Night Owl Research Project

An action research & engagement programme to stimulate and activate night precincts and unlock the power of the night economy

By Dr Jonathan Drane, Optimum Search City Research Centre, Sydney Australia

The Greater Sydney night time economy (NTE) employs 234,000 people (2017) and has the potential to increase from its current annual value of $27.2B to $43.3B, an increase of $16.1B

An Action Research Project
This action research project holds a blueprint to unlocking the NTE’s potential through the study of key precincts and by building a precinct activation model that has transfer-ability to precincts and enclaves in big city and regional settings. 2

Pilot Project: Precinct Models
A pilot study researches four key precincts in the Sydney CBD ( see inset) and studies their dynamics as well as regional cases drawn from prior research.

Study Leader: Dr Jonathan Drane is a recognised expert in city precinct development and activation with an emphasis on activation of dormant cityscapes. Jonathan’s doctoral research project (2011 to 2014) studied dormant cityscapes in several Australian regional cities  and how they were bought to life. He was the invited forum chairperson at the recent ANZ Night Time Economy Forum held in Sydney in June 2019 and provides a research, advisory and educational input.

Pilot Study Precincts, Sydney

Argyle St, The Rocks: The iconic and historicl Rocks holds many precincts including Argyle Street. Focusing on the Argyle Pub and the associated activities.

Angel Place: An exciting lane way enclave including The Sydney Recital Hall , food and beverage and night club providers, this precinct has a mix of event and night club culture.

El Alamein Fountain Kings Cross: The historical entertainment precinct is known world wide, the end of the main strip hosts an historic fountain, a park and a police station. A mix of excitement , dispossession and homelessness.

Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo: Featuring the backdrop of this historical precinct along with Harry’s Café De Wheels and the Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel it features multi-million harbour apartments and a multi-layered society with its own difficulties.

Night Owl Night Economy Research
Night Owl Night Economy Research

Optimum Search Pty Ltd
Established 1993
Independent Research & Advisory
University Collaborations & Teaching
-UNSW Built Environment
-City Futures Research Centre UNSW BE
-Western Sydney University


Download your night study flyer here
Download your night study flyer here

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