Omaha, Nebraska, may be leading the way for cities around the country to integrate urban design with their master plans. Omaha's far-reaching urban design standards could be law by the year's end.
Omaha, Nebraska, may not seem like a hotbed for urban design, but a forward-thinking planning department aided by loopholes in the state's planning laws has pushed Omaha into the spotlight with some of the country's most creative urban design standards.
"A comprehensive set of urban-design standards are being codified into law later this year. If successfully passed into law, they could turn Omaha into a model of progressive urban design with far-reaching consequences not only for the downtown area but also the suburban fringes."
"One of the most comprehensive provisions of its kind, the Urban Design Element of the Omaha Master Plan takes advantage of a Nebraska state law that allows the city to annex surrounding suburbs as they develop; it encompasses everything from the landscaping of street corners, the design of important civic sites, and streetlamp choices available for neighborhoods to regional development, protection of watersheds, and the creation of a citywide trail system."