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We are articulating a basic set of urban design goals and principles. This includes a set of guidelines (fundamentals) based on public engagement, Council, internal and external stakeholders and the direction of the Municipal Development Plan, The Way We Grow.

The guidelines represent exciting work that will help move the City towards its goal of promoting increased development and density within our developed areas and creating an urban landscape which is livable, vibrant and walkable.

New Guidelines

We are excited to be starting the development of Urban Design Guidelines, the first of which will provide direction on the design of tall and mid-rise buildings in Edmonton. The first steps of this document have been completed through the research of best practice guidelines from other cities across North America. We have been working with targeted internal and external stakeholder groups to understand the existing issues around the design of tall buildings in Edmonton. 

The guidelines will address how the different components of tall buildings, the podium, the tower and the top can be thoughtfully addressed to maximize the benefit for the public while minimizing adverse impacts on neighbouring residents. Particular attention will be paid to the design of the podiums of tall buildings to contribute to an active, vibrant and pedestrian-oriented streetscape and public realm.

Public Engagement

We’re currently preparing a draft guideline for tall and mid-rise buildings. The first draft is expected to be reviewed by Urban Planning Committee in June and then we’ll begin to test the guideline to make sure it’s on the right track. You can provide your input on the draft guideline

Urban Design Guidelines Timeline

Project Timeline

Step 1

  • Project Initiation
  • Background Research

Step 2

  • Draft Guideline Development - We are here
  • Prepare Final Guidelines - Summer 2017

Step 3

  • Implementation Strategy - Fall 2017

Previous Workshops

In a Zoning Bylaw workshop in February we provided a summary of our work.

Why We Need Urban Design Guidelines


Well-crafted design guidelines set clear expectations and increase the transparency of development approval processes for the benefit of both city-builders and the public alike. 

Ensure a high quality public realm

  • To a vibrant, walkable and safe public realm
  • Have minimal adverse impacts on adjacent properties
  • Respect neighbourhood scale, character and quality
  • Are consistent with recognized best practices
  • Are generally in alignment with community values

City Policy

The Way We Grow, Edmonton’s Municipal Development Plan, states that we will “Establish city expectations for high quality urban design through the preparation of city-wide urban design guidelines”.

What’s Already Been Done

We recognise that there are a multitude of disciplines who practise Urban Design, including Planners, Consultants and the Development Industry, Engineers, and other public agencies. Here’s some our current policies, guidelines and regulations that relate to Urban Design.

Public Realm

Private Realm

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The Bicycle Transportation Plan envisions a bicycle friendly city. The plan calls for a range of facilities that would create a functional, comprehensive network of bike routes.

Winter is a core part of Edmonton’s identity and needs to be fully considered as our city grows and matures.

For More Information

Urban Design




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