Sydney central business district

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Sydney central business district
New South Wales
Sydney City Business District.jpg
Sydney central business district
Sydney central business district is located in New South Wales
Sydney central business district
Sydney central business district
Coordinates 33°52′5″S 151°12′44″E / 33.86806°S 151.21222°E / -33.86806; 151.21222Coordinates: 33°52′5″S 151°12′44″E / 33.86806°S 151.21222°E / -33.86806; 151.21222
Population 14,308 (2011)[1]
Postcode(s) 2000
LGA(s) City of Sydney
State electorate(s) Sydney
Federal Division(s) Sydney
Suburbs around Sydney central business district:
Barangaroo Millers Point
The Rocks
Port Jackson
Pyrmont Sydney central business district Woolloomooloo
Ultimo Haymarket
Surry Hills

The Sydney central business district (also Sydney CBD, popularly referred to as "The City") is a suburb and 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 suburb recorded a population of 14,308.[1] The Sydney central business district is also sometimes used loosely to encompass the surrounding inner city suburbs such as Pyrmont, Haymarket, Ultimo and Woolloomooloo. It is considerably more compact than other Australian central business districts, with comparatively narrow streetscapes.

It 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.[2] 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.


Main article: Geography of Sydney
Panoramic view of the Sydney Town Hall

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.


Administratively, the Sydney CBD falls under the authority of the local government area of the City of Sydney.[3] The New South Wales state government also has authority over some aspects of the CBD, in particular through the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.

Commercial area[edit]

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), however planning restrictions limit future developments to a height of 235 m (771 ft) due to council restrictions.[4]

The Sydney CBD is home to some of the largest Australian companies, as well as serving as an Asia-Pacific headquarters for many large international companies. The financial services industry in particular occupies much of the available office space, with companies such as the Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie Bank, AMP Limited, Insurance Australia Group, AON, Marsh, Allianz, HSBC, AXA, ABN Amro,[citation needed] and Bloomsbury Publishing all having offices.[5]


Scots Presbyterian Church, York Street
The Sydney central business district skyline seen from Port Jackson

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.

Many other cultural institutions are located at the edge 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, 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.

Sydney boasts a lively cafe culture which is complemented by a club and bar scene distributed throughout the CBD and concentrated in a couple of locations such as Darling Harbour.[4]

Tallest buildings 150m+[edit]

Name Image Height (m) Floors Year Purpose Address Notes
Citigroup Centre Citigroup Centre Sydney.JPG 243 50 1998-2000 Commercial 506 George Street Officially the tallest habitable building in Sydney since 2000. =10th tallest building in Australia.
Chifley Tower Chifley tower 1.jpg 241 50 1991-1992 Commercial 122 Phillip Street A 3-metre lightning rod was added in 2000 but does not constitute an architectural feature, leaving the building with an official height of 241m. 206m to roof. Tallest building in Sydney from 1992 to 2000. Was one of the most expensive buildings in the world at A$1.2 billion. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.
Deutsche Bank Place Deutsche bank place.jpg 240 39 2003-2005 Commercial 126 Phillip Street The second-tallest building in the world with fewer than 40 floors (Al Faisaliyah Center (Riyadh) is taller at 267m). 160m to roof. Designed by Norman Foster.
World Tower World tower, Sydney.jpg 230 75 2001-2004 Residential 91 Liverpool Street The tallest residential building in the city. Part of the World Square complex. Designed by Nation Fender Katsalidis.
MLC Centre Mlc center syd.jpg 228 60 1975-1977 Commercial 19 Martin Place 244m to antenna and 227m to roof. Tallest building in Sydney from 1977 to 1992. Designed by Harry Seidler.
Governor Phillip Tower Govenor Phillip Tower.jpg 227 54 1991-1994 Commercial 1 Farrer Place 254m to antenna and 227m to roof. Tallest Building in Sydney to antenna. Designed by Denton Corker Marshall.
Ernst & Young Tower Latitude Sydney.jpg 222 45 2003-2004 Commercial 680 George Street 190m to roof. Part of the World Square complex.
Aurora Place Aurora Place 3.jpg 219 41 1999-2001 Commercial 88 Phillip Street More commonly known as Aurora Place but officially RBS Tower. 188m to roof. Designed by Renzo Piano.
ANZ Tower ANZ Bank Centre.jpg 195 46 2010-2013 Commercial 163 Castlereagh Street
Suncorp Place AAPT Centre.jpg 193 48 1970-1982 Commercial 259 George Street Construction began in 1970 and was not completed until 1982, as the project was delayed many times.
AMP Centre AMP Building and AMP Centre. Sydney 188 45 1973-1976 Commercial 50 Bridge Street Tallest building in Sydney from 1976-1977. Currently undergoing major redevelopment. Designed by Peddle Thorp & Walker.
Capita Centre Capita Centre.JPG 183 31 1987-1989 Commercial 9 Castlereagh Street Designed by Harry Seidler.
Grosvenor Place Grosvenor Place.jpg 180 45 1985-1987 Commercial 225 George Street Designed by Harry Seidler.
Australia Square Tower Australia Square building in George Street Sydney.jpg 170 46 1965-1967 Commercial 264 George Street Tallest building in Sydney from 1967-1976. Designed by Harry Seidler.
Westpac Place Westpac Place from the Pyrmont Bridge.jpg 166 35 2003-2005 Commercial 251 Kent Street


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Sydney (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Australia’s economic activity heavily concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne". 21 August 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Home". City of Sydney. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Sydney City". Destination New South Wales. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Contact Us." Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved on 14 October 2012. "Bloomsbury Publishing PTY Ltd. Level 14 309 Kent St Sydney NSW 2000 Australia"

External links[edit]

Media related to Central Business District, Sydney at Wikimedia Commons