City of Sydney Council will this week adopt an action plan to reinvigorate the cultural environment of Oxford St and its surrounds.

A project coordinator will be recruited to work with local cultural institutions, businesses and residents to build what Council is calling the Oxford St Cultural Quarter, covering East Sydney and Darlinghurst in the north, to Centennial Park and Hyde Park in the east and west and to Surry Hills to the south.

The plan came out of a series of consultations following a 2006 meeting chaired by Lord Mayor Clover Moore to consider a Chamber of Cultural Commerce.

Proposals include strengthening the area as a gay icon by encouraging GLBT organisations to base themselves in the Quarter and share their resources; improving safety; encouraging creative use of the area’s laneways; creating attractive public spaces with good pedestrian and bicycle access; and seasonal art projects and markets.

Council would also like to see the local spaces, such as the Paddington Town Hall, Paddington Reservoir Gardens, and the forecourt of the Darlinghurst Law Courts, opened up for creative events.

The Cultural Quarter is to be managed by a not-for-profit organisation made up of representatives of local business, cultural, social, educational and government organisations.

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