06 March 2021

Business Sydney says the CBD has a critical opportunity to significantly increase its economic activity and employment, by capitalising on the night time through supporting more flexible working hours that bring people into the city and encourage businesses and services to respond by staying open later.

“Due to covid, many want to work more flexible hours, bringing foot traffic to the CBD after dark and our report Night Works reveals the opportunity for a diverse and inclusive 24 hour economy that provides them with better access to the amenities and services currently available to traditional day workers,” said Katherine O’Regan, Executive Director of Business Sydney.

“In our report research partners Urbis, used anonymous mobile phone data to track human movement throughout the day and night in precincts at the northern and southern ends of the CBD, showing that between 6pm and 6am, only 24% of the entire 24 hours-worth of human activity occurs.”



“The fact that nearly three-quarters of activity in the CBD happens between 6am and 6pm, means people working flexible hours and those doing regular overnight shifts, aren’t accessing many goods and services that would boost economic activity greatly at night.”

“The consequences of this imbalance in activity also means existing infrastructure including buildings - public and private - are not being used to their capacity, lying virtually dormant overnight, again minimizing the economic benefits generated during day time activity.”

“It also means assets like the transport network are over-used during small windows of time and those who must, or choose to work, outside traditional hours, have poorer access to amenities and services, discouraging a broader workforce from moving to more flexible hours.”

“Business and governments need to work together to deliver a 24-hour economy that not only drives the hospitality and tourism sectors, but one that includes a more diverse workforce by providing equality of opportunity day and night.”

“We need to encourage a positive change in attitudes around working and visiting the CBD at night, something other global cities like London and New York, have been doing for years.”

“Sydney’s CBD is the engine room of the state’s economy, but our report shows it is running below its capacity, under utilising an available workforce including office staff, along with hospitality and retail workers, who currently service traditional day time needs. Moving to a 24 hour economy would generate much-needed jobs and economic growth in Sydney’s CBD.”

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David Peters

Public Affairs Manager

With many years’ experience as a Sydney-based news and current affairs journalist, David brings an extensive knowledge of our city, its people and the issues that concern them to role as Public Affairs Manager for Business Sydney. For all media enquiries please contact David Peters on 0413 872 491