NIGHT SHIFT – Moving Sydney to a 24-hour City

This Report sets out the path for our citizens, civic leaders, community and the cohort of industry players to get Sydney moving 24 hours - to build a better, safer and more diverse nighttime economy. One where we can all work, rest and play.

We must take action to distribute and diversify the night time economy - to create opportunities for people to safely participate in both work and social activities across all hours of the day and night and across all of Sydney.

This detailed Report outlines a pathway to make Sydney a global city - one that is open all hours, stands tall with other 24 hour world cities, and one that is competitive for doing business and attracting international talent and tourists.

As we recover and build back better from the impact of Covid, now is the perfect time for Sydney to press the reset button. Crises can create opportunities to re-think and change the norm. Now is the time to capitalise on the changing work/life hours and patterns that Covid restrictions have produced and plan ahead for a longer and stronger 24 hour economy.

We can capitalise on the new norm of people working more flexible hours and days, which will reduce peak hour travel and public transport pressures, making them safer to use with less crowding. We can leverage the revived focus on localism. We can create local jobs, activate local streets and parks and support local businesses when we broaden our view of 'after dark’ to include all shades of the night and think of the night as both a time and a place.

Reconceptualising the nighttime as a place, prompts different policy responses from State and Local Governments, cutting red tape that currently and unnecessarily restricts trading hours for various businesses, venues and services. It changes transport to mobility options at all hours – both public and private, ride-share, taxis, walkability, scooters and cycling safety.

Shifting perceptions, policy and practices of the night will create economic growth.

“In its policy paper Night Shift: Moving Sydney to a 24-Hour City, which will be presented to the NSW government, the Chamber said Sydney was still “overwhelmingly” a daytime city whose economic potential is held back because it “we don’t operate to our full capacity”.”

"Ms O'Regan said arts venues and theatres were a vital part of the night time economy, acting as anchor tenants for late-night precincts."

  • Andrew Taylor, The Sydney Morning Herald

Yang Liu