“To drive an internationally competitive economy, through the creation of great destinations on Sydney harbour that will transform Sydney, New South Wales and Australia.”

The opportunity for Sydney

Sitting just two kilometres west of the Sydney CBD, The Bays Precinct comprises 5.5 kilometres of harbourfront, 95 hectares of largely government-owned land and 94 hectares of waterways in Sydney Harbour. This Transformation Plan represents a blueprint to transform The Bays Precinct into a bustling hub of enterprise, activity and beautiful spaces. Located within the iconic Sydney Harbour, the area will be enjoyed by Sydneysiders and the global community alike.

The transformation of The Bays Precinct is an opportunity to create stunning waterfront destinations and to deliver the kind of public spaces, promenades and workplaces that we can all be proud of. But it is potentially much more than that: it represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver innovation and attract the jobs of the future for Sydney and NSW, equipping Sydney for the future and reinforcing its reputation as an internationally-competitive, resilient and prosperous global city to live, work and visit.



of harbourfront



of government land






of harbour waterways

Why transform The Bays Precinct?

The transformation of The Bays Precinct will provide the kind of places, spaces and connections that support economic development and growth, encourage innovation and attract the jobs of the future. It will contribute to Sydney’s international competitiveness and meet the needs of a growing population.

We cannot achieve this scale of transformation with a business-as-usual approach. Instead, we need to place as much emphasis on improving the social and environmental life of the local area as we do on unlocking the drivers of productivity, such as knowledge-intensive jobs, new transport options and cutting-edge digital connections. The Bays Precinct’s primary role will be as a generator of social and economic transformation – a place whose successes and benefits filter through to many industries, workers and communities and to Sydney as a whole.

What is the Transformation Plan?

The Transformation Plan: The Bays Precinct, Sydney establishes a strategy for how The Bays Precinct can build on its heritage, support its local communities, provide safe and exciting places and spaces, optimise maritime uses and develop social capital to support the growth of Sydney as an internationally competitive and globally relevant city. There are nine objectives to deliver transformation, linked to timeframes and targets to focus resources for the Precinct wide work and priority Destinations starting with the four immediate locations.

It is a living strategic document that will be updated as priority Destinations evolve or as needs arise to adapt to future challenges.

How has it been developed?

The Transformation Plan: The Bays Precinct, Sydney has been informed by feedback received from Sydneysiders, local government, industry and State agencies, as well as the exciting concepts from the Call for Great Ideas.

It draws on international expertise underpinned in the Statement of Principles, emerging trends for 21st Century global cities, and advice on critical considerations.

Our work also sits within the context of a wider NSW Government policy agenda for Sydney and for the state of NSW, set out in A Plan for Growing Sydney and the NSW Making it Happen state priorities.


Read the transformation plan


Explore the 7 key actions

IMG-107.Rozelle Bay.Bicentennial Park Glebe



Bays Precinct Objectives

Transforming City Living: The Bays Precinct Discussion Paper

We released the Transforming City Living: The Bays Precinct Discussion Paper in May 2015 at The Bays Precinct Sydneysiders Summit and Leadership Forums. The Discussion Paper presented initial ideas and ambitions for The Bays Precinct and served as the basis for the Transformation Plan. More than 1,200 people attended the Summit and Forums.

In addition to the feedback received through the engagement events, people also submitted their views through an online survey, emailed their comments and submissions and posted in their feedback and views on both the UrbanGrowth NSW and The Bays Precinct Sydney Facebook pages. The feedback period closed in July 2015.

The evaluation of more than 4,000 comments or submissions on the Discussion Paper has informed the Transformation Plan. Learn more here.

Read the Discussion Paper.

Statement of Principles

The Bays Precinct, Sydney International Summit in November 2014 generated 20 high-level Principles that underpin our approach to land and waterways uses, development and governance as we work to ensure the primacy of the public good throughout The Bays Precinct’s transformation.

Message from The Bays Precinct Sydney International Summit contributors

The Bays Precinct Sydney International Summit in 2014 was a unique undertaking. These three days in November 2014 forged a global, decade-long collaboration that has never before been imagined, let alone achieved. The imagination and great thinking at the heart of the Summit generated 20 high-level Principles to guide and underpin the first ever Transformation Plan for the entire Bays Precinct. This long-term Transformation Plan will direct and control land use, development and governance. It will ensure primacy of the public good throughout the precinct for the next 25 years and beyond.

Anchoring the whole process is the UrbanGrowth NSW: City Transformation Life CycleTM, which revolutionises thinking about how cities are regenerated and transformed. We, as the body of contributors to The Bays Precinct Sydney International Summit 2014, commend the 20 Principles set out in this Statement and applaud the process that generated them.

Principles to Inform the Transformation Plan

  1. Build on the unique history of The Bays Precinct.
  2. Establish a powerful and enduring governance model based on whole of-government collaboration that fearlessly pursues public benefit.

  3. Be transparent and communicate the issues and challenges we face and the investments needed to realise the Precinct’s potential.

  4. Allow the time to invest in genuine and early engagement with, and broad acceptance of our plans from, all categories of the public, government and industry.

  5. Unlock public access to the Harbour’s edge and waterways along the entire coastline.

  6. Develop an overall Bays Precinct Transformation Program to prioritise major projects and define the staging for integrated development and land use.

  7. Establish a whole-of-precinct transport infrastructure plan early, based on connectivity, accessibility and active transport.

  8. Prioritise planning for public spaces, White Bay Power Station and Sydney Fish Market.

  9. Generate optimal housing supply outcomes based on a model of diverse housing options, the highest design principles and activated public spaces.

  10. Ensure the land use and associated development is diverse, beautifully designed and creates ‘great places and great spaces’.

  11. Build the capacity for The Bays Precinct to be a place that contributes to healthy, prosperous and resilient lifestyles.

  12. Support economic development and growth that can drive a strong, digitally connected, innovative and diverse knowledge economy.

  13. Plan for future generations by being open to new ideas and embracing emerging trends.

  14. Adopt world-class energy generation systems that maximise efficiency and establish The Bays Precinct as the exemplar for ‘big city’ energy provision.

  15. Introduce environmental and ecological systems to improve water quality, address ongoing sources of water pollution and encourage public recreation.

  16. Support the economic activities of maritime industries and celebrate the authenticity of the working harbour.

  17. Provide the platform for investment from Australia and abroad, and from public and private sectors.

  18. Incorporate a strong funding and financial strategy to enable innovative, leading-edge and productive investment vehicles that promote investor appetite.

  19. Seek broad sources of funding for urban transformation across a range of investors, including superannuation and pension funds, and philanthropy.

  20. Employ an ethical procurement process that optimises value for government and taxpayers while being attractive to investors.


Read the Statement of Principles.