Ethos Urban was engaged by the Department of Planning, on behalf of Port Stephens Council, to prepare Place Plans for Shoal Bay, Anna Bay, Medowie and Karuah, local and emerging strategic centres, to support individual community values and priorities in a concise action-orientated roadmap.

The Place Plans are intended to be developed from the ‘bottom-up’, providing the community with a tangible document that incorporates their collective ideas and generates economic investment through various activities or community projects funded by grants.

The Place Plans are the first step in developing an approach to ‘place’ for these centres, drawing from data collected in liveability surveys undertaken before this project. The Place Plans also celebrate projects and events already undertaken by the community (made available through government funding) such as the ‘Karuah Timber and Oyster Festival’, the ‘Tastes Like Summer’ event and the ‘7 Day Makeover’ initiative which focuses on bringing the community together and improving the public domain experience.

Using the insights from a site visit, place familiarisation including mapping of key places, Ethos Urban developed a series of spatial plans to showcase the existing structure of the towns highlighting proposed structure changes to guide future growth and decision making. The process involved regular workshops with Council., engaging with a wide variety of specialist teams within Port Stephens Council was key to the process to ensure the Place Plans capture the community’s aspirations and supported relevant Council strategies.

Since completing this work, the Place Plans for Karuah and Medowie have been finalised and endorsed by Council which are made available on the Port Stephens Council website.

Key features of the Place Plans include:

  • Summary of community vision and identity.
  • Mapping of key places, existing activation and public domain activities, areas for temporary activation or events.
  • Structure plans identifying additional opportunities for residential development, employment lands, movement corridors, ecologically and culturally valuable land, and public infrastructure.
  • Identifying short-, medium- and long-term actions to align with the structure plans.
  • Providing inspiration for projects that would qualify under Council's grants program.
  • Consolidation of studies and community engagement previously undertaken by Council.

Team

Kirsty Hetherington

Kirsty Hetherington

Associate Director | Sydney

Paul Robilliard

Paul Robilliard

Director | Sydney

Stefan Meissner

Stefan Meissner

Director | Sydney