With its Mediterranean deli, artsy cinema, multicultural citizens and a newly launched mural and sculpture-filled laneway, the forecourt of Warrawong's Greene Street could give any hip urban enclave a run for its money.
In the past year, the formerly graffiti-covered alley behind the Warrawong Community Centre and Legal Centre has been transformed in an effort to reduce crime in the suburb's run-down town centre.
On Wednesday, Wollongong City Council marked the forecourt's opening, celebrating months of hard work by artists, government agencies and the community.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the project's success was the result of a combined effort.
"To see this come to fruition with seating, murals, mosaics and a sculpture creating a place where Warrawong community members can rest and gather is a wonderful outcome for this area," he said.
"Collectively all pieces of this project go to creating a friendly and inviting space where community members, particularly users of the community centre and legal centre, can talk, enjoy a bite to eat or simply meet up with friends in this colourful forecourt."
The council was given $50,000 by the NSW Department of Justice last year to transform the neglected area into a safe community space.