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The Sydney central business district (also Sydney CBD, and often referred to as “town” or “the City”) is the main commercial centre of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It extends southwards for about 3 km (2 mi) from Sydney Cove, the point of first European settlement in which the Sydney region was initially established. Due to its pivotal role in Australia’s early history, it is one of the oldest established areas in the country.
Geographically, its north–south axis runs from Circular Quay in the north to Central railway station in the south. Its east–west axis runs from a chain of parkland that includes Hyde Park, The Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens and Farm Cove on Sydney Harbour in the east; to Darling Harbour and the Western Distributor in the west. At the 2016 Australian Census, the CBD recorded a population of 17,252. “Sydney CBD” is very occasionally used to refer not only to the CBD proper, but also its nearby inner suburbs such as Pyrmont, Haymarket, Ultimo and Woolloomooloo.
The Sydney CBD is Australia’s main financial and economic centre, as well as a leading hub of economic activity for the Asia-Pacific region. The city centre employs approximately 13% of the Sydney region’s workforce. It produced .1 billion worth of goods and services in 2011–12. Culturally, the city centre is Sydney’s focal point for nightlife and entertainment. It is also home to some of the city’s most significant buildings and structures.
The Sydney CBD is an area of very densely concentrated skyscrapers and other buildings, interspersed by several parks such as Hyde Park, The Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens and Wynyard Park. George Street is the Sydney CBD’s main north–south thoroughfare. The streets run on a slightly warped grid pattern in the southern CBD, but in the older northern CBD the streets form several intersecting grids, reflecting their placement in relation to the prevailing breeze and orientation to Circular Quay in early settlement.
The CBD runs along two ridge lines below Macquarie Street and York Streets. Between these ridges is Pitt Street, running close to the course of the original Tank Stream (now tunnelled). Bridge Street, took its name from the bridge running east–west that once crossed this stream. Pitt Street is the retail heart of the city which includes the Pitt Street Mall and the Sydney Tower. Macquarie Street is a historic precinct that houses such buildings as the State Parliament House and the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
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