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Activate Oxford St Project Objectives

Woollahra Council is currently working with the Paddington Business Partnership and local businesses to implement projects and ideas that will help promote Oxford Street as one of Sydney's most eclectic and vibrant destinations. The projects have evolved from extensive community consultation and input from placemaking experts Village Well. For more information on the development of this project please read the Village Well report, Oxford Street, Paddington Roadmap Report and the background summary.

Current activation ideas

Woollahra Council is supporting an implementation program based on 'Quick Wins' identified in the Village Well report. The implementation program contains suggested actions for achieving the Quick Wins. With the Paddington Business Partnership we will develop these into a more detailed implementation strategy. The Quick Wins are grouped into four (4) themes relating to:

  1. vibrancy
  2. branding
  3. street theatre
  4. events

Recent projects include:

Activation area

Oxford Street MapView Larger Image »

Oxford Street Map

Background

In 2013 Woollahra Council engaged placemaking consultants, Village Well to conduct a series of community consultation sessions with Oxford Street traders and other stakeholders late last year before making recommendations for the activation of Paddington.

Village Well identified existing key 'hotspots', and 'coldspots' along Oxford Street which have potential for activation. It also recommended a number of Quick Win suggestions, being positive short-term improvements, and longer term Priority Initiatives.

Village Well also recommended a collaborative approach to breathing new life into Oxford Street, with Woollahra Council working in partnership with the City of Sydney, Paddington Business Partnership, NSW Roads and Maritime Services, and other stakeholders to implement the main recommendations of the final report.

"The vision for Oxford Street is to create a lively village boasting a diverse mix of businesses that offer unique experiences and an attractive, engaging environment for shoppers and retailers alike," said Woollahra Mayor, Councillor Toni Zeltzer.

"People have indicated that they would like to see the village high street move forward and reinvent itself, with a renewed focus on providing an eclectic range of goods and services to meet the everyday needs of local residents," said the Mayor.

Quick wins identified for the area include creating a unique brand for the Oxford Street Paddington precinct; encouraging initiatives such as footpath dining and the establishment of pop-up shops in vacant retail space to create vibrancy; pedestrian and streetscape improvements; and increasing the number of community events in public spaces.

Opportunities to fill gaps in the current retail landscape have also been identified. The report suggests a need for more food and beverage outlets and food retailers, more art and design shops, and more ‘locals dozen’ shops, such as butchers, bakers, cafes, newsagencies and pharmacies to service the needs of local residents.

Priority initiatives identified by Village Well include the development of a retail vision and mix plan for the precinct, examining the governance and branding of Oxford Street, Paddington, and investigating the introduction of day to day place management.

On 11 August 2014 Woollahra Council considered the Village Well report. In addition to the implementation program mentioned earlier, it also decided to support the Vision Statement and consult with stakeholders with the object of establishing a collaborative approach to giving effect to priority initiatives. 

Woollahra Council has a dedicated Oxford Street Working Party. It is an advisory body whose purpose is to assist in the revitalisation and reinvention of Oxford Street, Paddington. Its membership presently comprises Woollahra Councillors and is also regularly attended by representatives of the Paddington Business Partnership, the City of Sydney and other stakeholders. It meets on a regular basis, providing valuable input into decisions taken by the Council on Oxford Street related issues. Consideration will be given to broadening its membership, as recommended by Village Well.

The Working Party work closely with local businesses and Woollahra Council on a range of events and activities that aim to activate Oxford Street and encourage community engagement and increased visitation.