Street life in the city of Sydney is mainly determined by the commercial activity taking place. During the day the city is bustling with workers from nearby businesses and tourists enjoying the sites of the city. At night the pubs, clubs, theatres and restaurants encourage people to use the city to socialise and relax.
In some suburbs the street life is influenced by the dominant ethnic community. In Kingsgrove, or Guildford, street life is influenced by the large Arabic population, who like to congregate in the front yard, porch or in the garage and socialise with those passing by. In Leichhardt, the Italian café culture encourages people to socialise in alfresco cafes.
In newer residential areas with a young population street life is dominated by cars being washed, lawn mowed, bike riding, cricket games and children playing in parks. In other newer suburbs, the activity of children is contained within the house and street life is limited.
Energy and vitality
A concentration of events, people and facilities can be found in the inner city of Sydney and other smaller centres within Sydney such as Parramatta. These locations are hubs of activity, exchanges of ideas, and social activities and as such foster energy and vitality. Greater concentration of venues such as hotels and theatres are also likely to be found in these centres and are likely extend activities into the night.
Suburbs with younger populations are found in the Blacktown, Liverpool and Campbelltown Local Government Areas and would tend to have more energy and vitality than those with older populations. The greying areas such as Pittwater, Hunter Hill and Kuringgai are likely to be quiet and subdued.
Coastal suburbs can be association with blue and yellow, representing the colours of the water and sand. Suburbs located near large national parks or areas of bushland could be seen as green suburbs. This would include St Ives, North Waroonga, North Epping. However the real green suburbs are those which have been designed to integrate environmentally friendly initiatives, for example Newington. Other green areas are those that have a high proportion of green voters, common in the inner west.
Some older suburbs with heritage buildings use colours such as dark greens, maroons and blues. For example, Canterbury Council has strict regulations about the colour that homes can be painted in Ashbury. It uses a fairly strict colour palette to maintain uniformity in the suburb.
Some suburbs can be associated with the colour pink due to their large gay and lesbian populations. These suburbs are also likely to be associated with a rainbow, the symbol for gay pride. These suburbs include Surry Hills, Kings Cross, Newtown and Leichhardt.
Many newer suburbs in designed estates use fashionable colours such as stone and grey. As such the whole suburb is influenced by the colours preferred by the development company.
Grey suburbs are those dominated by older age groups such as Bayview, Narrabeen and North Turramurra, reflecting the location of large retirement villages.
Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the new Geoactive book series.
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