Sunday Streets in Sydney

The Greens support the community campaign to close some of our main streets to cars on Sundays, several times a year.

Sunday Streets in Sydney, which is also known as Summer Streets in the USA and Ciclovia is a free, fun and healthy event that reclaims the city’s largest public space – its streets – and effectively turns them into public parks for the day.

Sunday Streets in the USA

Sunday Streets in the USA

Sunday Streets helps build community by giving streets back to the people, so that they may use them for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing, and having a chat. It brings significant economic benefits to local businesses on high streets as thousands of people come out to explore them.

On 18 March 2014, the Greens on Marrickville Council successfully moved a motion in support of Sunday Streets, with a likely trail before the end of 2014 including streets in Newtown and Enmore. A copy of the Notice of Motion is below.

Sign up to the Sunday Streets in Sydney FaceBook page for more information. You can also click here to sign the Sunday Streets Petition.

Sunday Streets is endorsed by BIKESydney, Bike Leichhardt, Go! Alliance, Cycle Sydney, Ecotransit Sydney, Bicycle NSW, Aboutlife Natural Marketplace, the Balmain/Rozelle Chamber of Commerce, The Global Map of Musicians, the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Cheeky Transport, La Latina Sydney and the Sydney Latin American Film Festival.

Mass free yoga event in Mexico 'Open Streets'

Mass free yoga event in Mexico ‘Open Streets’

Contact Marrickville Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore or Leichhardt Greens Councillor Daniel Kogoy

Notice of Motion March 2014

MOVED BY: Clr Sylvie Ellsmore


That Council:

  1. Supports in principle the establishment of Sunday Streets in the Marrickville Local Government Area, a program which temporarily closes down main streets to cars so that they can be used by pedestrians, cyclists and families others as meeting places, informal public squares, playgrounds, recreation areas and cultural activities;
  2. Engages in discussions with neighbouring Leichhardt Council, City of Sydney Council and the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils about their current work to explore or develop Sunday Streets;
  3. Organises a meeting and otherwise undertakes consultation with groups who have expressed public support for Sunday Streets, including the Ciclovia Working Group, the Bicycle Garden, Organic Food Markets, Cheeky Transport, Bike Marrickville & BikeSydney;
  4. Consults with local business associations including the Newtown Business Precinct Association about the project;
  5. Provides support for activities to implement a trial or pilot of Sunday Streets in the second half of 2014, in coordination with Leichhardt and City of Sydney Council, including supporting grant applications by local bike groups, and investigating potential local streets in the Marrickville Local Government Area which could be included in the event; and
  6. Considers a further report about possible options to implement a trial of a Sunday Streets program in the LGA in the second half of 2014, including budget implications for Marrickville Council.


Sunday Streets is a program that temporarily removes cars from some main streets, and opens them up to everything else, typically for about six hours on a Sunday. It goes by various names including Ciclovia, Open Streets, Streets Alive, and Summer Streets.

Part festival, part fun ride, part playground – people walk, run, cycle, skate, rollerblade and play in the streets. There can be a variety of street stalls, live music, arts and culture, and other recreational activities – such as climbing walls, dance, yoga and aerobics classes – staged at various parts of the route.

The aim of the program is to encourage the community come together and undertake healthy activities. Research published in the Journal of Urban Health found a cost benefit ratio of $2.32 in health benefits from San Francisco’s Sunday Streets.

The event is not commercially focused – it does not generally involve commercial street stalls – but can provide economic benefits to the businesses who are based along the Sunday Streets by increasing pedestrian traffic.

In 2013 SSROC, of which Marrickville Council is a member, unanimously endorsed Sunday Streets, and committed to investigate it across inner west Councils.

For more details refer to the SSROC’s 20 June 2013 meeting, and the proposed joint Leichhardt and Marrickville pilot Sunday streets/Ciclovia event

A large number of local Councils members have joined Leichhardt Council, which is taking the lead on the project in partnership with local cycling groups, in committing to a trial of Sunday Streets, including City of Sydney, Woollahra Council and Randwick Council.

Leichhardt Council passed a motion in support of establishing Sunday Streets (also known as “Ciclovia” in reference to the successful international movement or “Open Streets”), as a regular program to close off some streets to car traffic each Sunday in order for community recreation activities to be held, in February 2013. Leichhardt has incorporated ‘Ciclovia’ in its Employment and Economic Development Plan.

In late 2013 the City of Sydney agreed to investigate closing some of its main streets for a trial in 2014, including the potential to close major roads such as George St.

Sunday Streets in the USA

Mass free yoga event at Mexico ‘Open Streets’

In a related event in September 2013 Leichhardt and City of Sydney Councils supported closing some local streets for International [Park]ing Day on 20 September 2013. In the Marrickville LGA small [Park]ing Day events were organised by resident to show their support.

Park[ing] Day King Street Newtown

With the Marrickville LGA having one of the smallest ratios of public space to residents of any Local Council, innovative ways to encourage the community to come together are important to ensuring we maintain our health, vibrant communities.

For more information see:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s