Ethos Urban has worked with Northern Beaches Council as the lead planning, design and engagement consultant to prepare a Place Plan for Manly. The draft Place Plan identifies a vision for Manly over the next 10–15 years outlining the principles, strategies and actions to deliver this vision. 

Manly is one of Sydney’s most iconic and highly valued coastal town centres known as the gateway to the northern beaches and a key tourist destination. Due to the attraction and desirability of Manly, it is undergoing considerable redevelopment pressure which if not managed well, has the potential to challenge its character. From the outset of the project, a vision was sought to enhance the town centre as a liveable mixed-use centre, embed place making principles and provide public domain concept designs to meet the current and future needs of residents, workers, and visitors.

Engagement formed a key part of the project involving the facilitation of a Project Working Group comprised of local residents and business owners that was formed to ensure the views of the community including key stakeholder groups were heard and considered in the development of the plan. Findings from the Project Working Group meetings has been used, together with information gathered through targeted stakeholder research, to form the basis for the draft Place Plan.

The draft Place Plan acts as a blueprint for renewing Sydney's iconic tourist destinations, including boosting the nightlife and greening the streets. The draft place plan sets out a community vision, principles, place priorities and actions to make Manly the best place to live, work and visit. It focuses on a number of key places in the Manly centre including The Corso, Sydney Road, Pittwater Road and five laneways proposing a range of public domain improvements, supported by indicative concept designs to illustrate how these improvements may be realised in the future. 

Ethos Urban worked with and managed the inputs of other technical consultants, including a transport and traffic consultancy that focussed on active transport enhancements and Mark Gerada who prepared photomontage illustrations showing key places that have been reimagined.  

The draft Place Plan was exhibited over summer 2023–24 receiving over 500 responses. A report outlining the outcomes from engagement was presented to Council in June 2024. As a result of this work and the discission of outcomes, Council will begin to prepare design options to trial the introduction of temporary street furniture in parts of the Corso to encourage informal seating and dining opportunities for the public. This is a positive outcome which begins to realise the concept designs put forward in the draft Place Plan in a temporary fashion. 

Key features of the draft Manly Place Plan include: 

  • Collaborative community and stakeholder engagement.
  • Understanding of local character and identity. 
  • Identifying the role and function of key places and spaces. 
  • Initiatives to foster place activation and night-time economy.
  • Movement and place approach to inform active transport initiatives and public domain concept designs.
  • Prioritising short, medium and long term actions including responsibility and indicative cost weighting.
     

Team

Anna Paton

Anna Paton

Principal | Sydney

Chris Bain

Chris Bain

Director | Sydney

Ciaran Callaghan

Ciaran Callaghan

Associate Director | Brisbane

Nerissa Tan

Nerissa Tan

Urbanist | Sydney

Ping Chien Ng

Ping Chien Ng

Principal | Sydney

Ross Hornsey

Ross Hornsey

Director and National Lead (Social Strategy and Engagement) | Sydney

Stefan Meissner

Stefan Meissner

Director | Sydney