Main page content begins here

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 minimize 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 City is starting the development of Tall Building Design Guidelines which will provide direction on the design of tall buildings in Edmonton. The first step will be to work with targeted internal and external stakeholder groups to understand existing issues.

The guidelines will address how the different components of tall buildings (the podium, the tower and the top) can be thoughtfully addressed to maximize the benefit for the public while minimizing adverse impacts on neighbours. Particular attention will be paid to the design of the podium portion of tall buildings to contribute to an active, vibrant and pedestrian-oriented streetscape and public realm.

The guidelines represent exciting work that will help move the City towards its goal of promoting increased development and density within our developed areas and creating a city which is livable, vibrant and walkable.


We will soon be commencing work with an internal working group, an external working committee and some stakeholder drop-in sessions. Draft guidelines are expected to be complete in Fall 2018.

Get Involved

Come walk with us! Join our free TALL TALES Jane’s Walk to explore and discuss the issues around the development of tall buildings in our downtown area.

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




End of page content. Please choose between the following five options:

Back to main menu Back to current page menu and content View current page breadcrumb Back to site search Continue to page footer content