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Property News

Finance workers 'changing the use' of commercial space in Sydney

November 29, 2011

Workers in the finance sector in Sydney gravitate to cafes and restaurants as places where they can carry out some parts of their work, according to a new paper to be presented at the Australian Cities Conference, which will be held next week at the University of Melbourne.

The paper was produced by Dr Richard Hu, an urban planner at the University of Canberra who spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald about his work.

Hu has been studying commercial space in Sydney over a 15-year period and suggests that the growth of the finance sector is changing the way it is used.

He told the publication that Sydney is transitioning to an "experience economy" and the trend toward open-plan offices and mixed-use space is evidence of this.

''The line between the work environment and leisure environment is blurred and that is a very significant change for Sydney,'' he said.

According to his findings, the amount of floor space used by workers in the finance and business services sector has increased, in part because of the exodus of government and public administration workers to suburbs beyond the CBD, as well as outlying areas beyond the NSW capital city.

Cities like Sydney need to do more to encourage creative thoughts and actions, said Charles Landry, co-developer of the Creative City Index, earlier this month.

Landry told a crowd at the State Theatre that spaces designed to foster creativity could lead to better innovation in terms of business, science and the arts.

He said: "Creativity has implications and applications in all spheres of life and is not only the domain of artists or those working in the creative economy or scientists but also social innovators, forward-looking business people or anyone who can solve problems or create opportunities in unusual ways."

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