Adopted by Council

Tue 25 May 2021

We are committed to designing and delivering public spaces that enhance our community’s lives. Our streets and places of the future will allow people to connect, feel safe and achieve a sense of belonging.

We have harmonised the three former Council’s guidelines around public space and developed the draft Northern Beaches Public Space Vision and Design Guidelines.

This draft, developed with ASPECT Studios and in close consultation with our stakeholders and community was placed on public exhibition between 2 October and 1 November 2020.

The decision to adopt the Public Space Vision and Design Guidelines was deferred at the Council Meeting held on Tuesday 23 March, pending the following changes:

  1. Add a design element to differentiate between major centres and villages. This could include a local icon closely affiliated with the particular area such as flora, fauna or an historical element which can be incorporated into seats, bin enclosures, etc.
  2. Add trees that are known food sources for our local bird life in appropriate areas, e.g. Allocasuarina (also known as Sheoak) which is a food source for our Black Glossy Cockatoos.
  3. That bike racks be more than just bike hoops in areas that are transport hubs and transport connection areas to provide more compact bike parking.
  4. To reflect the location of the Manly CBD that this centre be classified as "Beach" not "Urban" in the guidelines.

These changes, where appropriate, were incorporated into the Northern Beaches Public Space Vision and Design Guidelines which were presented at the Council meeting on Tuesday 25 May 2021 and adopted.

Council minutes, Tuesday 25 May 2021, Item 12.3, pg.15

Council report, Tuesday 25 May 2021, Item 12.3, pg.107

Engagement outcomes

During the exhibition period between Friday 2 October and Sunday 1 November 2020 we received 26 submissions. Overall the feedback reflected that the Public Space Vision and Design Guidelines were representative of the unique character of the Northern Beaches Local Government Area.

Six key themes were identified:

  • Identity loss 'one size fits all'
  • Loss of parking due to increased tree canopy
  • Purpose of the Public Space Vision and Design Guidelines
  • Wayfinding and signage
  • Cycleways
  • Sustainability

View the Response to submissions report - Aspect Studios

Engagement history - exhibited for comment

A vision for our public spaces

The guidelines present a unified vision for our public spaces that also recognises the unique features, character and heritage of the diverse villages and places.

These guidelines set out to bring consistency to projects across the area driven by criteria of quality, durability and sustainability. They also support environmental, social, and health outcomes through the introduction of best practice street design and material selection.

Guiding objectives

The importance of streets

Streets are more than just a place for cars and infrastructure.

Accounting for more than 30 percent of all public open space in urban areas, our streets are not only places to move through, but can also be vibrant locations to sit, relax, ponder, and play.

The guidelines seeks to balance a variety of conditions within a succinct set of street types.

Street types

Click on the top of each of the below boxes to view more detail including illustrations.

Material palettes for our four character areas

We have developed a palette of materials for each of the four character areas – Beach, Bush, Urban and Waterfront. We will use these palettes to create and build public spaces, sharing consistency in materials while recognising the uniqueness of our places.

Characters areas map - consultation version

Frequently Asked Questions

The Northern Beaches Public Space Vision and Design Guidelines will help Council and relevant stakeholders deliver well-designed public infrastructure that is both consistent and retains local character. The document replaces the three policy documents belonging to our former three councils.

These guidelines will form part of a suite of Council and engineering reference material that will have broad use. This material will help Council and developers when upgrading public spaces, ensuring that they are people-centric, safe and sustainable. The guidelines will also help residents understand future upgrades to infrastructure such as cycle path networks and water sensitive urban design.

The guidelines include objectives, which set out to meet state government targets, as well as principles that will guide Council and developers in achieving great design outcomes in public spaces.

Have an enquiry?

Have questions or want to learn more about a project, contact us below:

Name Dominic Chung - Senior Urban Designer
Phone 1300 434 434