Sydney, AU: Pop-Ups and PISSOIRS Provide Late-Night Relief

Trial ... public urinals in Kings Cross earlier this year. Photo: Steve Lunam

By Kelsey Munro | SMH.com.au

Trial ... public urinals in Kings Cross earlier this year. Photo: Steve Lunam

ROVING gourmet food trucks, portable pissoirs and pop-up events in public spaces are coming to Sydney streets this summer.

The City of Sydney has unveiled the results of its late-night economy public consultation which sought ideas for moving the focus of the city’s nightlife away from alcohol.

It plans to commence a series of trials of the best ideas from September.

”Imagine Mr Whippy but with absolutely fantastic food,” said the council’s late night economy manager, Suzie Matthews, about the food trucks. Tacos, Indian street food or tricked-up organic fare will be served from the trucks, which broadcast their location on social media.

Business is booming in the US, driven by a Twitter-savvy generation of food-obsessed entrepreneurs and consumers. Bringing the idea to Sydney was a popular suggestion during the consultation, Ms Matthews said.

The open-air public urinals, trialled in Kings Cross and Oxford Street earlier this year, will make a comeback, and will also be trialled in the CBD from October – probably in George Street’s entertainment precinct – in an attempt to address the shortage of public toilets.

”This is a quick solution as we work towards having more permanent solutions,” Ms Matthews said.

Precinct ambassadors will return, and a tourist information kiosk on George Street will operate until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays from September to help direct revellers to venues and transportation.

To activate late-night ”dead spaces” in the city such as car parks, libraries and council buildings, the council will hold workshops on how to realise innovative ideas for one-off ”pop-up events”, inspired by the example of the Moscow subway which recently hosted a midnight opera.

The council said it will also work to cut red tape for businesses offering outdoor dining and other activities not solely focused on alcohol.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore yesterday hosted a roundtable meeting informing stakeholders, including Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and representatives from the Sydney Business Chamber, the Australian Hotels Association and the state government, of the results of the consultation.

City resident Christine Byrne, who attended the meeting, said residents were supportive of council’s initiatives.

”We don’t want to close the place down, we can all co-exist quite nicely,” she said.

”We just need to get away from the monoculture stuff.”