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Guidelines set clear expectations in the urban design and development process for the public and all city builders.

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

Guidelines are based upon recognized best practices and are generally in alignment with community values. They:

  • Guide new development in order to minimize adverse impacts on adjacent properties and public spaces

  • Encourage respect for neighbourhood scale, character and quality

  • Guide how new development can have minimized adverse impacts on adjacent properties and public spaces
  • Require respect for neighbourhood scale, character and quality 

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”.

New Guidelines

As part of the work to advance Urban Design in Edmonton, the City is expanding the toolbox of Urban Design guidelines. Each guideline is specific to the development or building type. Current work is being done to develop guidelines for tall buildings.

Tall Building Design Guidelines

The development of Tall Building Design Guidelines was identified as a high priority in the Urban Design Framework. The guidelines, currently in draft, have since served as a valuable tool to help develop other types of guidelines within an emerging framework of an Urban Design Manual.


Administration has worked with a Working Group of design and development community representatives on the development of Tall Building Guidelines since 2018. The result is a set of draft design guidelines for the planning and design of tall buildings in Edmonton. 

Next, Administration identified the need for an Urban Design Manual that features a complete set of design guidelines, including tall buildings, that addresses all aspects of urban design in Edmonton and aligns with The City Plan


Tall Building Guidelines (draft)

Background Information on Proposed Urban Design Manual

Stay informed by signing up for email notifications. The City will send out news about how you can get involved in the project as it becomes available.

Potential Future Guidelines Could Include

  • Townhouse and Low-rise Apartments
  • Infill Townhouses
  • Drive-Through Facilities
  • Surface Parking Lots
  • Big Box Retail

Existing Guidelines

Current policies, guidelines and regulations that relate to urban design.

Elevating the practice of urban design in Edmonton.

For More Information

Urban Design




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