University of Manchester Public Realm Masterplan

Manchester, UK. 2009

The merging of the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) to create Britain's biggest single-site university prompted the commission of a masterplan to address estate rationalisation and future development. The scheme, led by John McAslan + Partners, addressed a new campus for 36,000 students and 9,000 academic staff.

The site consisted of a patchwork of recreational spaces, potential development sites, car parking, service yards and roads. The practice's response to this fragmented urban condition was to establish a network of streets and spaces that separate front and back of house and provide enhanced pedestrian and cycling connectivity while integrating the campus with surrounding neighbourhoods.

The three-phase masterplan addresses future academic facilities and an integrated public realm strategy that maximises inclusive interaction between the city and the campus. JMP also designed and delivered the key open spaces within the new campus –a mix of urban plazas, green spaces, pocket parks and shared surfaces – with implementation carefully choreographed with the academic year to minimise disruption. The masterplan and open space network have proved a great success, paving the way for a re-energised, unified campus.


'The University of Manchester's ambitious capital plan delivers a series of transformational projects, including the first phase of a public realm strategy providing areas of high quality hard and soft landscape, lighting and seating and new pedestrian linkages that have met with acclaim from staff, students, visitors and other key stakeholders.'

Diana Hampson, Director of Estates, University of Manchester

John McAslan + Partners. University of Manchester Public Realm Masterplan. Plan.