Future City: We want to make Orange's CBD a place we can be proud of.

In a bold attempt to re-vitalise Orange’s central Business district, the Future City project has evolved to take up a broader opportunity to encourage more people to come to Orange CBD and spend more time there, to build a CBD the people of Orange can be proud of.

The Future City project is also about supporting current businesses and creating a CBD which will attract new investment.

After months of work by urban designers SJB, in consultation with members of the Orange community, Orange City Council assembled a three-year implementation plan.

It’s a huge plan, full of many bright and bold ideas.

To tackle its emerging role as the service capital of Central NSW, and a major tourism destination, the city needs to change in order to accommodate increased traffic, people and jobs.

The Future City research has shown that the Orange CBD has grown beyond its original footprint and now includes the old DPI building in Edward St, and

extends to the new (DPIE) government office on Anson St & Prince St as well as all the professional businesses, health businesses, aged care services and other business operators in-between.

We want to make sure that future development is organised so that our core retail and hospitality precincts around Summer St continue to be supported. We want to grow professional and community foot traffic during the week, and visitor and community foot traffic on the weekends.

Future City has come up with ways to redesign traffic and people movements (freight, passenger, cyclist and pedestrian) to ensure people can move around the city easily on foot, bikes and cars.

It will also look at what we need to do as a community to improve connections to public spaces across the wider city, and improve walking and cycle access from surrounding suburban areas.

Big-picture changes

As well as delivering key projects in specific locations, the Future City strategy will introduce ‘big-picture’ changes across the CBD.

This section of the site will outline and explain those changes.

Here you can find articles about :


The 3-year Future City implementation plan, timetables a long list of projects to improve Orange’s CBD.

Year One

At the top of the CBD list scheduled to begin this financial year, work is expected to start on a new pedestrian mall in Anson Street, alongside plans to make inner city sections of Byng Street, Lords Place and McNamara Street more attractive and pedestrian friendly.

The Council has allocated $5 million for projects in the first year.

  • CBD Greening projects (including  community gardens, pavement gardens, vertical gardens, parklets, trellises)
  • Orange Public Art Program (including the commissioning of public art in the form of murals / graffiti art on blank façades of public and private buildings, sculptures and installations
  • Lighting (including extending Summer Street festoon lights to Hill Street rather than stopping at Anson Street.) Council working with key property owners to boost lighting of external building façades and light prominent trees.
  • Advanced modelling of traffic and pedestrian movement to investigate scrambled crossings at key Summer St intersections.
  • Upgrades to Matthews Park (including playground to connect with model train infrastructure)
  • Wayfinding, street furniture and painting upgrades
  • Parking review (development of a scheme to encourage CBD workers to park away from high turnover zones.)
  • Pop-up/Start-up Support (Council to develop strategies to encourage new start-up business to emerge such as subsidising rents or locating converted shipping containers in areas with passing trade to operate as short-term leases to new businesses)

A 4-tier program of business and retail support, including:

  • A system to ensure business have an entry level website.
  • This would be followed by further development of an online sales capability
  • Improvements to vacant CBD shop-fronts by adding appropriate heritage images
  • Council to provide technical guidance and financial assistance to property owners to reinstate and introduce awnings and verandahs along key public streets.

The 3-year timetable continues with a short-list of projects for years 2 and 3.

Year 2

  • Lords Place upgrade (between Summer and Kite Streets)
  • Upgrades to Robertson Park and McNamara Street (between Summer to Byng)
  • Upgrade Lords Place (between Kite and Moulder Streets)
  • March Street rail level crossing
  • Anson Street upgrade to continue
  • Upgrades to Byng Street (between Lords Place and to McNamara St) and Lords Place (between Byng St and Summer St) to continue

Year 3

  • Multi-level car park
  • Upgrades to Lords Place (Kite to Moulder Streets)
  • Summer Street Plan (In recognition of the complexity of upgrades to Summer Street as State Highway, the Council will work with Transport for NSW to develop plans for a renewal of Sumer Street.

Major Summer Street changes would consider:

  • Work with TfNSW to investigate the potential of reducing the carriageway from four travel lanes to two 3.5m lanes
  • New footpath paving materials
  • New street furniture
  • Additional pedestrian and dining spaces
  • Relocation of bus stops to north—south side streets
  • Investigation of additional pedestrian crossings


The vision for Orange’s CBD transformation is to create a place in the region for the next generation where the community and businesses will thrive. The expectation is for a CBD full of services, shops, open space, innovative businesses and cultural/recreation spaces. It will support a contemporary, intelligently-enabled, growing city that respects its history, heritage, environment and visual identity. It will be a place where all residents and visitors can move safely and efficiently through the city.

To achieve this vision Council has appointed SJB Urban Planning to lead the community and business consultations, and develop a master plan.  You can find examples of their work here.



The process so far:

Urban design firm SJB consultants were engaged by Orange City Council in late 2018 to undertake a review and master planning exercise for the Orange CBD.

The scope was broad and ambitious covering a range of disciplines from urban design, traffic and transport planning, engineering, land use and a variety of community initiatives.

SJB, in conjunction with Council staff, undertook a range of community engagement initiatives including the formation of a Community Reference Group (CRG) of over 30 members from a wide cross section of Orange. The key role of the CRG was to review and comment on progress as each stage of the project was delivered.

A draft Future City Planning and Design Framework/Strategy which included an economic component, a heritage component, traffic and movement component was on exhibition for community comment. It attracted feedback and community submissions.

An implementation plan has short-listed a number of key projects and placed them in a three year timetable for delivery.

The Council has put aside $10 million to fund the first two years of the implementation plan.

Latest ‘Future City’ News

Activate OrangeFuture CityNews
October 29, 2020

Spend the afternoons at Future Tunes

Orange musicians are encouraged to put their hand up to be considered for a paid gig in Robertson Park, as part of Council’s Future City Plans. (more…)
FootpathsFuture CityNews
October 23, 2020

First stage of Whiteway lighting project in Anson St ready to turn on

Orange residents and visitors can feel safer when moving in between the CBD and Prince St with the installation of upgraded footpath lighting along Anson Street. (more…)
Future City
October 20, 2020

Greening the city centre enhances experience for community

With four distinct seasons and an abundance of street trees, parks and private gardens, it is not difficult to see why Orange is renowned for its beautiful green spaces. (more…)
Future CityNews
October 7, 2020

Orange’s heritage plays key role in Future City

Orange City Council is drawing on the city’s history to enhance the central business district (CBD) as part of its Future City plan. (more…)
Macnamara St conceptFuture CityMedia ReleasesNews
October 6, 2020

Future City in the present as work begins on infrastructure projects

The first shovel will soon be in the ground for one of the Future City major projects as work gets started on the McNamara Lane precinct next month. (more…)
Activate OrangeFuture City
September 30, 2020

Scramble crossings proposed for major intersections

Orange City Council plans to install several ‘scramble crossings’ in the central business district as part of the Future City project.  (more…)
Activate OrangeFuture CityMedia ReleasesNews
September 21, 2020

Orange City Council staff work with businesses along Anson Street as pedestrian mall comes to life

A major upgrade of one of the main corridors of Orange’s CBD is set to transform a section of the existing roadway of Anson Street into a new pedestrian mall…
Future City
September 18, 2020

Local business gets Future City boost

Future City is about more than bricks-and-mortar upgrades to our Central Business District (CBD). (more…)
Future City
September 1, 2020

Future City plan drives proposal for nose-in parking

Rethinking the way Orange drivers use their cars is central to the Future City plan to transform the centre of Orange into a more walkable precinct. (more…)