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

 The Urban Design Guidelines are intended to focus on the most important aspects of design, and be generated and revised quickly and easily. This project began in 2018 with Administration developing a set of Tall Building Design Guidelines with a Working Group representing the design and development industry. 

Development of Volume 1 - an Introduction to the Urban Design Manual - began in late 2019.  This work identifies urban structure, built form, public realm and design details as the basic organizing framework for the guidelines.  This introductory volume also establishes clear alignment with the strategic policy direction of The City Plan, and is presently being evaluated as a District Planning tool. 

Also in late 2019, Urban Planning Committee directed Administration to develop a Terms of Reference (TOR) for wind studies, to improve the City of Edmonton’s rezoning and development permit processes.  This TOR is the first of three proposed Background Studies which the Manual will reference.

What Is The Urban Design Manual?

The proposed Urban Design Manual will serve as a comprehensive guide to the physical design of Edmonton, in particular its urban structure, built form and public realm.  The Manual is envisioned primarily as a set of design guidelines which build on the policy direction of The City Plan and articulate the City’s expectations for good design.   

The Urban Design Manual is proposed to include the following:

Volume 1 / Introduction

Draft of Volume 1. 

Find out how the manual has been structured.

Volume 2 / Guidelines

Thumbnail image of the cover of the sample urban design guidelines.A document showing sample urban design guidelines.

Volume 3 / Background Studies    

Thumbnail image of the cover of the draft Urban Design Briefs.Draft requirements, including Urban Design Briefs, Sun/Shadow Studies and Wind Studies. 

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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