The City of Sydney has released a study showing how the upcoming transformation of part of George Street into a car-free light rail and pedestrian stretch can maximise both public use and commercial opportunities.

The study, George Street 2020: A Public Domain Activation Strategy, recommends outdoor dining, vending, creative and cultural activities and methods to encourage walking and dwelling, such as flexible lighting and seating, which the city says is critical to support long-term economic success.

“When the light rail project is complete in five years, George Street will feature a one-kilometre pedestrianised area between Bathurst and Hunter streets,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“This transformation is a unique opportunity to ensure that George Street becomes a world class boulevard that is also a thriving business and retail environment”.

The City is priorisitising maximising pedestrian space, minimising clutter, ensuring an attractive retail environment and ensuring there are diverse 24-hour offerings.

In the plan, light rail will run down the middle of George Street, with a tree zone on each side, followed by a “flex-zone” for street furniture (seats, bins, bubblers and bollards), and a 3.6-metre pedestrian area along buildings’ edges.

The plan is on display until 13 March, with feedback sought from retailers, property owners, residents and interested community members.