake Northam.

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

  • higher than average satisfaction with access to fresh food in the area
  • households’ rating of access to community halls/centres is higher than average
  • the use of public transport to work/study is higher than average and the level of cycling to work/study is the highest across the City of Sydney local area
  • satisfaction with access to public transport is higher than average
  • higher than average involvement in arts and cultural activities
  • the number of residents who agree that there are enough opportunities to participate in sporting and recreational activities in the local area is above average.

Figure 2 – Parks and Council Facilities

Figure 2 – Parks and Council Facilities  


Events held in Redfern Street village display the cultural, ethnic and economic diversity of the village. They bring the community together in one place and provide opportunities for local businesses to engage with residents. Popular events include:

  • Carriageworks Weekly Market: This popular produce market is held every Saturday at the Carriageworks and draws in major crowds every week.
  • Yabun Festival: The festival is held annually on 26 January at Victoria Park and is the largest single-day Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander festival in Australia, drawing an audience of 10,000 to 15,000 each year. The festival displays the wealth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music talent.
  • Redfern Park Market: This market is also held every Saturday and is an important vintage and second hand goods market for locals. The market is supported by its proximity to popular cafés.
  • Beams Festival: This yearly event held in September in Chippendale, incorporates creative light displays, performances and artistic installations in laneways and streets. In the past it has attracted between 8,000 and 10,000 people.



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