Design Guidelines

Washington, D.C. Historic District

Balancing Aesthetics and Affordability

Policies too narrowly focused on design can drive up the cost of construction and prevent the development of affordable housing.

April 20, 2021 - Slate


New 'Design Excellence Overlay' Aims to Inspire New Development in Missoula

The city of Missoula professes a strategy of "focusing inward" when it comes to growth and development. A new 'Design Excellence Overlay' will help achieve more goals toward that strategy in the city's downtown.

October 18, 2018 - Missoula Current


The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Sustainable Transportation

How to design a transit system that is safe, green, and beautiful.

August 24, 2018 - ASLA The Dirt


Seattle's Popular Capitol Hill Neighborhood Getting New Design Guidelines

The new guidelines will allow for new design decisions in a neighborhood undergoing rapid change.

May 30, 2018 - Capitol Hill Seattle Blog

BART Train

BART's Transit-Oriented Development Bill Sets Disturbing Precedent, Says APA

AB 2923, which would allow the Bay Area Rapid Transit District to rezone their properties near stations for transit-oriented development, passed its first committee. The California chapter of APA objects to the preemption of local land use authority.

April 23, 2018 - California Chapter of American Planning Association


Keeping Our Children Safe After the Parkland High School Shooting

In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Florida, the debate has been wide-ranging, from gun safety to arming teachers. All agree students must be safe, so why not look at architecture? The NRA has some tips.

February 28, 2018 - The Architects Newspaper

South Lake Union

Faced With Rapid Growth, Seattle's South Lake Union Revamps its Design Guidelines

A popular and changing neighborhood in Seattle has recommitted itself to urban design.

February 26, 2018 - The Urbanist

No Dumping

NACTO Releases New 'Urban Stormwater Guide'

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) adds a logical supplement to their library of street design guides: a guide to stormwater infrastructure that is often built alongside or as part of road infrastructure.

June 19, 2017 - Next City

FEMA Hurricane Sandy

New York Unveils Design Guidelines for Climate Resiliency

New York is piloting new building design guidelines aimed at improving the city's climate resiliency.

June 11, 2017 - Architectural Record

Portland Weird

How Not to Solve a Housing Crisis

More trouble in River City, as Portland and Oregon struggle with rising housing costs and come up with a puzzling solution.

June 8, 2017 - Michael Mehaffy

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Top Books

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Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.