Privatised Sydney

In 2024, Hill Thalis were invited to be part of ‘Salon Del Mobile’, an exhibition curated by Gracie Grew and held at the Tin Sheds Gallery, in Darlington, Sydney. The exhibition encompassed a series of abstract mobiles made by architects or architecture adjacent practices who were asked to construct a hanging apparatus representing spatial agendas unique to each creator.

This work uses the Public Sydney 1000 Piece Puzzle, created by Hill Thalis in 2020, to map the divestment of public assets in Sydney’s city centre since 1980. Red fill has been applied to sites that have been sold or are currently subject to long-term leaseholds by the state or local governments. Details of sales and lease arrangements have been included where information is able to be sourced.

The large-scale privatisation of public land, places and buildings has accelerated in NSW over recent decades. Privatisation can be described as the full or partial transfer of a public enterprise, property, or service to the private sector. This may be accomplished by sale or lease.

The Public Sydney 1000 Piece Puzzle is based on the book Public Sydney: Drawing the City by Philip Thalis and Peter John Cantrill published in 2013. The puzzle’s plan was drawn by Aaron Murray et al. NB: The authors have made their best endeavours to check information however this map is not exhaustive and provides an overview only.

The Public Sydney Puzzle is available from URO bookshops by online order