Greater Sydney is an innovative and creative region where cultural and artistic expression is encouraged and respected. Artists develop and communicate ideas and new ways of thinking. Creative thinking and expression helps to foster innovation. The application of innovative thinking and digital technologies to urban challenges fosters smart cities.
Great places are made when artistic, cultural and creative works are visible, valued, distinctive and accessible. Providing local opportunities for artistic, cultural and creative expression through support for, and access to, arts, literature, screen, performance and cultural experiences, public art and events encourages creativity and innovation that contributes to local identity (refer to Objective 7). Growing the arts sector will draw greater participation from both residents and visitors, boosting the economy and attracting investment.
Greater Sydney’s Aboriginal people contribute to its cultural and creative identity through arts and cultural expression and sharing of Aboriginal languages. This provides economic and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people.
While there is an historic concentration of arts and cultural organisations in the Eastern Harbour City, there are important arts facilities and strong local arts networks that give the Central River and Western Parkland cities distinctive arts cultures. These include Bankstown Arts Centre, Blacktown Arts Centre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Penrith Performing and Visual Arts and the Riverside Theatres in Parramatta. However more facilities to support arts and culture are required in the Central River and Western Parkland cities to balance the three cities.
The NSW Cultural Infrastructure Program Management Office is working with Infrastructure NSW to develop a cultural infrastructure strategy, which will include strategies and actions for Greater Sydney. A place-based approach involving artists, cultural organisations and local councils is critical to the development of this plan.
Creative industries have a growing role in the region’s productivity, with creativity, entrepreneurship, technical ability and collaboration being essential skills for the future workforce7. Providing better and more opportunities for creative industries to collaborate with health and education institutions can facilitate local innovation.
Arts and cultural experiences in venues, theatres, cinemas, eat streets and events provoke thought and understanding of differences. Multi functional and shared spaces are also required, with opportunities for artists and makers to live, work and learn locally. Greater use of the public realm for temporary uses, and vacant or under-utilised commercial spaces for arts, events and creative uses are encouraged.
Reducing the regulatory burden for creative and temporary uses and the night-time economy is essential. This may require measures such as simplifying development approval processes or increasing exempt and complying development provisions for these uses. The provision of arts and creative spaces in areas experiencing significant urban renewal will support local identity.
A vibrant and safe night-time economy enhances Greater Sydney’s standing as a global city, while meeting the social and recreational needs of shift workers, young people, tourists and visitors. Stimulating the night-time economy supports dynamic places and boosts local economies. This can generally occur in mixed-use centres with adequate noise control, locally appropriate operating hours and safe late-night travel options.