The City of Sydney has begun an overhaul of its street furniture with the installation of 340 new digital bus shelters, information pylons, award-winning benches and litter bins, and more.

The digital shelters feature advertising screens that can display real-time event information, community updates and public safety messaging.

The new bus shelters will offer more sun and rain protection, better accessibility and comfort for people waiting at transport stops. 

The City of Sydney is also doubling the number of public toilets across the city, adding new information pylons with interactive touch screens and more streamlined kiosks, as well as installing more of the award-winning benches and litter bins designed by Sydney firm, Tzannes.

Construction work will be done in stages to minimise disruption across the City of Sydney’s 26km² area.

City of Sydney CEO, Monica Barone, said the infrastructure – designed by award-winning firm Grimshaw Architects – will transform the city’s streets for residents, visitors and businesses, while old street furniture will be recycled as part of a sustainability plan.

“The contemporary sustainable and energy-efficient street furniture will make the city more accessible for more people to enjoy,” Ms Barone said.

“Much of the street furniture we’re replacing is more than 20 years old. This is an excellent opportunity to revamp and reshape our streets for the future and further support Sydney’s post-Covid recovery.

“A new long-term agreement with QMS Media will provide significant revenue to the City of Sydney, which will help us provide and maintain high quality services and public spaces.”

The upgrade of street furniture follows the signing in 2020 of the ten year deal with QMS, with an option for a five year extension.

QMS General Manager, City of Sydney, Jemma Enright, said the company was excited to be working on the project to reinvigorate Australia’s most premium and sought-after street furniture network.

“It is great news for marketers, agencies and the people who live, work and visit the city and we look forward to working closely with the City of Sydney to create something truly world-class for Sydneysiders,” Ms Enright said.

“The new street furniture network will set a new standard for function, accessibility and sustainability – and will be more advanced as an advertising network, with bigger displays optimised for visibility and attention, and significantly more digital panels for greater impact.”

The new street furniture is designed by award-winning firm Grimshaw. Andrew Cortese, Managing Partner, said the elegant designs are functional and accessible.

“Our aim was to create a distinctive and elegant ensemble of street furniture that gives service and amenity to Sydney’s streets, its parks and the public realm,” Mr Cortese said.

“This design affirms Sydney’s standing as a progressive and citizen-oriented city with continued investment in public infrastructure. The design is digitally enhanced, resolved to place, heritage and the natural landscape, and has an enduring materiality and resilience. It’s a design that is unique to Sydney.”

Features of the updated street furniture include:

Bus shelters

  • The City of Sydney is replacing more than 300 existing bus shelters with improved structures
  • The new modular design maximises footpath access and increases shelter from sun and rain
  • Thermal glass roofs reduce sun exposure and heat in hot weather, and improve overall comfort
  • The bus shelters will feature full height advertising screens that can also be used for event information, community updates and safety messaging
  • The bus shelters will be replaced from November 2021 in the city suburbs and from January 2022 in the city centre

CBD kiosks

  • The need for kiosks has significantly changed over the past 22 years since they were first installed, and land use within the city centre has evolved
  • The number of city kiosks will be reduced from 55 to 18
  • There are two new kiosk designs tailored to suit street access and use for different areas around the city
  • The kiosk update will reduce clutter on city streets, improve accessibility and enhance pedestrian amenity
  • Installation of the upgraded kiosks is planned from February 2022 to allow current operators to trade over Christmas and the New Year period

Accessible public toilets

  • The number of accessible public toilets across the city will be doubled from ten to 20
  • The new toilets will be fully accessible and ten of the new installations will have an extra ambulant toilet in areas of high demand
  • Ten of the new accessible toilets will have green roofs; this will naturally cool the toilet unit interior and enhance the public domain with increased greenery in the city area.
  • The toilet units are designed to be able to connect to the city’s underground recycled water network in the future
  • Installation of the new accessible public toilets will begin in February 2022

Communication pylons

  • 160 new digital communications pylons will be installed across the City of Sydney area
  • The new pylons will be used to display event information and important public messaging
  • New interactive touch screens will make wayfinding easier
  • The new ergonomic design will make it easier for people who are vision impaired
  • Installation of the new pylons will begin in February 2022
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