Quick facts for kidsSydney central business district
New South Wales
Sydney central business district
|• Density||5,110/km2 (13,200/sq mi)|
|Area||2.8 km2 (1.1 sq mi)|
|LGA(s)||City of Sydney|
The Sydney central business district (also Sydney CBD, and often referred to as "town" or "the City") is the main commercial centre of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It extends southwards for about 3 km (2 mi) from Sydney Cove, the point of first European settlement in which the Sydney region was initially established. Due to its pivotal role in Australia's early history, it is one of the oldest established areas in the country.
Geographically, its north–south axis runs from Circular Quay in the north to Central railway station in the south. Its east–west axis runs from a chain of parkland that includes Hyde Park, The Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens and Farm Cove on Sydney Harbour in the east; to Darling Harbour and the Western Distributor in the west. At the 2011 Australian Census, the CBD recorded a population of 14,308. "Sydney CBD" is very occasionally used to refer not only to the CBD proper, but also its nearby inner suburbs such as Pyrmont, Haymarket, Ultimo and Woolloomooloo.
The Sydney CBD is Australia's main financial and economic centre, as well as a leading hub of economic activity for the Asia-Pacific region. The city centre employs approximately 13% of the Sydney region's workforce. It produced $64.1 billion worth of goods and services in 2011–12. Culturally, the city centre is Sydney's focal point for nightlife and entertainment. It is also home to some of the city's most significant buildings and structures.
The Sydney CBD is an area of very densely concentrated skyscrapers and other buildings, interspersed by several parks such as Hyde Park, The Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens and Wynyard Park. George Street is the Sydney CBD's main north–south thoroughfare. The streets run on a slightly warped grid pattern in the southern CBD, but in the older northern CBD the streets form several intersecting grids, reflecting their placement in relation to the prevailing breeze and orientation to Circular Quay in early settlement.
The CBD runs along two ridge lines below Macquarie Street and York Streets. Between these ridges is Pitt Street, running close to the course of the original Tank Stream (now tunnelled). Bridge Street, took its name from the bridge running east–west that once crossed this stream. Pitt Street is the retail heart of the city which includes the Pitt Street Mall and the Sydney Tower. Macquarie Street is a historic precinct that houses such buildings as the State Parliament House and the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
Sydney's CBD is serviced by commuter rail, light rail, buses and ferry transport. In addition, an underground rapid transit system known as the Sydney Metro is being developed: its first stage will link the central business district to the North Western suburbs of Sydney and a second stage that will link the North Shore to Bankstown via a tunnel underneath Sydney Harbour and the CBD is proposed.
Commuter rail's main hub is Central Railway Station ("Central"), located in the southern part of the CBD in Haymarket: it connects services for almost all of the lines in the Sydney Trains network, as well as being the terminus for the NSW TrainLink country and inter-urban rail service. There is a largely-underground CBD rail loop, accessed in both directions via Central, which services five additional CBD stations, plus an underground spur line to Bondi Junction which services two. The only light rail line currently operating (another is under construction) links the southern part of the CBD and Central to nearby suburbs of Sydney's Inner-west. Buses, both government-run and privately owned, service the CBD along several dozen routes to both inner and more remote suburbs. NightRide is an after-hours bus service that operates between midnight and 5:00am, with most services running from George Street outside the Sydney Town Hall. Sydney Ferries operate largely from Circular Quay, on the northern edge of the CBD. There are several wharves (directly beneath the elevated Circular Quay commuter rail station), with Wharf 3 operating exclusively to Manly. There are also ferries at the western edge of the CBD at King Street Wharf, just to the south of Barangaroo.
- See also: Culture of Sydney
Sydney's culture is compacted within its central business district and inner city ring, due to its nightlife, pedestrian traffic and centrality of notable attractions. There is a large concentration of cultural institutions within the CBD including: the Museum of Sydney, the State Library of New South Wales, the Customs House branch of the City of Sydney Library, the Theatre Royal, the City Recital Hall and the Japan Foundation. There are a total of 19 churches located in the Sydney city centre.
Many other cultural institutions are located at the surrounds of the CBD, such as: the Sydney Opera House and the Museum of Contemporary Art to the north, the Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of New South Wales to the east, the Powerhouse Museum to the west, White Rabbit Gallery and the Haymarket branch of the City of Sydney Library to the south.
Every January during the summer, the city celebrates with the Sydney Festival. There are art, music and dance exhibitions at indoor and outdoor venues. Australian and International theatre during the month is also featured, including Aboriginal, and Contemporary. Many of these events are free.
The Sydney Film Festival is an international event organised every year in June at various venues across the CBD. The festival opened on 11 June 1954 and was held over four days, with screenings at Sydney University. Attendance was at full capacity with 1,200 tickets sold at one guinea each.
Sydney boasts a lively cafe culture, as well as a club and bar scene distributed throughout the CBD and concentrated in a couple of locations such as Darling Harbour. Although Kings Cross is not technically located within the Sydney CBD, it is accessible via William Street, which runs through Hyde Park and is part of the inner-city region.
The Sydney CBD contains many of Australia’s tallest skyscrapers, including Governor Phillip Tower, MLC Centre and World Tower, the latter consisting predominantly of apartments. The tallest structure is Centrepoint Tower at 309 m (1,014 ft). Recently, height limits for buildings were lifted from 235 m (771 ft) to 310 m (1,017 ft).
Sydney's CBD features a juxtaposition of old and new architecture. The old architecture dates back to Sydney's earliest days as a colony, down to the more grandiose Victorian architecture from the Gold rush era. Modern architectures take form as high rises and skyscrapers, which are prolific among all of Sydney's city streets. The earliest skyscraper constructed in Sydney was Culwulla Chambers, which stands at a height of 50 m (164 ft) and was completed in 1912. Designed by Spain, Cosh and Minnett, the building consisted of 14 floors and cost £100,000 to build, equivalent of approximately $1 million in today's money.
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