Urban design is the discipline that plans the public spaces of the city to make sure they’re attractive, safe, and efficient. Public spaces includes not only parks, plazas and playgrounds, but streets and alleys are also public spaces. So are squares, traffic circles and greenways. Urban design involves issues of transportation, including on foot, by bike and in cars, buses, trams and trains. It helps create the character of a neighborhood or district and sorts out how that part of a city relates and connects to the other parts.
The City’s Urban Design group is a part of the Planning and Urban Design Department. The group, made up of Architects, Landscape Architects and Urban Designers, works to implement the City’s vision to protect the public and respect the natural and built environments through excellence in sustainable community planning, infrastructure management, and programs.
As part of all development applications, building projects and studies, Urban Design's Development Review and Approval team provides professional guidance, technical skills and project management to City departments and stakeholders.