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UrbanPlanningGuide

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Urban Planning and Design for Cities: Skylines
alborzka
August 16, 2017
Abstract
This document aims to serve as a comprehensive. simple guide for Cities: Skylines (C:S)
players who want to incorporate elements of professional, real-world urban planning and city
design into their cities. All information here is taken from online academic courses on urban
planning, using the latest trends and knowledge. City planning is much more complicated than
can be experienced in C:S, and urban planning can’t be summed up in a few pages. It involves
several disciplines and experts specialised in particular areas, and real cities aren’t designed by
one “Jack of all trades”. Thus, this document seeks to enable readers to learn as many aspects of
city design as can be possibly implemented in-game. Aspects such as economic policy and other
areas not touched upon in C:S are similarly not touched upon in this guide.
Contents
1 City Design History
1.1 Pre-Industrial Revolution . . . . .
1.1.1 The Wall . . . . . . . . .
1.1.2 The Grid . . . . . . . . .
1.1.3 The Axis . . . . . . . . .
1.1.4 The City Square . . . . .
1.1.5 The Cloister . . . . . . .
1.2 Cities in the Industrial Revolution
1.3 Cities in the 1950s . . . . . . . .
1.4 Today’s Regional City . . . . . .
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2 Different Design Schools
2.1 Modernist City Design .
2.2 Traditional City Design .
2.3 Green City Design . . .
2.4 Systems City Design . .
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3 Environmental Considerations
3.1 Ecological Urbanism . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2 Managing Water: Flooding and Scarcity . .
3.3 Managing Energy Consumption . . . . . .
3.4 Green Infrastructure and Urban Agriculture
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4 Preserving Older Cities and Districts
4.1 Importance of Historic Preservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2 Adaptive Re-Use of Old Buildings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.3 Preserving the Industrial Heritage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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5 Integrating and Improving Slums
5.1 Background on Informal Settlements . . . . . . . . . . .
5.2 Rapid Urbanisation and Slums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.3 Retrofitting Infrastructure and Services . . . . . . . . . .
5.4 Combating Poverty and Urban Deterioration in the Ghetto
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6 Community, Neighbourhoods, and Human Interaction
6.1 Transformation of Urban Lifestyles . . . . . . . . . .
6.2 Residential Mobility and Housing Choices . . . . . .
6.3 Spatial Patterns that Promote Personal Communication
6.4 Mixing Home, Work, Culture and Recreation . . . . .
6.5 Walkable Neighbourhoods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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7 Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighbourhoods
7.1 Urban Form of New Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7.2 The Public Realm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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8 Airport–City Connection
8.1 Airfront Model . . . . .
8.2 Decoplex Model . . . .
8.3 Airport City Model . . .
8.4 Airport Corridor Model
8.5 AIREA Model . . . . .
8.6 Aerotropolis Model . . .
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9 Public Transit
9.1 Catch-Bin Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9.2 Understanding Modal Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9.3 The Barbeque Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9.4 Seductive Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9.5 Territories, Networks, and Forms of Urbanisation: A Note on Trams
9.6 Transit Adherence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9.7 Public Space Fragmentation: Resident Needs Vs. Visitor Wants . . .
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10 Building Design Principles
10.1 Frame the Public Realm . . . . . . .
10.2 Ground Floor-to-Street Relationship
10.3 Sense of Entry . . . . . . . . . . . .
10.4 Integrate Urban Open Space . . . . .
10.5 Light, View, Skyline, and Privacy . . .
10.6 Prominent Sites . . . . . . . . . . . .
10.7 Scale Transition . . . . . . . . . . . .
10.8 Façade Treatment . . . . . . . . . . .
10.9 Building Projections . . . . . . . . .
10.10 Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation .
10.10.1 Pedestrian Connections . . .
10.10.2 Service and Loading Areas .
10.10.3 Parking . . . . . . . . . . .
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A Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines
A.1 Common Terms and Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.2 Destinations: Coordinate Land Use and Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.2.1 Ensure that major destinations are lined up along a reasonably direct corridor
so they can be served by frequent transit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.2.2 Encourage the highest intensity of development in Urban Centres and at frequent transit nodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.2.3 Focus additional growth toward existing and planned frequent transit corridors
A.3 Distance: Create a Well-Connected Street Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.3.1 Provide fine-grained street networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.3.2 Make walking and cycling access to frequent transit as direct as possible . . .
A.3.3 Plan for coordinated, multi-modal transportation networks . . . . . . . . .
A.3.4 Locate frequent transit passenger facilities at accessible places on the street
network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.4 Design: Create Places for People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.4.1 Design multi-modal streets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.4.2 Design great public spaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.4.3 Seamlessly integrate development with frequent transit and the public realm
A.4.4 Design parking to support a pedestrian-oriented urban realm . . . . . . . .
A.5 Density: Concentrate and Intensify Activities near Frequent Transit . . . . . . . . .
A.5.1 Focus density in Urban Centres and around frequent transit corridors and
nodes to support a strong demand for transit service . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.5.2 Plan for density that supports community character and promotes quality of life
A.6 Diversity: Encourage a Mix of Uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.6.1 Provide a mix of uses along frequent transit corridors to reduce peak crowding
and spread travel demand throughout the day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.6.2 Encourage a mix of land uses immediately adjacent to frequent transit facilities
A.6.3 Encourage a mix of uses around transit nodes to create complete neighbourhoods
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A.6.4
Provide an active street life with a mix of community services and fine-grained
retail spaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.6.5 Provide a mix of housing types near frequent transit passenger facilities to
create inclusive communities and promote equitable access to transportation
A.7 Checklists and How The 5 D’s Relate to Transportation Outcomes . . . . . . . . . .
A.7.1 Corridor and Regional Level Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.7.2 Neighbourhood Level Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.7.3 Site Level Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.7.4 How The 5 D’s Relate to Transportation Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B Complete Street Guidelines
B.1 Street Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.1 Civic Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.2 Downtown &Centres Main Street . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.3 Avenue &Neighbourhood Main Street . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.4 Downtown &Centres Residential Street . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.5 Apartment Neighbourhood Residential Street . . . . . . .
B.1.6 Neighbourhood Residential Street . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.7 Mixed Use Connector Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.8 Residential Connector Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.9 Scenic Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.10 Park Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.11 Employment Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.12 Mixed Use Access Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.13 Mixed Use Shared Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.14 Residential Shared Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.15 Mixed Use Lane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.1.16 Residential Lane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.2 Common Street Design Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.3 Street Design for Pedestrians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.3.1 Sidewalk Design and Streetscaping . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.3.2 Additional Accessibility and Universal Design Features . . .
B.3.3 Public Realm and Placemaking: Design Great Public Spaces
B.3.4 Parking and the Pedestrian Realm . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.3.5 Safety of the Pedestrian Public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.3.6 Child Mobility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.4 Street Design for Cycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.4.1 Key Cycling Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.4.2 Cycling Lane Infrastructure Design Principles . . . . . . .
B.4.3 Bike Lane Widths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.4.4 Context-Sensitive Cycling Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.4.5 Bicycle Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.5 Street Design for Transit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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B.5.1 Key Transit Street Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.5.2 Transit Stops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.5.3 Transit Design Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.5.4 Context-Sensitive Transit Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.6 Street Design for Green Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.6.1 Key Green Street Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.6.2 Green Infrastructure Design Principles . . . . . . . . . . .
B.6.3 Context-Sensitive Green Streets . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.7 Street Design for Roadways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.7.1 Roadway Design Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.7.2 Design for a Multi-Modal Transportation System . . . . . .
B.7.3 Design for Safety of Vulnerable Users . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.7.4 Design Using a Target Speed for the Street Context . . . . .
B.7.5 Design to Support Placemaking and Street Context . . . .
B.7.6 Rightsizing and Repurposing Roadway as Complete Streets
B.7.7 Traffic Calming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.7.8 Roadway Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.8 Highway Traffic and More Lanes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.9 Street Design for Intersections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.9.1 Intersection Design Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.9.2 Key Needs and Perspectives of Each Road User . . . . . . .
B.9.3 Crosswalks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.9.4 Accessibility and Universal Design of Intersections . . . . .
B.9.5 Context-Sensitive Intersection Design . . . . . . . . . . .
B.9.6 Intersection Elements and Geometric Design . . . . . . . .
B.9.7 Intersection Signals and Other Traffic Controls . . . . . . .
B.10 Street Network Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.10.1 Fine-Grained Street Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.10.2 Coordinated, Multi-Modal Transportation Networks . . . .
C Tall Building Guidelines
C.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.2 Site Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.2.1 Fit and Transition in Scale . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.2.2 Sunlight and Sky View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.2.3 Prominent Sites and Views from the Public Realm
C.3 Site Organisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.3.1 Building Placement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.3.2 Building Address and Entrances . . . . . . . . . .
C.3.3 Site Servicing, Access, and Parking . . . . . . . .
C.3.4 Publicly Accessible Open Space . . . . . . . . . .
C.3.5 Private Open Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.3.6 Pedestrian and Cycling Connections . . . . . . .
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C.4
C.5
C.6
C.7
C.3.7 Public Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Base Building Design . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.4.1 Base Building Height and Scale . . .
C.4.2 Street Animation . . . . . . . . . .
C.4.3 Public-Private Transition . . . . . .
Tower Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.5.1 Tower Placement . . . . . . . . . .
C.5.2 Separation Distances . . . . . . . .
C.5.3 Tower Orientation and Articulation .
Pedestrian Realm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.6.1 Streetscape and Landscape Design .
C.6.2 Sidewalk Zone . . . . . . . . . . . .
C.6.3 Pedestrian Level Wind Effects . . . .
C.6.4 Pedestrian Weather Protection . . .
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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D Mid-Rise Building Guidelines
D.1 Building Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.2 Front Façades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.2.1 Angular Plane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.2.2 Pedestrian Perception Stepback . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.2.3 Alignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.3 Rear Transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.3.1 Rear Transition to Neighbourhoods: Deep Properties .
D.3.2 Rear Transition to Neighbourhoods: Shallow Properties
D.3.3 Rear Transition to Employment Areas . . . . . . . . .
D.3.4 Rear Transition to Apartment Neighbourhoods . . . .
D.4 Corner Sites: Heights and Angular Planes . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.5 Minimum Sidewalk Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.6 Side Property Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.6.1 Continuous Street Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.6.2 Limiting Blank Side Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.6.3 Stepbacks at Upper Storeys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.6.4 Existing Side Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.6.5 Side Street Setbacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.7 Maximum Building Width . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.8 Residential At-Grade Uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.9 Balconies and Projections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.10 Roofs and Roofscapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.11 Prominent Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.12 Façade Design and Articulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.13 Parking, Servicing, and Vehicular Access . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D.14 Heritage Districts and Character Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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D.15 Business and Commercial Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
E Townhouse and Low-rise Apartment Guidelines
E.1 Site Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.1.1 Heritage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.1.2 Building Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.2 Site Organisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.2.1 Streets, Lanes, Mews, and Walkways . . . . . . . . .
E.2.2 Shared Outdoor Amenity Areas . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.2.3 Building Placement and Address . . . . . . . . . . .
E.2.4 Site Services, Access, and Parking . . . . . . . . . . .
E.2.5 Priority Lots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.3 Building Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.3.1 Fit and Transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.3.2 Facing Distances and Setbacks . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.3.3 Primary Entrances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.3.4 Private Outdoor Amenity Space . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.3.5 Building Relationship to Grade and Street . . . . . .
E.4 Pedestrian Realm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.4.1 Streetscape, Landscape, and Stormwater Management
E.4.2 Site Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.4.3 Building Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.4.4 Public Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.5 Demonstration Plans and Case Studies . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.5.1 Shallow Mid-Block Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.5.2 Deep Mid-Block Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.5.3 Site Adjacent to or with Heritage Resource . . . . . .
E.5.4 Site with Multiple Building Blocks . . . . . . . . . .
E.5.5 Large Site with Tower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E.5.6 Large Site with Multiple Development Blocks . . . .
F Low-Rise Residential Buildings: Singles, Semis, and Duplexes
F.1 Frame the Public Realm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.2 Ground Floor-to-Street Relationship . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.3 Sense of Entry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.4 Integrate Urban Open Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.5 Light, View, Skyline, and Privacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.6 Prominent Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.7 Priority Lots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.8 Scale Transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.9 Façade Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.10 Building Projections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F.11 Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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F.12 Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation
F.12.1 Pedestrian Connections . .
F.12.2 Service and Loading Areas
F.12.3 Parking . . . . . . . . . .
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172
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172
G Neighbourhood Plazas and Large Format Retail
G.1 Frame the Public Realm . . . . . . . . . . .
G.2 Ground Floor-to-Street Relationship . . . .
G.3 Sense of Entry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
G.4 Integrate Urban Open Space . . . . . . . . .
G.5 Light, View, Skyline, and Privacy . . . . . . .
G.6 Prominent Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
G.7 Scale Transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
G.8 Façade Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
G.9 Building Projections . . . . . . . . . . . . .
G.10 Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation . . . . .
G.10.1 Pedestrian Connections . . . . . . .
G.10.2 Service and Loading Areas . . . . .
G.10.3 Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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174
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177
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178
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181
181
H Institutional Buildings
H.1 Frame the Public Realm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.2 Ground Floor-to-Street Relationship . . . . . . . . .
H.3 Sense of Entry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.4 Integrate Urban Open Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.5 Light, View, Skyline, and Privacy . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.6 Prominent Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.7 Scale Transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.8 Façade Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.9 Building Projections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.10 Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation . . . . . . . . . .
H.10.1 Pedestrian Connections . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.10.2 Service and Loading Areas . . . . . . . . . .
H.10.3 Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.10.4 Drop-off Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.11 Community Service Location and Shared Facility Use .
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Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities
183
I.1 Whimsy and Design for Four Seasons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
I.2 Building Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
I.3 Common Indoor and Outdoor Amenity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
8
J
Parks
J.1 Parks and Open Spaces: Access and Type
J.2 All Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
J.3 Community Parks . . . . . . . . . . . .
J.4 Neighbourhood Parks . . . . . . . . . .
J.5 Urban Squares . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
J.6 Vista Blocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
J.7 Nature Parks and Trails . . . . . . . . . .
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185
185
186
186
186
187
187
187
K Effective Lighting
189
K.1 Lighting for Safety and Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
K.2 External Lighting Fixtures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
L Green Parking Lot Design
L.1 Location and Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L.1.1 General Requirements . . . . . . . . .
L.1.2 Site Grading . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L.1.3 Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L.2 Vehicle Access and Circulation . . . . . . . . .
L.3 Pedestrian Access and Circulation . . . . . . .
L.4 Landscaping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L.4.1 General Requirements . . . . . . . . .
L.4.2 Streetscape and Perimeter Landscaping
L.4.3 Internal Landscaping . . . . . . . . .
L.4.4 Stormwater Management . . . . . . .
L.5 Surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L.6 Example Diagrams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L.6.1 Small Corner Site . . . . . . . . . . .
L.6.2 Long Narrow Site . . . . . . . . . . .
L.6.3 Large Site with Multiple Buildings . .
L.6.4 Additional Diagrams . . . . . . . . .
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191
191
191
191
192
192
192
193
193
193
194
194
194
195
196
197
198
199
Transect Diagram, showing city design of the 1950’s.
Better building and tower spacing. . . . . . . . . . .
Traditionalist city design in New Urbanism. . . . . .
Airfront Model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Decoplex Model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Airport City Model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Airport Corridor Model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AIREA Model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Aerotropolis Model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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14
15
16
28
28
29
29
30
31
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List of Figures
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
Barbeque Effect and its relationship with increased energy consumption for transport
in dense areas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A continuous rear lane helps transition between the rear lots fronting onto the arterial
street, and the side lots of the buildings on the local street. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Examples of how height and built form can enhance or impede views of prominent
landmarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The houses in this diagram have varied setbacks along an arc which creates a varied and
more interesting streetscape. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The tall building steps back to protect an important view from the public realm. . . .
Different examples of prominent sites that aren’t landmark based. . . . . . . . . . . .
The five zones of the sidewalk each have a role to play in designing streets for people. .
Considerations for Cycling Impact Analysis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Different types of cycling infrastructure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The relationship of traffic speed and volume to types of cycling facilities. . . . . . . .
Vehicle speed, stopping distance, and chance of survival. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Vehicle speed and field of vision. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Avoid towers in a park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A progressive transition in the height and scale of tall buildings from the centre of a
growth area down to a lower-scale area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Horizontal separation distance, and a change in base building height and form to support
tall building transition down to a lower-scale area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A new tall building fitting within an existing context of other tall buildings of consistent
height. Note the appropriate separation distance between buildings of similar height.
An angular plane, and direct relationship in base building height and form to support
tall building transition down to a lower-scale area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Highlight corner and mid-block entrances. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tall building sites offer a broad range of publicly accessible open space opportunities.
Tall buildings require a broad range of private open spaces to meet the needs of building
occupants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The height and scale of the base building responds to the scale of neighbouring buildings
and the street proportion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Public-private transition in base building design. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tower frontage and placement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tower setback on property lines with and without laneways. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Minimum tower separation distances via arrangement of multiple towers. . . . . . . .
Minimum tower separation distance proportionate to building width, measured from
building face to building face. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A generous sidewalk and strategic setback supports an active street frontage and vibrant
pedestrian environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Issues and solutions to building wind design. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rear transition for deep properties abutting neighbourhoods, parks, open space, and
natural areas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rear transition for properties abutting employment areas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10
33
37
38
39
39
40
93
98
99
100
107
108
119
120
121
121
122
123
125
126
128
130
131
132
132
133
134
135
139
140
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
Example of corner site conditions for mid-rise buildings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Diagram illustrating the side street setback. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mechanical penthouse placement within all angular planes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Conserving local heritage with new building developments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Examples of Priority Lots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
An example of how not to place townhouses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Private amenity spaces in townhouses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Landscaping at the level of the raised terrace (backyard) and the sidewalk provide
privacy for occupants on the terrace and an amenity for the public. . . . . . . . . . .
Building height should remain relatively constant with gentle transitions. Abrupt variations in height should be avoided. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Basing new development on an internal street and block pattern can accommodate
future infill development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
This Vista Block provides a lookout over the Greenway System and includes plantings
and a paved seating area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Differences between effective and ineffective external lighting. Lamps that emit light
horizontally and/or upwards should be avoided. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
142
143
145
148
151
152
153
154
171
175
187
190
Introductory Remarks
This document is divided into two main parts: general information, and appendices. Going through the
document, you’ll get the hang of how this is organised and how to use it, but just a quick tip: If you’re
looking just for instructions and guidelines to follow when making cities, and don’t really care about the
theory, just read the Appendix in order as well as the Airport–City Connection section and Building
Design Principles section. If you’re interested in the theory, and want to know why you should build in
this way, read the sections that interest you and refer to the appendices for instructions and more detail.
The next two paragraphs are some introductory remarks that I didn’t know where else to put.
The primary infrastructure of a city is comprised of transport, energy, water/sewage, waste, housing,
communications, green infrastructures. Secondary infrastructures include health care, education, nutrition, culture, and others; these are secondary because they function only if primary infrastructures
function. We evaluate primary infrastructure using three (3) main objectives or performance indicators:
sustainable, efficient, resilient. An urban system wants to pursue quality of life, city attractiveness, and city
competitiveness. Social dimensions of infrastructure can promote equity exclusion (highway dividing
the city) and equity inclusion (highway bringing people to work). Infrastructures can go either way or
both!
The territorial space-frame of a city or region is built on three (3) things whose arrangements have changed
since the 1960s: Morphology, Functional Centralities, and Lifestyles. Until the 1960s, these three things
overlapped by snapping-in. For example, urban areas and their surroundings were regionalised, and
distinctions were drawn between country and city. Looking at a small village, you could tell people
11
lived most of their lives in it and their lifestyle revolved around it. Now, thanks to rapid transit systems,
the possibilities of location are expanding. Morphological boundaries fade (urban sprawl) — it’s now
difficult to tell where a city begins and ends, both visually and funcionally. Lifestyles change and detach
themselves from spatial proximity; ones daily life is now within a large geographic range. However, this
expansion doesn’t kill spatial differentiations! Not everything becomes urban! Mobility becomes the
link connecting Morphology, Function, and Lifetsyle. People can work and shop tens of kilometres1
away from where they live, including in large metropolitan (international) centres like Geneva.
1
City Design History
1.1
Pre-Industrial Revolution
There were five (5) main characteristics of cities prior to the Industrial Revolution across the world. Not
all historic cities have all of these characteristics, but they will more than likely have one or more of them.
1.1.1
The Wall
Defence was essential for millennia. Even after walls came down and the moats were drained, the idea
of creating limits to the city remained. This was especially true for European cities where walls created
“membership”into the city, and those outside the city (not just outside the country) were considered
foreigners.
1.1.2
The Grid
Contrary to the common belief that grid systems are mainly an American phenomenon, the first grid
system was created by the Greeks around 300 BC. As land ownership was dispersed to families and
people, the need to subdivide property in some logical way and record it onto maps became apparent.
There was also a need to define public areas like streets and squares.
1.1.3
The Axis
Some parts of the city (and some people) were more important than others throughout history. Even in
a grid city like Beijing, the importance of the Emperor was reinforced by creating a central axis that only
he was allowed to use. In Renaissance Rome, Pope Sixtus the 5th used axes as way of uniting separate
districts of city and creating important plazas and buildings.
1.1.4 The City Square
In European cities, squares were created to become the living room of city, a place for all important
events. Squares often started as open market places, and as markets moved indoors, they became spaces
for multiple purposes. In Northern Europe, squares can also function as green spaces, offering relief from
the dense city; this idea was carried over into the New World.
1
Or miles, if you’re stuck in the 1800s.
12
1.1.5
The Cloister
A cloister is a space created for monasteries, places of worship, temples, and/or shrines. These places
were often given prominent locations in the city. Bangkok’s wats define that city, and churches often
mark the centre of neighbourhoods and districts of Western cities. These places were then accompanied
by schools, meeting houses, and residences.
1.2
Cities in the Industrial Revolution
Canals were used as a primary means of transporting goods before trains were introduced. The creation
of train tracks widened the trading scope of cities and intensified development in their city centres.
During this time, workers lived right next to, and sometimes within, industrial areas and factories. This
created unhealthy living conditions. With the introduction of the car, buses, and trains, city roads became
crowded and polluted.
1.3
Cities in the 1950s
The cities of the 1950s, when people went to a single urban centre to work, shop, play, etc., are still what
many people think cities are or should be. Such cities were defined by the prominence of their Central
Business District (CBD), which functions as the city’s dominant commercial centre. This serves as
the location of central railway station(s), government, most office buildings, and the best retail, hotels,
theatres, and restaurants. Close-by were some of the most expensive residential districts fronting on
landscaped parklands.
This central city was surrounded by industry, except for fashionable streets leading to the best suburbs.
The working class lived near the industrial areas, close to the factories in which they worked. Middle
class suburbanites were connected to the CBD by tram or commuter rail. This mid-century city was
created by attempting to correct the mistakes made when cities first became industrialised.
The Transect Diagram shown in Figure 1 is used by advocates of New Urbanism as a template for
writing zone and design guidelines. It captures the organisation of a city as it was in 1950. Certain areas
that don’t fit the diagram, e.g. stockyards, are labelled as “special districts”. The problem with this diagram,
however, is that cities are no longer the way they were in 1950. These neighbourhood designs were built
on a foundation of discrimination and deed restrictions, as most people still lived in cramped slums.
1.4
Today’s Regional City
Starting in the 1950s2 , most people had personal cars, so cities began to be divided into a pre-1950’s “old
city” and a suburban “new city” which was ideal for cars. The old downtown was at the periphery of
the much more affluent new city. Buildings were emptying out and their businesses were moving to the
new city centre as well. The new city developed office and retail centres of its own, but were much more
2
This entire sub-section is US-centric. Most other developed countries had their old city centres remain dominant,
but still experienced suburbanisation enabled by cars.
13
Figure 1: Transect Diagram, showing city design of the 1950’s.
spread out compared to the old city.
Afterwards, the suburbs kept spreading to the point where it became dysfunctional for residents —
people complained about traffic congestion, long commutes to work, segregation of functional areas
made mothers work as chauffeurs for their children, shopping required driving from one destination
to another, etc. So, the old 1950’s model with a CBD and walkable neighbourhoods seemed good in
comparison. In the past few decades, the US has seen a big downtown revival and rise in real estate values
for walkable neighbourhoods and suburbs.
2
Different Design Schools
The four (4) designs discussed here aren’t opposed to each other and aren’t mutually exclusive. Rather,
some are applicable to some times and circumstances while others remain inapplicable. The idea is to
pick (and maybe blend) what designs work right for particular projects.
2.1
Modernist City Design
The modernist school of city design features elevated highways running right through cities and clearing
land around them for high-rise office towers. This has the side-effect of dividing one community into
two, one on each side of the highway. Rivers and highways divide city up into separate neat districts.
Whole sections of towers appear in rows or clusters.
The taller buildings are, the further apart they can be placed and still accommodate the same amount of
space. With the right orientation, buildings can be spaced so that sunlight falls on the full façade of the
neighbouring building, as shown in Figure 2. Such designs are actually implemented as law, known as
“Sunshine Laws” in countries such as Japan.
One feature of modernist design is that of Significant Form: buildings stand out from their neighbours.
One can make any shape buildable, such as a piece of crumpled paper.
14
Figure 2: Better building and tower spacing.
2.2
Traditional City Design
In traditionalist city design, radial avenues from squares extend in all directions. Long straight streets
connect important destinations. Important landmarks could be placed between the beginning/ends
of two radial streets converging. Important destinations, landmarks, and places within squares would
have important roads extending from them in all directions, connecting them straight to other important
squares. The spaces formed between these important avenues would then be filled with smaller streets
(grid or otherwise) and less important buildings.
The road layouts of Washington D.C. and Paris are good examples of traditionalist city design. For smaller
cities or towns, squares could be surrounded by individual houses that all look alike. Individual houses
can be used to form other grand architectural compositions, such as circles/plazas with avenues leading
to them.
Note that one may use traditional city design to connect important landmarks/places with roads that
aren’t necessarily straight. New Urbanism uses such a method, where roads are sometimes curved along
the coast (and with adjacent important roads following that curve) as shown in Figure 3. You don’t need
to use classical buildings to use traditional city design planning!
2.3
Green City Design
Green city design, also called Landscape Urbanism, integrates natural landscapes into the designs
for cities. It focuses on adaptation; learning new ways to reorganise the natural environment. This is
important for all cities dealing with climate change (aka, all cities); for example, rising sea levels will
change the way harbour cities function and look. Barriers with locks (holes that allow ships to pass
through) can be used for coastal and riverside cities to protect them from rising sea levels.
One may correct mistakes introduced by industrial cities and by misguided use of elevated highways and
railways, e.g. by converting them into streams and landscape or elevated parks. Highways next to rivers
15
Figure 3: Traditionalist city design in New Urbanism.
could be lowered with the top being landscaped, as another example. Garden cities3 help make shops
and amenities walkable, with big houses further away but the majority of the city walkable and green.
2.4
Systems City Design
A systems city design focuses on structural systems, such as walls, beams, etc. This is a new and more
futuristic design school. Structural system cities could be built with interconnecting escalators, pillars,
glass, and other components (basically like lego, made of components that are all of the same size stacked
and arranged together to build a structure).
3
3.1
Environmental Considerations
Ecological Urbanism
Landscape Urbanism, also known Ecological urbanism, emerged in the 1990s as a response to postmodernist architecture which was retreating back to European models, as well as disasters of industrial
cities, to make them better community-wise. Ecological urbanism aims to synthesise cities and nature,
i.e. synthesise the synthetic and physical interface between buildings, infrastructure, natural ecology, and
culture. It seeks to “activate space and produce urban effects without the weighty apparatus of traditional
space making”.
3
There wasn’t much else discussed on garden cities in the courses I took, so use Google to figure out its pros and cons.
Generally, from my knowledge, not a great idea unless you incorporate bits and pieces of it here and there.
16
3.2
Managing Water: Flooding and Scarcity
The concept of Design With Nature, developed by Ian McHarg, focuses on preserving the natural
environment as much as possible, as it performs important functions for us. Such functions can include
acting as flood barriers, dispersal of air pollutants, and purifying and storing water, among others. The
following areas are listed in order of environmental importance according to this theory, i.e. from least
to most suitable for urban development: surface water, flood plains, marshes, aquifer recharge areas,
aquifers, steep slopes, forests/woodlands, and unforested lands.
Many cities use concrete structures to act as barriers to flooding. Sand dunes (with hardy grasses), however, are more sustainable flood barriers than concrete as concrete erodes over time while sand absorbs
waves. Sand dunes are good for protection from the ocean in coastal areas such as the Netherlands. For
delta regions, however, sand isn’t enough and you’ll need constructed (e.g. concrete) barriers. Marine
barrages such as those seen in Singapore4 can keep sea water out and act as a fresh-water reservoir, while
also acting as attraction with recreational parks as well as districts in new bays.
Adding barriers may not be the only solution to address rising sea levels. Very low-lying and low-density
areas prone to flooding can be relocated onto the water by using floating buildings, for example. The
modern neighbourhood of Ijburg, Netherlands, has this set-up with docks acting as sidewalks. Building
on the water with floating buildings makes a lot of sense since it frees up valuable land for food production,
while some waste can be used5 to feed fish and algae.
Water scarcity is a significant issue already and will only continue to grow in severity. Wetlands can be
constructed to clean polluted water for non-potable purposes like urban agriculture. These wetlands can
also be made into attractive parks by adding boardwalks along it, thus serving two functions at once!
Wetlands also help prevent flooding naturally; not as effective as barriers in very low-lying areas, but still
helpful in many other places.
3.3
Managing Energy Consumption
In 2007, the US breakdown for energy consumption was transport at 29 %, industrial at 39 %, residential
at 21 %, and commercial at 18 %. Energy consumption can be managed by
1. Reducing demand, e.g. reducing travel by implementing energy-efficient urban forms, providing
efficient modes of transport, and locally sourcing things.
2. Improving energy supply, e.g. by adding renewables, reusing waste heat, providing local heating/cooling (such as household geothermal pumps), and developing other new systems to control
and optimise energy.
Green city planning makes people act sustainably without thinking about the environment. For example, Copenhagen has most of its residents biking for convenience and health, as opposed to environmental
4
5
Not really a delta region, I know, but not sure where else to put this.
Not how it works in C:S though, unfortunately!
17
reasons. Making biking as convenient as possible and giving it priority in planning is what makes this
possible. Infrastructure to achieve this may include multiple bike lanes for different speeds, easy stopping
bars and ground lights at intersections, dedicated (not shared) lanes, and direct routes by bike lanes that
aren’t available to cars.
Part of green city planning is making complete streets, which “do all” by serving as many modes of
transport as possible. This is done by having space for pedestrians, bikes, public transit, and motorists.
This encourages people to walk or bike since they have the space to do so. Complete streets are discussed
in-depth in Appendix B. In some European cities, they make sure transit lines are constructed before
further urban development, so that people don’t get into the habit of driving in the first place. A great
place to start creating transit-oriented communities is Appendix A. In general, the more dense a city is,
the less energy is consumed per capita, as most facilities are a walk away and transit is close. However,
simply increasing density by itself doesn’t improve environmental health, as smog-ridden cities such as
Beijing show.
3.4
Green Infrastructure and Urban Agriculture
Urban areas tend to be 5 ∘C warmer than surrounding areas. This is known as the urban heat island
effect. Mitigating heat island effects is important as it reduces the amount of energy spent on cooling
(e.g. air conditioning). One easy way to incorporate green infrastructure is by adding trees on roads
and elsewhere, as they help mitigate urban heat island effects by providing shade. Heat island effects can
also be mitigated by changing the colour and reflectivity of a parking lot, e.g. painting it green, which can
lower its temperatures under the hot sun. In addition, placing solar panels over water filtration plants
provides a cooling effect, which in turn increases the efficiency of solar panel output. Finally, Singapore’s
SuperTrees consist of vertical gardens that provide shade to the ground below, while generating solar
power.
Green roofs are an excellent form of green infrastructure since they absorb grey water, reduce pressure
on sewage, keep buildings cool in the summer by reducing energy consumption by 10 %, mitigate urban
heat island effects due to their green colour, increase biodiversity within the area, and actually increase
the lifespan of roofs by protecting roof membranes from UV rays and temperature fluctuations. They are
also great for serving as local parks or areas for residents to relax, significantly increasing the land available
for the city while greatly improving quality of life. In addition to being pretty, such green spaces help
address stress and improve cognitive and mental health.
Environmental literacy involves teaching children and youth environmental values to promote a resilient city. Contact with nature, the ravine systems, and food gardens provides physical and emotional
benefits. Studies show that nature-play leads to developing a stronger immune systems in children. When
children develop an understanding and appreciation of ecological processes they become citizens who
make more sustainable choices. Provide learning opportunities for children through elements such as
visible stormwater management, using spillways that flow into landscape beds. Explore opportunities to
develop community gardens in open space or food gardens on rooftop amenity space.
18
Urban agriculture is now being recognised for its ability to help improve the self-sustainability of a city,
especially important given growing uncertainties over reliable food supplies. It also mitigates greenhouse
gases by reducing “food miles”, which is the travel needed for food to get to stores. Concerns such as
city land being too valuable for farming are mostly unwarranted, as even areas with limited space such as
Singapore are building full scale urban farms (including vertical farms, which are great for areas with
limited space).6 An example of this is Sky Greens in Singapore, a vertical greenhouse farm which grows
80 tons of vegetables annually. Areas with urban agriculture can also serve as tourist attractions. For
example, an “agrofood tourism” trail can take visitors through farms and shops, acting as a local attraction
while serving agricultural functions.
4
4.1
Preserving Older Cities and Districts
Importance of Historic Preservation
Preserving existing infrastructure, buildings, and old cities in general is usually better than starting from
scratch. Every brick has energy used to go into its creation, and entropy7 renders energy less useful each
time it’s transformed. Once that brick is destroyed, that useful energy is gone and you have to spend
energy to make a new brick. Thus, preserving bricks (or any other material) and the things made up
of these materials, is much more energy efficient and better for the environment. Furthermore, people
grow attached to their local streets and historic buildings, and old districts create a sense of community
and sense of place that can easily be destroyed by demolishing it.
Classifying an area as a historical district doesn’t mean preserve everything the way it is! These arguments
have often been used by wealthy people to keep “the poors” out of their neighbourhoods when space
is becoming a premium. Urban renewal and change is unavoidable, but the way old buildings are repurposed, and the areas in which new buildings blend in with older ones, are what is important. The
character of the neighbourhood should be preserved, and this can be accomplished without turning the
area into a museum.
4.2
Adaptive Re-Use of Old Buildings
Adaptive re-use of buildings helps preserve identity and a sense of place, while making use of the embodied energy of that building. When publicly accessible, adaptive reuse of historical buildings can benefit
the community. Old churches for example can be converted into lofts, book stores, or even nightclubs.
However, residential areas shouldn’t be destroyed/gentrified to make a Disney-land, touristy, fictional
historic space that ruins its true character. This has happened in many working class neighbourhoods,
and it destroys the authentic character that made that location popular in the first place.
A practice met with disdain by many preservationists (and those with good taste), facadism involves
keeping the front (just the façade) of a historical building while demolishing the rest of the building to
6
7
CushyCrux has recently uploaded a cool-looking vertical farm on the Workshop, great for urban areas!
Is it obvious that I’m a physicist yet?
19
build up on top of it. This half-assed attempt at blending old and new basically ruins the integrity and
authenticity of the building. However, an example of where adaptive reuse doesn’t devalue the building’s
authenticity is Hearst Tower in Chicago. Here, an attractive glass tower is built on top of the base of what
was supposed to be a 1930s tower, so since the original intent was to build a tower anyway, the building’s
authenticity has been kept intact.
Good adaptive reuse should preserve at least some of the floors and roof structures, making a more
authentic reminder of the history and purpose than a mere façade. Also, the new layer of construction
should be distinctly recognisable and contemporary, not an imitation of the historic style. While this may
seem somewhat counter-intuitive, this is done so that historic buildings are seen as series of layers that
accrued over time, in which each layer reflects the values of the time in which they were built. By making
clear what is new and what is old, it renders the structure as more honest. For example, the Louvre’s
new pyramid addition (surrounded by the original historic building) is made of clear glass in order to
maintain the integrity of the open courtyard. New layers can enrich the structure, especially when there’s
interesting dialogue between old and new.
4.3
Preserving the Industrial Heritage
Old industrial sites have the potential to turn into museums and even vibrant leisure and cultural parks,
while reminding people of the city’s past. They can also turn into residential or mixed-use areas, by
keeping the exterior structure intact while converting the interior into new architecture like Austria’s
Gasometer City neighbourhood. In general, the afterlife of factories built in a city should be considered,
as the new global market economy means many factories are only temporary structures. Factories could
be designed that way, dismantled when no longer needed; or, through re-purposing, they can be longlasting buildings with a post-industrial future in the city, serving as a reminder of the city’s industrial
heritage.
5
5.1
Integrating and Improving Slums
Background on Informal Settlements
Informal settlements are a consequence of the government failing to to provide land, shelter, infrastructure, and services for the urban poor. Thus, they are forced to squat on unserviced land, frequently on
high-risk sites, steep and unstable land, and floodplains. In time, infrastructure and services are eventually
introduced to the settlements; however, given the area’s limited accessibility, no potable water, lack of
sanitation, and no services like education or health, these areas remain in a submissive condition compared to the formal city. These settlements can be demolished, only to turn up again elsewhere. Thus, the
public sector should work on aspects that individuals can’t address on their own, such as infrastructure,
mobility, accessibility, services, open spaces, income-generating opportunities, food sufficiency, and
environmental challenges.
20
5.2
Rapid Urbanisation and Slums
Medellin in Colombia had slums with limited access, which made it crime-infested. To enhance local
mobility, gondolas (otherwise known as metro cables, a form of cable car) were introduced as public
transit. Open spaces were carved out adjacent to metro cables, accompanied by schools and libraries and
workplaces. Torrents for sewer systems were created to prevent sewage from falling into ravines, with
promenades along these torrents. Homes in flood areas (e.g. flood plains of ravines) were relocated to
other areas that were still nearby so that social ties were maintained. All of this resulted in crime rates
plummeting.
Planning ahead of projected informal settlements (which typically occur around expensive real estate of
the city) can help mitigate the negative effects of slums. This fosters growth in appropriate sites while
keeping areas that should be unoccupied free (due to their environmental importance, for example).
Land should be assembled and spatial requirements of public realm envisioned, defining areas where
communities will self-construct neighbourhoods. Such areas should be determined with appropriate
spatial requirements to help settlements achieve higher socio-economic and environmental conditions,
and keep this land free from unwanted occupation.8
5.3
Retrofitting Infrastructure and Services
As mentioned earlier, many slums are located in haphazard areas, such as hillsides and areas with steep
elevation. Making services accessible to such areas therefore involves working with elevation, not simply
flattening the area and destroying the local community fabric. One great way of accomplishing this is by
having multi-level recreational buildings that have elevators between floors for different level entries to it.
Such buildings can have multiple purposes so that residents don’t have to climb steep stairs and descend
long alleys to get to where they want to go. Other ideas include:
• Making escalators (as opposed to stairs) for easy access to slopes.9 This is especially helpful for
people carrying groceries, disabled people, pregnant women, and the elderly.
• Narrow stairways with piping and electricity running underneath them, saving space.
• Adding libraries to ends of alleys.
• Adding walkways along below-sea-level areas, such as docks along Bangkok’s water markets.
One issue in making slums in C:S is that we can’t have any house that’s not directly adjacent to a road,
while informal settlements are frequently much more narrow and tightly packed. The only solution I can
see to recreate this in C:S is to have wide (and deep), high density, RICO slum buildings that can go
between actual tiny roads while having pathways within them, to solve the “needs road access” problem.
Otherwise, services such as ambulances can’t reach them even though they can walk up stairs IRL, etc.
8
9
Most of this would be done with the public sector and NGOs in developing countries, as governments would build
these already if they could.
C:S doesn’t support escalator functionality, they’d just work as stairs, but you can pretend they’re escalators!
21
5.4
Combating Poverty and Urban Deterioration in the Ghetto
People are poor for a reason, they aren’t just lazy! Furthermore, urban deterioration isn’t random. It
usually stems from a changing economy, the city losing its industry, changing commercial preferences
(people want larger stores), or people moving out causing property vacancies (feedback cycle). Turns
out that hipsters can be useful sometimes, as arts can be used to revitalise communities. Pedestrian areas
can be painted to beautify neighbourhoods, and “junk” can be used to make sculptures, benches, and
spaces for public use. Artists can move in, contribute to the community with their projects, and local
people will like the neighbourhood and speak proudly of it.
To avoid gentrification, a “wish list” can be created to reflect the needs and wants of local residents.
This could include places they don’t want demolished, stores they want kept, improvements to housing
and services etc. This can make sure local “vibe” and residents remain there. Once this is created, the
government can buy areas sought out by land developers to ensure it’s developed in accordance to local
needs. Once they add what locals want, and code for what can be zoned where, then developers can
come in and build what they want.10 To deal with urban growth, high rises can be restricted to areas on
the fringes of the land, so that local character is maintained.
Streets can be shut down and converted into public green spaces, providing locals with services while
preventing through traffic. Minimum spatial requirements for low income housing11 (provided by the
government) ensures a socially healthy mix of incomes in the neighbourhood. Places where different
incomes would come and interact are essential; otherwise, further marginalisation of the poor occurs and
they will not be affected by whatever positive changes you think you’re bringing to the neighbourhood.
In fact, you don’t even need to demolish shitty looking houses to completely change the flair of the
neighbourhood! Remove some of the road and turn it into public gardens/shrubs (Congo St in Dallas
by bcWorkshop is a great example of this, look them up in Google Images), and renovate houses to add
modern flair (for example, wood panels on the sides of shotgun houses). This involves talking with local
residents12 and seeing what needs to be improved in their homes. One way of reducing crime in ghetto
neighbourhood is by adding local community gardens on streets themselves. This reuse of street space
reduces the amount of physical space gangs can use to mark their turf, reducing street crime and thus
making streets safer while providing food for local residents, as well as a meaningful recreational pastime.13
Design may not be able to eliminate poverty, but it can make a difference! It can help in economic
development, especially if the strategy is to attract tourism and other industries that are sensitive to
the quality of the place. It can help in assembly and reuse of lands, needed by expanding institutions
10
11
12
13
In C:S, this would basically translate into you not demolishing important buildings and retaining the local character
that you created, no matter how much better it might look with a new fancy building from the workshop.
In C:S, that could translate into Level 1 housing, possibly added to an existing building via sub-buildings or simply
via MoveIt!
Go ahead, talk to your cims, that’s totally normal behaviour!
In C:S, you can add 1x1 small farms if you actually want food, or you can just add some agriculture props such as
vegetable rows from the workshop. These don’t have to be too wide/deep, as you still want walking space on the
sidewalks.
22
and businesses, and provide employment opportunities. It can help ensure development targets local
unemployed residents, to ensure openings fit them. It can use abandoned lands as places for urban
agriculture or recreation. In C:S, don’t just demolish neighbourhoods and remake them with fancy
new subdivisions — you’d be destroying communities IRL! Instead, find ways to make local lives better
within the neighbourhood without displacing the poor and marginalising them further. Make it a home
for everyone, including the poor.
6
Community, Neighbourhoods, and Human Interaction
To successfully plan a city, one must understand the views of its users — their lifestyles, practices, and
appropriation of different spaces.
6.1
Transformation of Urban Lifestyles
Lifestyle is defined as a composition in time and space of daily activities and experiences that give
meaning to the life of a person. It has three (3) dimensions — functional, sensitive, and social.
1. Functional: What makes every day practical. This includes the infrastructure, services, and
accessibility available by various means of transport. Everyone has transport mode preferences
and each is characterised by an anchor in daily activities related to proximity.
2. Sensitive: What promotes well-being. This includes the morphology of the built environment
such as green spaces, quality of facilities, density, new versus old, and aesthetics. Each person feels
good in certain environments and has their preferences.
3. Social: What promotes social relations. This includes public space types, accessibility, presence
of facilities and intermediate spaces, and the possibility to articulate public/private division. We
all design specific relations to each other and of the social anchor. Community life, neighbourly
friendliness, reputation, etc., are all dimensions that refer to the social quality of a space and for
which each has specific expectations.
What has changed over the last forty years, in relation to these three dimensions, is that there is a
diversification of models of aspiration. Prior to this, people had more similar goals. Now, there exists no
singular quality of life, but rather qualities of life. One income can support several different lifestyles and
allow the recipient to live in different neighbourhoods. Thus, since lifestyles are so diversified, we can’t
identify them simply using classic variables such as income, education, and household composition.
6.2
Residential Mobility and Housing Choices
Residential mobility (where people choose to live), like lifestyle, is dependent on three (3) logics —
Rational, Social, and Sensitive.
1. Rational: Metric and economic factors. For example, the household determines where it can live
based on income, family size, and the house’s distance from work/amenities.
23
2. Social: Once the rational factors filter out inapplicable houses, the remaining choices are prioritised based on what values a person has. For example, it may be important for the household to
live near other family members, or have a big house for social status. People want to live in a place
that resembles us and our background (cultural or otherwise).
3. Sensitive: When deciding between two homes that align best with their social values, the household finally chooses a home based on sensitive factors such as lighting, smell, and the overall
wellness we feel in the neighbourhood.
As discussed in the previous section, one’s lifestyle can be the same even as they gain income, and one
can have a different lifestyle from someone else with the same income. Thus, lifestyle (as opposed to
income) is decisive to explain choice of residential location. Do people want to live individualistic lives
and not have to engage with neighbours every day, as in individual suburban houses? Or do they value
community and want neighbour engagement, as in small apartments?
Lifestyles can be grouped into two main categories, with corresponding residential preferences: Classic
and Contemporary.
• Classic: Lifestyles including residential aspirations similar to traditional values, regardless of
household income. These prefer quiet residential environments, typically mono-functional with
beautiful visual clearances on a human scale. Ideally within a neighbourhood that promotes
security, being between oneself, and promoting a certain social status. Tends to prefer private
individual transport over public transit. Ideal residence: single family (e.g. suburban) house that
is newly built.
• Contemporary: Less traditional lifestyles, more often led by dual-income households. Such
lifestyles advocate social diversity, living together, lighter modes of transport, public transit, active
cultural life, and ecological values. Prefer active residential environments that are intensive, mixed,
dense, urban, and where cultural and artistic activity is high. Ideal residence: apartment in old
building (loft) or in modern building.
As discussed above, different lifestyles tend to live in different areas. However, even one single building
block can host different lifestyles by having different building layouts (and adjacent alley/park layouts).
Some buildings within that block can have more alleys and laundry rooms where people can meet
(contemporary), while others can have parking next to the house for less interaction with neighbours
(classic). Having a mixture of lifestyles in one area can be beneficial as such shared spaces are critical to
de-stereotyping; when we face diverse people, we are challenged by our assumptions.
One universally desired trait across all lifestyles is serenity. All households regardless of type want
proximity to peace, nature, and green space. Homes geared for classic lifestyles can have individual yards,
while their contemporary counterparts can have a shared community garden serve as a common yard.
Each city (area) has different geographies and densities, so planning new neighbourhoods in a particular
area should take this into account. For example, Bern has its neighbourhoods close to the city centre and
in short reach with public transit, whereas Lausanne is more spread out and doesn’t have much public
24
transit between neighbourhoods. Much of this is due to constraints from local geography, and also the
history of the city. Thus, each territory (Lausanne or Bern) will attract a different target audience, living
different lifestyles.
6.3
Spatial Patterns that Promote Personal Communication
The overall city should be a space where everyone can feel at home somewhere. This doesn’t necessarily
more neighbourhoods; there may be too many already and not enough centres where they converge.
Pedestrian and social areas can interest people from all backgrounds. The centre of city shouldn’t be a
shopping mall competing with other malls, but rather a living space shared by inhabitants, commuters,
tourists, etc.
People value personal contact and crave human interaction even with technology — in fact, technology
just makes it easier for human interaction. It serves as a tool for people with common interests to gather
in groups (preferably in areas with wifi, of course). People aren’t isolated by technology as often thought.
What is needed, however, is to create spaces that promote personal contact.
If one’s “first place” is home and one’s “second place” is work, then one’s “third place” are places like
cafés, book stores, hair salons, bars, and other centres where the community congregates and hangs out.
A successful “third place” should have the following elements:
• Stand on neutral ground, and not deter from one group or another.
• Be accessible by all.
• Function as a leveller so that all are equal.
• Provide the ability for conversation to be the main activity.
• Be a home away from home, much like how a library serves as a second home for some people.
• Allow easy entry and not require major commitment to use them; for example, allow pedestrians
to walk through it, or attach it to pathways many people travel.
• Contain distractions; e.g. waterfalls which serve as a distraction from street noise while also
functioning as a conversation piece.
• Provide the ability for groups to use it for different activities, such as dance groups, exercise groups,
basketball, etc.
The idea of a third place is to function as a space where informal groups conduct activities that people
can watch, join in, or move on. Such a space needs a connecting piece for people to walk through and see
and sample all of the activities. However, the area must be made so that formal groups don’t take over.
This can be done by, e.g., making only a half-court basketball court instead of a full court, not building a
soccer field or baseball diamond (no matter how much formal groups may ask), etc. This way, the space
is kept open for all whenever not used by specific formal groups.
25
6.4
Mixing Home, Work, Culture and Recreation
Mixed-use buildings can function as places to shop, work, play, and live. They don’t need to be tall either!
A hodgepodge of small buildings (ranging from 3 to no more than 15 stories) with mixed-use functions
can work well like this. Culture is in fact created by these mixed-use spaces. These areas prevent forming
streets that look unsafe at night because they’re dead, as mixed-use areas tend to be active 24/7. In
general, they make places safer since there are eyes on the street all the time.
Well-lit buildings can further help create the vision of a safe space at night, even when not in use (e.g.
make a public library well-lit). Another benefit of having mixed-use areas is that parking can be used at
all times of day, making land use more efficient. Well designed outdoor spaces can ensure mixed-use
environments are lively even in cold climates. Roofs above shops can function as parks for local residents,
as discussed in subsection 3.4.
6.5
Walkable Neighbourhoods
Walkability is typically defined as the ability to walk (or take transit, depending on the definition) to
weekly needs like shopping, school, etc. within 20 minutes. Most people walk for 10 minutes before
deciding on another mode of transport, e.g. car or public transit. Grid street patterns allow far more
walkability than winding and circuitous streets; one can traverse a much further distance in 10 minutes
walking in a grid than long, uninterrupted curving streets without shortcuts. Aside from walking distance,
factors such as density, modest setbacks for houses, shade (from trees), and well-maintained sidewalks
with visual interests every 200 m or so all contribute to walkability.
However, the most important factor is having a walkable commercial centre within easy range of one’s
home. Old frontages may be difficult to adapt to modern supermarkets, so redevelop large vacant areas
(e.g. at the end of a street) to form a modern shopping centre. For example, a local neighbourhood can
have large stores on its north end, residential and low-commercial (for everyday needs) on its south
end, and offices/entertainment in between. As traditional sprawling shopping centres become obsolete
(which they are nowadays), you can retrofit these places to become walkable. Arterial streets can become
more pedestrian friendly boulevards, with new infield development added in front of them. People can
live above the shops with higher density development, streets become more pedestrian and bike friendly,
and the local population grows.
7
7.1
Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighbourhoods
Urban Form of New Places
Most urban development is small scale, e.g. a project on a single lot, a block that’s redeveloped, a subdivision created, etc. Over time, these pieces add up to become a city, and it’s the designer’s role to ensure it’s
the kind of city we want. One way to think about urban design is that it involves thinking in the next
larger context. For example, when designing a house you’re actually designing part of a street, when
designing a street you’re designing a part of a neighbourhood, when designing a neighbourhood you’re
26
producing a unique district of the city, etc. This line of thought prevents you from thinking that every
new piece of the city needs to be self-contained and turned inward, and also reminds you that every
project is part of a larger ecology.
Green spaces naturally maintained by rainfall in a site can form an armature (frame) for a larger density
development. Terraced houses can be built on hills, with valleys filled with green parks and cultural/recreational areas. To ensure everyone has a view of the valley, high buildings can be restricted to forming
only on hill-tops. A good example of this arrangement is in Modi’in, Israel.
Making sure that smaller buildings are in front of taller ones on streets makes pedestrians only aware of
the small buildings as that’s all they see, even though tall towers are there too. Vancouverism insists that
streets shouldn’t have blank façades and tall towers shouldnt block views of other buildings. Continuous
front doors along residential streets are encouraged even if tall buildings tower over them; in this arrangement, town houses are at the base with apartments above and set back. On busier streets, continuous
shopfronts aren’t to be broken by driveways or apartment lobbies.
Milton Keynes is a nice example of a new city in that despite being a grid layout, each square is very
uniquely laid out and through traffic in each square is discouraged. Pedestrian paths connect everything.
However, precisely because it’s so spread out, it makes car owning a necessity and makes it difficult to
provide transit services to all areas.
7.2
The Public Realm
Public spaces that are shared are critical to de-stereotyping, as when we face diverse people we are
challenged by our assumptions. Places such as theatres and stadiums are semi-public spaces — one must
pay a fee to get in. Parks are fully public, as anyone can access them at any time.
Squares and streets should stop being prioritised as places to get from A to B quickly, but rather to places
where we can stay with our kids and talk to others. Boulevards can ideally be re-atriculated to nearby
neighbourhoods. Pedestrian and semi-pedestrian areas allow residents of different income backgrounds
to share the same space/areas, gives environmental benefits, and is aesthetically pleasing. Visual beauty
with function is important as cities compete with other cities for business/growth.
Note that the consistency of the public realm makes any variations in buildings along the street seem less
important. Trees arching over sidewalks that are generous in space and offer rest areas, and interesting
shopfronts, are all more interesting for pedestrian than architecture above.
8
Airport–City Connection
This section discusses different approaches to integrating airports into your cities.
27
Figure 4: Airfront Model.
Figure 5: Decoplex Model.
8.1
Airfront Model
As shown in Figure 4, the Airfront Model involves locating the airport within the periphery of the city,
with a small business district located between the airport and the city. The district would be based on
commercial and industrial activity related to transport. Development of such a district would create jobs
and thus have a positive social impact, and would involve minimal land use as it develops on the basis of
existing economic activities that it will strengthen.
8.2
Decoplex Model
Like the Airfront Model, the Decoplex Model involves locating the airport away from the city. However,
as shown in Figure 5, a small linear industrial complex would be located by the airport. This development
would focus on airport activity, e.g. transporting people and goods, aviation operations and maintenance,
etc. Such a model develops a kind of aeropole which no longer focuses solely on transport but also
contains a series of satellite activities, and would therefore involve minimal land use. This model has very
little social and socio-economic impact, as these are often activities linked to offshore groups.
28
Figure 6: Airport City Model.
Figure 7: Airport Corridor Model.
8.3
Airport City Model
As shown in Figure 6, the Airport City Model is, in a way, an extension of the Decoplex Model. Activity
surrounding the airport is no longer exclusively linked to aviation, and may also include economic parks,
leisure parks, banks, sports centres, etc. At the spatial level, this model stretches around the airport, but
remains compact and dense. However, there is a break in social dynamics because the airport competes
with the city. It contains all the services and facilities that are normally found in the city. Sometimes
there is even a residential component, which often develops competitively, compared to what is done in
the city. In terms of governance, the airport itself plans and develops the territory.
8.4
Airport Corridor Model
Unlike the Airport City Model, the Airport Corridor Model attempts to integrate and transition between
the airport and city, as shown in Figure 7. The connection between the city and the airport is no longer a
simple linear infrastructure, but an urban development, made up of several activities and functions. It’s
an attempt at coordination between the airport, the city and the region, for the overall growth of the
region. This model corresponds to the current dynamics between the city of Amsterdam and its airport.
29
Figure 8: AIREA Model.
8.5
AIREA Model
Like the Airport Corridor Model, the AIREA Model attempts to promote regional growth by balancing
forces of the city and those of the airport. The AIREA Model proposes the development of several
economic, specialised nodes, which are connected between themselves on the one hand, and with
the airport and city on the other hand. This is better visualised in Figure 8. This model is a spatially
polycentric system as it applies modern zoning principles, where the mobility and availability of transport
infrastructures are the basic conditions for its operation. Public authorities are heavily involved in
planning and development, ensuring both international economic and local social needs are met. This
model was created to avoid the development of airport megacities common in the U.S., which will be
discussed in the next subsection. The AIREA Model corresponds to the current dynamics between the
city of Berlin and its Brandenburg airport.
8.6
Aerotropolis Model
The U.S. airport megacity model, called the Aerotropolis Model, involves the airport becoming the
centre of a new city as shown in Figure 9. The former city itself becomes an “old town” and merely a
district of this new city. The remainder of the new city is organised according to specialised zoning and
without much mixing. This model consumes a lot of land, due to its spreading and low density. It’s based
solely on economic development as the main driver. The aspects of quality of life, heritage, or other,
are relegated to the background. This type of model poses a series of problems in terms of governance,
as it encompasses different administrative jurisdictions, a diversity of actors, as well as areas that have
developed spontaneously. It implies a complexity of coordination for the overall territorial development.
9
Public Transit
This section discusses the theory behind public transit. To jump right into actual concrete guidelines, go
to Appendix A.
30
Figure 9: Aerotropolis Model.
9.1
Catch-Bin Area
Immediately around a transit stop, there are three (3) main “catch bin” or catchment areas:
• Core Area = 400 m radius (5 min walk).
• Primary Area = 800 m radius (10 min walk).
• Secondary Area = 1200 m radius (15 min walk).
In considering where people live in relation to transit, Primary and Secondary Areas are as important as
Core Areas. However, physical and geographical barriers can limit these ideally circular catchment areas,
meaning these may not be good locations for transit stations.
If stops are close together, Core Areas can become a continuous corridor of development. At the
intersection of two major transit systems (e.g. two lines sharing the same stop), the Core Area radius may
be doubled. At each node (stop), the general land distribution should ideally be as follows: Streets and
Open Space occupying ⅓ of the area, Office and Retail and Civic Uses occupying another ⅓ of the area,
and Residential Uses occupying the final ⅓. Thus, there would be only a modest increase in density.
9.2
Understanding Modal Practices
The means of transport used is a central indicator of lifestyles (see subsection 6.1) and of their diversity.
Means of transport are a way to introduce ourselves, a way to build one’s relationship to time and to space.
Thus, when planning transport, we must consider lifestyles and their different needs (and where these
31
needs are located, e.g. what lifestyle(s) lives where, where they converge, etc). One person can use different means of transport (including walking) to accomplish different things and go to different places even
just in one city/neighbourhood. Usage of certain transport modes (rather than others) fundamentally
refers to ways of living and organising one’s daily life and not just simply choices of transport modes.
In many cases, transport modes need to be legitimised. For example, cycling may be seen by others as
something only poor people do, so new people need to feel comfortable and not feel like they’re in the
margins of society for cycling (or for using a new transport mode in general). These new transport modes
must be legitimised by the population at large before some people adopt it.
There are three (3) logics of action that cause different modal (transport mode) choices: Instrumental
(choose fastest, cheapest, or combo of both), Personal Preference, and Habit. Even if one mode is
cheaper or faster than another, some (many) people may still not choose it! Thus, one can’t assume
people will use a particular mode for instrumental reasons alone. People may associate public transit
with being slow, crowded, and/or constrained (not as independent as driving a car). So even if it’s faster
and cheaper, personal preference may still prevent them from taking transit. Also, some people simply
don’t plan on changing from car to transit (habit) because they’re so used to driving that even when
they’re comparable they just use the car anyway.
To account for the segmentation of these three logics of action, we have a typology made up of eight (8)
specific provisions on the use of transport mode. This typology is made of three (3) dimensions:
1. Size of patterns that differentiate individuals using several modes vs. those using only one.
• Only use car to move daily and hate other transport modes
• Only use car to move daily but don’t hate other transport modes
• Use other transport modes and don’t use car
2. Values that differentiate people who have a vision of transport modes according to their individual
interest or according to common interest.
• Multimodal comparators; people who are highly sensitive to mode prices and times (rational)
• Civic environmentalists; people who avoid polluting modes as much as possible (emotional)
3. Attitudes that distinguish people according to their preferences of transport mode.
• Motorists forced to use public transit (due to constraints like parking, traffic) but prefer car
whenever they can.
• People susceptible to alternative modes; prefer non-car but forced to use car sometimes.
• People afraid of any motorised transport and avoid whenever possible.
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Figure 10: Barbeque Effect and its relationship with increased energy consumption for transport in dense
areas.
9.3
The Barbeque Effect
In Switzerland, 37 % of trips are for leisure (e.g. going to a park) as opposed to only 23 % of trips for work
and 22 % for shopping. Leisure transport is also frequently made with higher energy consumption modes
of transport, e.g. car and plane. People in urban areas actually travel more frequently for leisure than
suburbanites. This is because suburbanites already have many places nearby to spend their free time, e.g.
gardens and forests, whereas urbanites need to compensate for lack of nature in everyday environment
by travelling to it. This is called the Barbeque Effect — everyone goes out of the city to BBQ since you
can’t in city.14
Taking leisure transport into account, the normal curve of “less dense = more energy consumption for
transport” actually becomes false — the more dense you are, the more energy is consumed for transport,
as shown in Figure 10. However, while some of these movements are compensatory for lack of green
space in urban areas (and can thus be “fixed” or addressed), other movements are simply to explore other
urban areas (e.g. travel from Toronto to Ottawa by plane). Thus, the graph shown in Figure 10 may be
called into question as it doesn’t address this point. Furthermore, improved connectivity between the
city and the green spaces outside the city (e.g. train, bus, or shorter distances) can address this increased
use of transport.
Can we really build cities that compensate for the BBQ effect? What would that look like, having virtues
of both density and green space? And to what extent can we reduce leisure travel, since e.g. people go on
trips on holidays (travel is what holidays are associated with) regardless of what is around their residential
area? This is still an area being explored and these questions are still being investigated.
14
Yeah, I don’t get it either.
33
9.4
Seductive Engineering
In a system where many choices exist, for a technical solution that is introduced to be successful, it must
be attractive. It must resonate with what people want to do, their aspirations, and their constraints. In
Geneva, they had trams with multiple lines sometimes sharing one road. You could be at one stop and
take trams in multiple directions, thus avoiding having to change tram lines in the city centre since direct
paths (to destinations) throughout the city were multiplied. However, transit authorities removed some
of these multiple lines or “duplicates” to simplify the network, so that instead of one stop having 2/3
lines they’d only have 1. These lines are faster and have more trams (increased frequency). However,
ridership dropped as people hated the fact that they had to change tram lines when before it was direct!
The users in this case sought direct routes, as downtown public spaces are traffic congested so it’s unpleasant to change lines. Thus, even if there were improvements in speed and frequency, the old network
was still considered better by users! Therefore, if we want to make a network to expand use of transport,
we have to consider the sensitivity of the population. For new riders, it must attract/seduce their expectations and in this case their expectations weren’t to go faster but to go direct.
Engineering with seduction means engineering keeping in mind public expectations and desires, not
just efficiency or technology! If it’s very efficient but poorly received by consumers, it’s a bad engineering
design!
9.5
Territories, Networks, and Forms of Urbanisation: A Note on Trams
Trams have become more popular not only for promoting use of public transit, but also for reclassifying
urban centres to make them more attractive to frequent as well as live in. Tram networks allow for a
growing number of users. They offer smooth rides (that allow you to do work on it when seated), contain
nice paths to stops, and allow for easier memorisation of the tram route due to its materialisation in the
public space via its rails.
Real estate around tramways increases in value and people want to live near them. However, trams
don’t imply significantly increased transit usage in all cases. Speed, destinations served, and frequency
are obvious factors that should be addressed. However, other factors to consider for trams include
crowdedness; if there aren’t any seats available, then its attractiveness for a smooth ride and ability to
do work on it goes down. In addition, a lack of unity with other transit modes is also problematic; if it
has, for example, a different frequency than bus/metro, it would then not be in sync with the rest of the
system and therefore people may simply continue using the bus/metro (and then maybe transfer to tram
if needed) which would leave ridership the same as before.
9.6
Transit Adherence
One of the biggest hurdles to using new transport modes is the last mile. Let’s say your house or office
is 500 m away from the metro stop. A dedicated bike lane or pedestrian path between the metro stop
and your house can make all the difference to whether you use public transit or not! These aren’t replacements for transit, but rather complement and enhance it. If pedestrian pathways to bus stops are poor,
34
or the route isn’t direct and is convoluted to take, then the adherence (effectiveness) of that bus line is
diminished and people no longer view that transport mode as an anchor despite the number of stops it has.
Cities are dynamic and not static. They grow and flux. Therefore, transport systems (and cities in general)
should be built with the flexibility to change, add, and delete transit lines/modes when necessary; allow
new projects to serve new players or new needs to graft to its own dynamics; and allow additional
inter-modal nodes to be created as well as new centres and new developments.
9.7
Public Space Fragmentation: Resident Needs Vs. Visitor Wants
While tourism and visitors (including commuters) make a city thrive, a city cannot be attractive without
local satisfaction. Thus, local needs must be prioritised ahead of tourist needs, and transit/roads should
be built for the benefit of the city as a whole. For example, making a train run through the centre of a city
for the benefit of tourists and commuters visiting the city may result in the detriment of the adjacent
areas and locals leaving, killing the life of that area.
A lot of times, things that are interesting for tourists and visitors like historical sites, landmarks, etc., aren’t
really that interesting to actual locals who live there. For them, where they live is much more interesting
and worthy of consideration/note. For example, how many people in Toronto care about the CN Tower
versus visiting Queen Street? Tourist attractions dont mean or imply that locals will visit or accept it as
important! Their needs must be met too in their own neighbourhoods.
Metro, monorail, and train routes right in the middle of the road that create physical barriers can fragment
cities and neighbourhoods. Crossings should be added to help maintain flow across streets if such massive
and divisive structures are unavoidable. Pedestrian walking time between transit stop and destination
must be accounted for in addition to the actual transit travel time.
Placing public squares and plazas next to “out of the way” bus lanes can help increase their use and attractiveness, but local desires around transport use must be taken into account as well. Public space projects
can help sew neighbourhoods together, but this shouldn’t be limited to crosswalks and connectivity
projects. Rather, it should include the activities and functions which are offered around these spaces
(live, work, play), so these spaces should be placed strategically through functional diversity by favoring
short trips.
10
Building Design Principles
The guiding principles here place the highest importance on how a building — or site (e.g. collection of
buildings) — influences the character and quality of the public realm and pedestrian environment. The
guideline structure for each building type is organised by the following guiding principles. These are
applied in different ways for different building types, as outlined in the guidelines in the appendices.
The following principles apply for all sites and all building types. Follow these principles for all sites
and buildings, and then look to the specific sections for institutional, neighbourhood retail plaza, tall,
35
mid-rise, townhouse/low-rise, and single residential buildings for additional guidelines that must also
be followed.
10.1
Frame the Public Realm
Position and design buildings to define and enhance the public realm, particularly as experienced
by pedestrians. In an urban setting, the building’s primary design role is to contribute to the street
wall and frame the public realm. That portion of the public realm might include parks, squares, or
streets. A continuous street wall helps frame the street as a public open space, and encourages pedestrian
activity. This is particularly important on streets with at-grade retail uses, which must directly engage
with pedestrians. Small pocket parks or squares can especially benefit from a firm sense of enclosure,
with building edges on one, two, or three sides. Such enclosure provides a desirable sense of completion
or finiteness, and prevents public spaces from getting lost in larger, less defined surroundings.
10.2
Ground Floor-to-Street Relationship
Activate the street by incorporating the most public and active uses within the ground floor. At
the ground level, the design and scale of building façades and sidewalks should enhance the pedestrian
experience by being visually interesting, active, and comfortable. Buildings should have continuous
frontages of grade-related uses with direct access from public sidewalks. In a lively mixed-use urban
setting, retail, commercial, and community uses are encouraged at street level with a high level of visual
transparency and permeability, with many windows and clearly marked entrances. These active uses
must be visible from the street to the pedestrian and motorists alike. Where retail isn’t possible or not
permitted, consider live/work units at grade. In residential areas, having the front doors accessible from
the sidewalk will provide a public-private interface, animate the street, and provide a higher sense of
security and ownership.
Where appropriate, upgrade and maintain the rear of centre/corridor building façades in much the
same way as street façades, particularly when an opportunity exists to create active retail spaces such
as back-of-lot cafés. Treat the rear or sides of sites with a positive edge such as a laneway, a walkway,
substantial landscaping, or setbacks. Provide lanes at the rear of sites to transition between different land
uses and to avoid a back-to-back condition, as shown in Figure 11.
10.3
Sense of Entry
Provide visible and easily accessible pedestrian entrances from the public sidewalk. Primary entrances should face the public street, be easily accessible from the public sidewalk, and provide legible
connections between the public realm and interior circulation spaces. Both drivers and pedestrians
should easily recognise an entrance from the street. They should be prominent, highly visible, and of an
appropriate scale to their function and frequency of use. Entrances are an ideal location to incorporate
and integrate public/private uses with the building. Typically, the most vibrant and interesting streets
are lined with active, street-related uses accessed by a series of entrances from the public sidewalk.
36
Figure 11: A continuous rear lane helps transition between the rear lots fronting onto the arterial street,
and the side lots of the buildings on the local street.
10.4
Integrate Urban Open Space
Projects shall include urban open space wherever possible as part of a larger functional and animated pedestrian environment, and exhibit a positive sense of place, not to simply serve as the
setting for a building. A wide range of uses and amenities in publicly accessible urban open spaces can
complement more intense building forms that will result from redevelopment to help create a more
liveable city. Landscape spaces between buildings not occupied by driveways or pedestrian connections
to create usable open space. New public parks, rooftop gardens, green roofs, promenades, streetscape
improvements and urban squares, courtyards, mews, and semi-private front yards should be combined
to form a coherent pedestrian- and bicycle-oriented urban open space system. Where private courtyards
and outdoor spaces are visible from the public realm, consider the pedestrian experience and views.
These spaces should enhance, and not detract from, the pedestrian experience of the public realm. Avoid
plantings of monocultures as they invite potential problems of significant plant losses due to disease,
insect, and/or fungal problems.
10.5
Light, View, Skyline, and Privacy
The massing of buildings shall contribute to an interesting and varied skyline, and maintain an
adequate view of the sky from ground level. Building height should reflect the importance of each
street and respect surrounding context. However, the height of mid-rise and tall buildings is only one of
the dimensions that influence the ground level perception of their mass and bulk. Basic design standards
are required to control the spacing and proportion (width relative to height) of buildings in order to
maintain the ‘sky view’. Buildings above the mid-rise or podium height should be designed as towers,
and articulated in a manner to reduce their perceived bulk and improve their contribution to the skyline.
Avoid placing equipment, vents, fans, and other utility equipment on elevations facing a street. Screen
rooftop mechanical units and satellites, or incorporate into the overall building design to minimise their
visual impact.
New developments may enhance, or impede, views of heritage sites and landmarks, as shown in Figure 12.
To lower the apparent height of a tall building, tree species that will grow tall can be effective in reducing
37
Figure 12: Height and built form along a streetscape can visually impede a vista (top left), or enhance a
vista (top right). Similarly, new streets and built form can be used to reinforce existing views or create
new views to existing landmarks (bottom).
38
Figure 13: The houses in this diagram have varied setbacks along an arc which creates a varied and more
interesting streetscape.
Figure 14: The tall building steps back to protect an important view from the public realm.
the apparent or perceived height of the building at grade. In areas with varied front setbacks, design
building setbacks to act as a transition between adjacent buildings and to unify the overall streetscape, as
shown in Figure 13. Respect the existing general pattern of side spacing.
10.6
Prominent Sites
Provide special architectural treatments for buildings on corners and in other prominent locations through the use of taller elements, projections or façade treatment. A prominent site may
include a street or view corridor terminus, a major intersection or high-order transit node, views of key
public open areas or natural features, and city landmarks. A prominent site may not necessarily be a
particular building (like in Figure 14), but may also be a general space, as shown in Figure 15.
Buildings located on corner lots or other prominent sites present an excellent opportunity to highlight
their unique location. Position buildings toward key intersections to emphasise the pedestrian realm at
corners. Design strategies include articulated corners, projecting and receding balconies, and accentuating features at various scales. The primary entrance to buildings on corner lots should be located at
the corner, with architectural features such as double height lobbies, special rooflines, or other building
elements like porches or turrets. Provide significant architectural or landscape features at the corners
of sites or intersections to make them stand out from the building pattern along the rest of the block.
Maximise the landmark opportunities of particularly prominent corners such as at the intersection of
39
(a) A prominent site at a view termi- (b) Prominent sites framing an im- (c) A prominent site at a unique lonus.
portant public open space.
cation in the City structure.
Figure 15: Different examples of prominent sites that aren’t landmark based.
two arterial streets, at a significant bend in a street, or at the terminus of a long view. Public spaces at
prominent points may also highlight building and site significance, and contribute to an active public
realm.
10.7
Scale Transition
The interface between redevelopment sites and neighbourhoods shall respect the character of
the neighbourhood and minimise adverse impact by creating a comfortable built form transition.
Larger buildings should relate to their surrounding context, with a sensitive and graceful transition in
scale to adjacent uses, especially to existing low-rise and mid-rise residential buildings, historic structures,
and public spaces. The tallest buildings should be located the furthest away from the adjacent uses, with
all mid-rise and tall buildings subject to height limits and angular plane controls that may differ with
context and geography.
Design sites to minimise impact on existing site grades through creative building and design solutions
such as stepped building foundations (floors), alternative building footprint(s), and terracing. Where
possible, match grades to surrounding properties and to street grade. Use natural grades across site,
and avoid retaining walls. If absolutely necessary as the natural grade can’t be respected, provide an
integrated retaining wall system that creates a natural transition in grade across the site and contributes
to an attractive streetscape. Retaining walls must be located entirely on private property.
10.8
Façade Treatment
Design visually permeable, well-constructed building façades of durable materials with a wellconsidered architectural rhythm and colour palette. As a general principle, new developments should
have an exemplar architecture that is of ‘its time and place’. The building façade is composed of many
elements that will ultimately give the building its look and feel. It’s with the façade that a building can
truly begin to express individuality and achieve design excellence. The designer may use many tools —
material, colour, articulation, fenestration, projections — to achieve their objectives.
40
The scale, articulation, rhythm, proportion, pattern, colour, texture, and materials of buildings must be
complimentary to nearby buildings, existing and new. Avoid large expanses of blank side wall. Where feasible, cluster utility areas together or incorporate them within streetscape furniture in order to minimise
their visual impact. Exterior lighting should be used to highlight façade detailing and indicate primary
entrances at night.
One of the key goals to intensification and redevelopment should be to achieve superb building architecture that improves the public realm. Avoid buildings with a pastiche of architectural styles and
details, as they don’t help create a coherent identity for the development and by extension, the city. New
developments should respect and fit within their context and improve their overall setting by enhancing
the pedestrian realm.
10.9
Building Projections
Integrate projections such as canopies, private balconies, porches, outdoor terraces and bay windows into the overall form and design of the buildings. Projections add visual variety and interest to
the building façade, and enhance the inside-to-outside connection. Projections such as bay windows,
balconies, canopies, awnings, porches, and sunshades provide weather protection for both the pedestrian
and the building. Entrance canopies provide cover from sun, snow, or rain. Awnings provide similar
protective cover for the retail activity at ground level.
Well-designed projections can provide an additional layer of detail and individuality to a building, and
enrich the pedestrian environment. These elements add visual interest to the front façade, enhance the
prominence of the entrances, and provide transition in scale from the sidewalk to the main wall of the
building. These elements also often help new developments fit better within the existing neighbourhood
context. Incorporate site features that create a comfortable transition between different uses.
10.10
Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation
Minimise the impact of vehicular circulation and access routes to parking and servicing on the
pedestrian realm. With intensification and redevelopment comes the opportunity to reconsider the
role of the private vehicle and the space it consumes. New development must balance the need for
vehicle parking with the requirements of an active urban environment. Prioritise pedestrian and cyclist
circulation and connectivity with adjacent sites. Surface parking should be minimised, and the design
of parking and service areas should be considered secondary to the primary site and building features.
Parking and service areas visible from adjacent streets, or that back onto residential properties, should be
screened with walls, fences, trees/bushes, and landscaping. Landscape buffers should have a minimum
dimension of 3 m, and incorporate materials that need little or no maintenance (e.g., groundcovers instead
of monocultural grass). Provide just enough lighting to ensure safety and security. Break down the scale
of larger parking lots with planting islands that may provide additional opportunities for stormwater
management (see Appendix L for more details).
41
10.10.1
Pedestrian Connections
Provide pedestrian walkways between building blocks/sites, through parking lots, and through covered
building arcades. Pedestrian connections should be continuous, barrier-free, and lead directly to destinations. Entry locations to pedestrian walkways should be easy to find, clearly visible, safe, and have
direct connections to the public sidewalk. Use distinctive pavement or markings (e.g., painted patterns)
to provide visual identification of pedestrian routes. Provide pedestrian-scaled lighting, benches, trees or
other landscaping, and planters along pedestrian connections to enhance visibility and security. Provide
clear sightlines allowing view from one end of the walkway to the other. Where a transit stop is located
within walking distance of an important site, provide a direct pedestrian connection between the transit
stop and the building’s main entrance. Where appropriate, orient active uses such as retail stores or cafés
to front onto pedestrian connections to provide an active pedestrian realm.
10.10.2
Service and Loading Areas
Locate and design/landscape waste and loading areas so that they aren’t visible from the public street.
Ideally, use the building mass or other architectural elements to visually screen undesirable site elements
from the street or enclose them within buildings on the site. When this isn’t possible, screen loading,
servicing, and utilities with low walls or fences and extensive landscaping (e.g., plant materials, berms).
Screening and enclosure of such areas should be done using materials that minimise visibility (e.g., no
chain-link fencing), similar materials as the primary building, and that maintain appropriate sightlines.
Pave loading and servicing areas with an impervious surface of asphalt or concrete to minimise the
potential for infiltration of harmful materials.
10.10.3
Parking
Where feasible, incorporate shared driveways in order to reduce the extent of interruption to pedestrians.
Underground parking structures are encouraged over surface parking lots to conserve land, promote
compact development, and to minimise the urban heat island effect. As your city intensifies and develops
over time, such parking structures should replace surface parking lots. Locate and design parking lots
and internal drive-aisles to minimise the number of vehicle crossings over pedestrian connections. For
corner sites, parking areas shouldn’t be located on an exterior side. Where parking areas are situated
adjacent to the sidewalk, provide a landscaped area of at least 3 m wide between parked vehicles and the
sidewalk. This buffer should be located within the private realm, so as not to reduce the total sidewalk
width. See Appendix L for informative surface parking lot design guidelines.
42
A
Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines
The following section is derived from TransLink’s Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines, July
2012.
A.1
Common Terms and Definitions
Below are some terms used throughout this section as well as in subsequent portions of this document.
Desire line – Preferred travel paths (usually with respect to walking and cycling) based on the convenience of travelling from one location to another; desire lines can be sidewalks and formal routes or
informal paths.
Frequent transit network – A network of corridors along which transit service is provided at least every
15 minutes in both directions, throughout the day and into the evening, every day of the week; a high
frequency and span of transit service within a corridor, which may be provided by a single route or by a
combination of routes and/or technologies within the same corridor.
Frequent transit node – The 400 m (for stops) or 800 m (for stations and exchanges) area around
transit passenger facilities where two or more frequent transit services intersect.
Rapid transit – An urban transit service characterized by high carrying capacity and by speed, frequency,
and reliability (high speed and reliability are usually achieved through separation from other modes of
travel); typically provided by transit technologies such as rail rapid transit, light rail transit, and bus rapid
transit.
Station/Stop area – The 800 m radius surrounding a rapid transit station (the radius is 400 m for local
transit stops); operationally, radius is typically represented as an ‘as-the-crow-flies’ distance, but can also
be based on actual physical distance by way of available paths that can be covered in a 10-minute walk (5
minutes for stops).
Urban centre – An important focal point for jobs, homes, institutional facilities, services and entertainment, community and cultural activity, and future growth; generally characterized by higher population
and employment density and more trip generators when compared to surrounding areas. Urban Centres
are intended to be the region’s primary focal points for concentrated growth and transit service.
A.2
Destinations: Coordinate Land Use and Transportation
A.2.1
Ensure that major destinations are lined up along a reasonably direct corridor so they can
be served by frequent transit
Transit is most cost-effective when services are well used along the entire length of a corridor in both
directions. To encourage a more efficient pattern of usage, ensure that frequent transit corridors, particularly those with rapid transit, have major destinations (or anchors) at or near both ends. Without
43
anchors, transit ridership is likely to be low at either end, which reduces transit efficiency. The strongest
anchors include major institutions such as colleges and universities, shopping centres, and large mixeduse developments. Major employment districts are also strong anchors.
To support transit as a convenient travel mode, locate major trip generating uses in Urban Centres
and frequent transit nodes/corridors to reduce the length of trips to access them. To increase the
attractiveness of transit, locate major trip generating uses of region-wide interest within 800 m of the
existing or planned rapid transit network (or within 400 m of transit passenger facilities for frequent transit
corridors) to ensure convenient access by transit over longer trip distances. Locate major destinations at
mid-points along frequent transit corridors, particularly where they intersect with other frequent transit
corridors, to promote shorter trips, passenger turnover, and better-utilised transit capacity. Avoid long
gaps between destinations by discouraging ‘leap frog’ development, or development far from established
developed areas. Avoid spurs and diversion-shaped routes.
A.2.2
Encourage the highest intensity of development in Urban Centres and at frequent transit
nodes
Destinations are best connected to the rest of the region when they are located in Urban Centres or at
frequent transit nodes along frequent transit corridors. Encouraging development in Urban Centres
serves to increase their attractiveness for office, commercial, retail, leisure, and entertainment activity,
which in turn increases the demand for and the effectiveness of transit services. Locate transit stations
and exchanges adjacent to, or integrated into, major destinations. Ensure a mix of land uses – including
active uses such as retail, restaurants, and entertainment – at transit nodes to reduce walking distances
between destinations and to promote pedestrian activity.
A.2.3
Focus additional growth toward existing and planned frequent transit corridors
Support future frequent transit service by strategically directing and phasing development toward a
limited number of the most feasible frequent transit corridors first. Support transit use and efficiency
by focusing development within a 5–10 minute walk (400 m to 800 m) from transit stops and stations,
respectively. Plan for a development density that is appropriate for the type and frequency of transit
service planned for each corridor.
A.3
Distance: Create a Well-Connected Street Network
A.3.1
Provide fine-grained street networks
See subsubsection B.10.1.
A.3.2
Make walking and cycling access to frequent transit as direct as possible
The distances people are willing to walk to transit vary depending on length and purpose of the trip and
quality of the pedestrian environment, as well as on weather, topography, and demographics. Generally,
people will walk further to access limited-stop transit services than local services and walk further still
for rapid transit services. Paths of travel to and from transit passenger facilities should be as direct and
44
pleasant as possible, both to minimise the distance people are required to walk to transit and to maximise
the number of people who have convenient access to it.
Transit passenger facilities and access routes to and from them generate concentrated levels of activities by pedestrians, and should therefore be designed to create an environment that is safe, accessible,
easy to use, and secure and comfortable for all users – especially for these non-car modes. A 5 % increase in walkability as measured by these traits was associated with a 32 % increase in walking for
transport. Walking and cycling trips on their own are also important for transit-oriented communities
to enable short trips without a car, reduce peak hour crowding on transit, and reduce congestion on roads.
Locate passenger facilities at intersecting frequent transit corridors as close as is practical to minimise
walking distances for those transferring between them. In communities with significant changes in
topography (e.g., steep slopes) that may affect walking and cycling use, plan connections to transit that
maximise the directness of travel to improve the attractiveness of these modes.
A.3.3
Plan for coordinated, multi-modal transportation networks
See subsubsection B.10.2.
A.3.4
Locate frequent transit passenger facilities at accessible places on the street network
Transit passenger facilities, such as bus exchanges and rapid transit stations, are important focal points
for community and transportation activity. Wherever possible, facilities should be located where they
provide convenient access to pedestrian and cycling networks, enable efficient inter-modal connections,
and support the creation of higher density, mixed-use development. Distances to surrounding uses may
be reduced, not only by creating more connections, but also by locating transit facilities where existing
connections intersect. Integrate transit passenger facilities into existing or planned sites on the most
active and well-used streets.
A.4
Design: Create Places for People
A.4.1
Design multi-modal streets
Medians and refuge islands: Signal cycles should be timed to allow the slowest range of pedestrians to
cross the intersection in one movement. Where it’s necessary to maintain short signal cycles on wide
arterial streets, comfortable median or refuge islands allow the slowest pedestrians to cross in two signal
cycles. Provide medians and refuge islands on wide streets to serve as a ‘safe’ area between lanes of traffic
where pedestrians can wait to finish a crossing.
Transit: Increase transit speed and reliability on arterials by designing for transit priority. On streets
where transit operates in mixed-flow conditions, provide transit ‘queue-jumper’ bypass lanes at congested
intersections to reduce transit delays. Design streets so the lanes where transit vehicles operate are at
least 3.5 m wide to ensure safe and efficient transit service. Where appropriate, provide signal priority
for transit vehicles at traffic signals.
45
A.4.2
Design great public spaces
Transit use will be low if safe, efficient, and attractive pedestrian routes are not available — after all, a
person must walk to their bus stop. To support transit-oriented communities, the public realm should
be both functional and attractive, and it should be inviting for those walking, cycling, or lingering.
Pedestrians, particularly those travelling to and from or waiting for transit, must be offered adequate
shelter from inclement weather to promote the use of transit services. Furthermore, a person must feel
safe and secure in the public realm before walking becomes an attractive transportation option. Creating
great public spaces supports the interrelationship between placemaking, good design, and the experience
of delight in the urban environment. To create a safe environment attractive to pedestrian use, follow the
pedestrian guidelines discussed in subsubsection B.3.3.
A.4.3
Seamlessly integrate development with frequent transit and the public realm
Closely integrate transit stops and stations into building design, where possible, in ways that create a
strong identity for transit and enhance the public realm. Maintain sightlines toward local landmarks and
public spaces to reinforce legibility and aid in pedestrian wayfinding.
A.4.4
Design parking to support a pedestrian-oriented urban realm
See subsubsection B.3.4.
A.5
Density: Concentrate and Intensify Activities near Frequent Transit
A.5.1
Focus density in Urban Centres and around frequent transit corridors and nodes to support a strong demand for transit service
Concentrate the highest density of homes, jobs, and services in Urban Centres and along frequent transit
corridors. As the distance from frequent transit increases, scale down from higher to lower residential and
employment densities, including building height and massing, to match the character of the surrounding
neighbourhoods. Reserve the highest densities for Urban Centres and well-connected frequent transit nodes, including rapid transit stations and nodes where two or more frequent transit corridors intersect.
Provide a mix of more affordable, transit-oriented housing types within 800 m of transit passenger
facilities. Locate services and housing for seniors and people with disabilities near frequent transit stops
and stations. Encourage affordable housing near frequent transit to increase the mobility options for
residents of such housing types. Integrate mixed-used development into the design of transit station
areas, where appropriate, to promote complete communities, higher transit ridership, and efficient use of
transit services.
A.5.2
Plan for density that supports community character and promotes quality of life
Promote family-friendly development near transit, such as multi-family housing, child care facilities in
mixed-use development, close proximity of schools, and creation of park space. Redeveloping parcels
46
near frequent transit in existing urban areas can help to maximise land efficiency and create transitoriented development. A significant opportunity lies in single-family neighbourhoods where infill units
such as laneway houses and secondary suites can increase density while retaining the character of the area.
It’s important to develop and phase new sites adjacent to existing developed areas, to facilitate the efficient
provision of urban services including transit. New street networks should be designed to extend existing
networks, and to support walking and cycling. In new undeveloped areas, high-density development
should only be considered in areas that are served by, or could efficiently be served by, frequent transit.
A.6
Diversity: Encourage a Mix of Uses
Most of the traffic reduction benefits of transit-oriented communities occur not because of increased
transit ridership, but rather because of increased walking for the 80 % of household travel that isn’t
commute-related. Transit-oriented communities encourage a mix of land uses at both the neighbourhood and the corridor scale.
At the neighbourhood scale, a mix of land uses such as homes, offices, shops, parks, and entertainment
in close proximity creates an environment where many needs of daily life can be met within a short walk
from home, work, or transit. Such places feel safe and lively because different types of uses are active at
different times of day. A built form that supports a mix of land uses can also allow a community to be
more resilient over time, adapting to a changing economy and changing demographics.
At the transit corridor scale, a mix of uses encourages ridership in both directions throughout the day
and evening, promoting better and more efficient use of transit service and capacity. In communities
where most of the basic needs of daily life are available within walking distance, owning and using a car
becomes an optional, rather than daily, requirement.
A.6.1
Provide a mix of uses along frequent transit corridors to reduce peak crowding and spread
travel demand throughout the day
Land use diversity within transit corridors can help balance the timing and directionality of transit
demand, and more effectively utilise transit capacity. Balancing the distribution of homes, schools, and
employment locations along a transit corridor will enable transit to be well-used in both directions during
peak periods, rather than being overcrowded in one direction and underused in the other. Distributing
other land uses with more variable travel demand – such as retail centres, civic institutions, and entertainment venues – along a transit corridor (preferably in Urban Centres along the corridor) can also
help ensure that transit demand is more evenly distributed throughout the day. Such distribution also
generates transit demand on weekends. A rich mix of pedestrian-friendly uses and housing types, tenures,
and price points distributed along a corridor helps to optimise transit utilisation.
A.6.2
Encourage a mix of land uses immediately adjacent to frequent transit facilities
Areas within 200 m of transit facilities (especially stations and exchanges) are particularly valuable to
encourage a mix of active land uses. People often like to combine tasks in one trip – such as picking up
47
coffee on the way to work, getting groceries on the way home, or dining at a restaurant on the way to a
night out – and, therefore, convenient access to goods and services makes transit much more attractive.
Providing retail and community services near transit can also promote local business opportunities and
can help to create a lively street life, a pleasant pedestrian environment, and a safe and secure public realm.
Promote the location of grocery stores (both large and small) near transit stations and/or at frequent
transit nodes to support combined transit-shopping trips and walkability within higher density areas
near transit.
A.6.3
Encourage a mix of uses around transit nodes to create complete neighbourhoods
Encouraging a diverse mix of land uses (residential, commercial, recreational, and civic) – for the wider
400 m area around bus stops and frequent transit corridors and the 800 m area around rapid transit
stations – can help create neighbourhoods where home, work, shopping, recreation, and transit services
are within walking distance. Such neighbourhoods enable residents to meet many of their daily needs
within walking distance and to combine several errands on the same trip. This strategy supports both a
higher walk and transit mode share for trips as well as reduced vehicle kilometres travelled.
Encourage higher-density office uses as close to frequent transit passenger facilities as possible, to support
convenient access by transit for employees. Locate schools (particularly secondary schools and postsecondary institutions) near frequent transit nodes wherever possible, to allow and encourage students
to use transit. Invest in parks, plazas, and other public spaces within walking distance of frequent transit
nodes to ensure that residents, workers, and visitors have access to green space and associated recreation
facilities. Avoid lower-density and auto-oriented uses – such as gas stations, warehouses, storage facilities,
vehicle services centres, and drive-through facilities – near frequent transit nodes.
A.6.4
Provide an active street life with a mix of community services and fine-grained retail spaces
Flexible and diverse retail allows families to meet their daily needs on foot, maximising time for other
activities. Fine-grained retail and community services such as community health centres, cafés, and
bookstores allow for chance encounters that encourage a sense of community. Families require easy
access to pharmacies and fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Buildings lined with active uses, such as
retail and lobbies, generate a vibrant, healthy street life. This is especially important during winter months.
Active and animated building frontages allow for eyes on the street and informal supervision of children.
A.6.5
Provide a mix of housing types near frequent transit passenger facilities to create inclusive communities and promote equitable access to transportation
A mix of housing types and tenures at a variety of affordability levels located near transit passenger
facilities can promote access for those segments of the population that are more likely to use or depend
on transit to meet their transportation needs. Housing mixes can also allow communities to support
residents at different stages of their lives, including students, single adults, families with children, and
seniors. Diverse residential populations support transit use and activate areas around transit stops at
different times of the day and week.
48
Encourage the location of low income, affordable, and seniors’ housing units near frequent transit nodes
and along frequent transit corridors to support transit-dependent citizens. As people live longer lives
and the share of the city’s population of seniors increases, mobility issues will become an increasing
challenge. Transit-oriented community design supports seniors’ mobility by providing more services and
activities within walking distance, facilitates ‘ageing in place’, and provides frequent and accessible transit
services. Enabling seniors to be active by increasing the walkability of their neighbourhoods and providing
convenient access to the transit system greatly increases their level of mobility and independence, provides
opportunities to stay active and involved in society, and improves the effectiveness of both fixed-route
and customised transit services.
A.7
Checklists and How The 5 D’s Relate to Transportation Outcomes
The next few pages include some useful checklists to help you quickly make sure your corridors, neighbourhoods, and sites are well-designed with transit in mind. Following that is research that demonstrates
how the 5 D’s discussed in this section contribute to positive transportation outcomes (it says 6 D’s but
one of the D’s, Demand Management, can’t be done in C:S).
49
A. APPENDICES
A. APPENDICES
A1: Corridor and Regional Level
Checklist
Corridor and Regional Level
Rating
Potential uses include transit/transportation corridor planning and OCP updates.
GREEN AMBER
Regional Context
Does the corridor connect one or more Urban Centres, Special Employment Areas, or FTDAs?
Does the development contribute to meeting regional and/or municipal targets or desired
outcomes (e.g., % mode share by sustainable modes and % of population and jobs located
along the FTN)?
Transit Context
What is the highest order of transit service being aspired to along the corridor?
Does the development provide sufficient support for the aspired level of transit service?
Local Context
Is the development consistent with the local vision and objectives for the area?
D1. Destinations: Coordinate land use and transportation
Does the proposal align major destinations and trip-generating uses along a direct corridor
served by existing or planned frequent transit?
Does the proposal focus the highest intensities of development at the most connected transit
nodes (including Urban Centres)?
Are both ends of the corridor anchored by an Urban Centre, major trip-generating use, or
rapid transit station or exchange?
Are there any Urban Centres, major trip-generating uses, or rapid transit station or exchanges
located along the mid-point of the corridor to encourage shorter trip distances and promote
transit passenger turnover?
D2. Distance: Create a well-connected street network
Does the proposal:
Include connected networks of pedestrian and bicycle paths?
Locate higher-intensity development in areas with well-connected street networks?
D3. Design: Create places for people
Does the plan or proposal:
Encourage transit priority treatments in the design of streets?
Contain design strategies to increase the travel-time competitiveness of transit?
D4 Density: Concentrate and intensify activities near frequent transit
Are areas of higher density being located in places on the existing or planned FTN?
Does the plan or proposal focus most of its growth near frequent transit?
Are major trip-generating uses located within 400 m of rapid/frequent transit?
Are most office uses located within Urban Centres (highest priority) or around rapid transit
stations or key nodes along the frequent transit network?
D5. Diversity: Encourage a mix of uses
Does the plan call for a mix of uses throughout the corridor to promote all-day bi-directional
use of transit?
D6. Demand Management: Discourage unnecessary driving
Are sufficient strategies included in the plan to reduce auto ownership rates and auto usage?
Does the plan call for:
The cost of off-street parking to be unbundled from housing and commercial leases?
On-street parking to be priced?
Reduced or eliminated minimum parking requirements for new developments near
rapid transit or in areas with high transit access to destinations?
Will the proposed development make use of TDM measures where and when appropriate?
50
132
TRANSIT-ORIENTED COMMUNITIES DESIGN GUIDELINES
Comments
RED
N/A
Proposed Actions
A. APPENDICES
A1: Neighbourhood Level Checklist
Rating
Potential uses include creating street design standards, neighbourhood plans, FTDA
plans, and station area plans.
GREEN AMBER
Comments
RED
Proposed Actions
N/A
Regional Context
Is the planning area located within an Urban Centre, Special Employment Area, or FTDAs?
Transit/Corridor Context
A. APPENDICES
Neighbourhood Level
Does the planning area act as an existing or future frequent transit node where multiple
frequent transit services intersect?
Does the planning area act as an anchor or mid-point to an existing or planned FTN
corridor?
Do plans provide sufficient support for the aspired level of transit service?
Local Context
Are plans consistent with the local vision and objectives for the area?
D1. Destinations: Coordinate land use and transportation
Does the plan focus growth and key destinations within 400 m of bus stops with frequent
transit service and within 800 m of rapid transit stations?
D2. Distance: Create a well-connected street network
Does the plan provide for a well-connected network of sidewalks and other pedestrian
facilities?
Will the neighbourhood have direct, high-quality pedestrian and bicycle paths to and from
key transit passenger facilities?
Does the plan provide for a well-connected network of bicycle facilities?
Will the neighbourhood primarily include blocks no longer than 150 m?
Will new arterial streets served by transit be approximately 800 m apart?
Will proposed intersection density be at least 0.4 intersections per gross hectare?
D3. Design: Create places for people
Are high-quality sidewalks provided on at least one side of all streets and on both sides of
arterials and collectors?
Are there safe pedestrian crossings available at all intersections?
Has traffic been calmed to speeds that are safe and comfortable for pedestrians?
Are traffic signals in the neighbourhood timed to favour safe and comfortable pedestrian
crossings?
Are streets designed for universal access by people with disabilities?
Does the design and placement of off-street parking facilities reduce its visual impact?
For greenfield or major redevelopment sites, has the land use pattern been planned
concurrent with complementary walking, cycling, and transit infrastructure and services?
D4 Density: Concentrate and intensify activities near frequent transit
Does the plan:
Focus the highest intensity of use within 400 m of frequent transit and within
800 m of an existing or planned rapid transit station?
Call for lower-density and auto-oriented uses farther away from frequent transit?
Call for appropriate transitions between higher- and lower-density areas?
D5. Diversity: Encourage a mix of uses
Does the plan:
Allow for a mix of residential, commercial, and/or institutional uses?
Call for active uses within 200 m of transit facilities?
Call for an appropriate amount of public open space?
D6. Demand Management: Discourage unnecessary driving
Does the plan:
Encourage shared parking arrangements to minimize the amount of parking
required?
Encourage the cost of parking to be unbundled from housing and commercial
leases?
Call for pricing of on-street parking?
Call for reduced or eliminated minimum parking requirements in Urban Centres,
around rapid transit stations, or in areas with high transit access to destinations?
note
Please refer to Metro Vancouver’s
Regional Growth Strategy for
additional guidance on Urban
Centres and Frequent Transit
Development Areas.
51
TRANSIT-ORIENTED COMMUNITIES DESIGN GUIDELINES
133
A. APPENDICES
A. APPENDICES
A1: Site Level Checklist
Site Level
Rating
Potential uses include planning a new development and reviewing a development
Site
Level
Rating RED
GREEN AMBER
N/A
Regional
Context
application.
GREEN AMBER
N/A
application.
Potential uses include planning a new development and reviewing a development
Is the site located in an Urban Centre, Special Employment Area, or FTDAs?
Regional Context
Transit
Context
Is the site
located in an Urban Centre, Special Employment Area, or FTDAs?
If the site is a transit passenger facility or is adjacent to one, please also refer to the
Transit
Context
evaluation framework within the Transit Passenger Facility Design Guidelines.
If the site is a transit passenger facility or is adjacent to one, please also refer to the
Are there any special transit considerations that need to be addressed (e.g., special types
evaluation framework within the Transit Passenger Facility Design Guidelines.
of transit facilities)?
Are there any special transit considerations that need to be addressed (e.g., special types
Local
Context
of transit
facilities)?
Is the development consistent with the local vision and objectives for the area?
Local
Context
Does this site provide a key opportunity for development? Or is it a critical location that
Is the development consistent with the local vision and objectives for the area?
should be left undeveloped until a long-term, transit-oriented use is found?
Does this site provide a key opportunity for development? Or is it a critical location that
D1.
Destinations:
Coordinate
land
use and transportation
should
be left undeveloped
until
a long-term,
transit-oriented use is found?
Is the proposed site for higher-density development located within 400 m of existing or
D1.
Destinations: Coordinate land use and transportation
planned frequent transit or within 800 m of an existing or planned rapid transit station?
Is the proposed site for higher-density development located within 400 m of existing or
If it is a major trip-generating use, is it located within 400 m of rapid/frequent transit?
planned frequent transit or within 800 m of an existing or planned rapid transit station?
D2.
Distance:
a well-connected
street network
If it
is a majorCreate
trip-generating
use, is it located
within 400 m of rapid/frequent transit?
Does the proposed development site allow for direct, high-quality pedestrian and bicycle
D2.
Distance: Create a well-connected street network
paths to and from nearby transit passenger facilities?
Does the proposed development site allow for direct, high-quality pedestrian and bicycle
If the proposed development includes new streets:
paths to and from nearby transit passenger facilities?
Does it plan for blocks no longer than 150 m?
If the proposed development includes new streets:
Does it
it plan
plan for
for blocks
an intersection
of at
Does
no longerdensity
than 150
m?least 0.4 intersections per hectare?
Are all
open to the
public?
Does
it internal
plan for streets
an intersection
density
of at least 0.4 intersections per hectare?
D3. Design:
places
for people
AreCreate
all internal
streets
open to the public?
Does the ground floor of the proposed building(s) address the street and contribute
D3.
Design: Create places for people
toward an active street frontage and visual interest for pedestrians?
Does the ground floor of the proposed building(s) address the street and contribute
Does the exterior treatment of the proposed building(s), regardless of size and mass,
toward an active street frontage and visual interest for pedestrians?
create a space that is interesting and comfortable on a human scale?
Does the exterior treatment of the proposed building(s), regardless of size and mass,
If located along an arterial where transit service is provided, does the building entrance
create a space that is interesting and comfortable on a human scale?
provide close and convenient passenger access to frequent transit stops or stations?
If located along an arterial where transit service is provided, does the building entrance
provide
close
and convenient
passenger
access to
frequent
stops
If the site
is adjacent
to an existing
or planned
rapid
transittransit
station,
has or
thestations?
building been
designed
to be well integrated"
to or
"has
the building
designstation,
been well
integrated with the
IfIf
the
planned
rapid
transit
has the
thesite
siteisisadjacent
adjacenttotoananexisting
existing
or
planned
rapid
transit station,
has building
the building been
existing
or future
station? with the existing or future station?
design
been
integrated
designed
to well
be well
integrated" to "has the building design been well integrated with the
existing
future station?
Does theor
proposed
development:
Provide high-quality pedestrian ammenities (e.g., wayfinding, street furniture,
Does the proposed development:
trees and landscaping, and pedestrian-scale lighting)?
Provide high-quality pedestrian ammenities (e.g., wayfinding, street furniture,
Provide adequate bicycle parking?
trees and landscaping, and pedestrian-scale lighting)?
Provide universal access for people with disabilities?
Provide adequate bicycle parking?
Provide protection from the sun, wind, and rain?
Provide universal access for people with disabilities?
Allow for natural surveillance ('eyes on the street') to enhance security?
Provide protection from the sun, wind, and rain?
If the proposed development includes new streets, are these streets designed with highAllow for natural surveillance ('eyes on the street') to enhance security?
quality, accessible sidewalks, bicycle paths, and pedestrian and bicycle crossings at
If the proposed development includes new streets, are these streets designed with highintersections?
quality, accessible sidewalks, bicycle paths, and pedestrian and bicycle crossings at
Does the design and placement of off-street parking facilities reduce its visual impact?
intersections?
D4Does
Density:
Concentrate
and intensify
activities
near
frequent
transit
the design
and placement
of off-street
parking
facilities
reduce
its visual impact?
the proposed development is located within 400 m of frequent transit or within 800 m
D4IfDensity:
Concentrate and intensify activities near frequent transit
of a rapid transit station:
If the proposed development is located within 400 m of frequent transit or within 800 m
Does it provide the highest intensity of use that is appopriate to the existing
of a rapid transit station:
neighborhood context?
Does it provide the highest intensity of use that is appopriate to the existing
Does it avoid providing lower-density and auto-oriented uses?
neighborhood context?
Does it minimize space used for off-street parking in order to provide additional
Does it avoid providing lower-density and auto-oriented uses?
land and floor space for a mix of active uses?
Does it minimize space used for off-street parking in order to provide additional
D5. Diversity:
a mix
land Encourage
and floor space
forofa uses
mix of active uses?
Does the proposed development either provide a mix of uses or add new land uses that
D5.
Diversity: Encourage a mix of uses
will contribute to a 'complete community' in the surrounding area?
Does the proposed development either provide a mix of uses or add new land uses that
If the proposed development is located within 200 m of a transit facility, does it provide
will contribute to a 'complete community' in the surrounding area?
retail or services that may be valuable to transit riders?
If the proposed development is located within 200 m of a transit facility, does it provide
Does the proposed development include public open space?
retail or services that may be valuable to transit riders?
D6.
Demand
Management:
Discourage
unnecessary
driving
Does
the proposed
development
include public
open space?
Does the proposed development include shared parking arrangements in order to
D6.
Demand Management: Discourage unnecessary driving
minimize the amount of parking required?
Does the proposed development include shared parking arrangements in order to
Will the cost of parking be unbundled from housing and commercial leases?
minimize the amount of parking required?
If the proposed development includes new streets, will on-street parking be priced (if
Will the cost of parking be unbundled from housing and commercial leases?
appropriate to location)?
If the proposed development includes new streets, will on-street parking be priced (if
If the development is within 400 m of frequent transit or within 800 m of rapid transit,
appropriate to location)?
will reduced parking standards be used to encourage sustainable travel?
If the development is within 400 m of frequent transit or within 800 m of rapid transit,
Will the proposed development include carsharing on-site?
will reduced parking standards be used to encourage sustainable travel?
Will the proposed development make use of TDM measures?
Will the proposed development include carsharing on-site?
Will the proposed development make use of TDM measures?
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TRANSIT-ORIENTED COMMUNITIES DESIGN GUIDELINES
RED
Comments
Proposed Actions
Comments
Proposed Actions
A. APPENDICES
A. APPENDICES
A2 How the 6 Ds Relate to
Transportation Outcomes
The 6 Ds framework for transit-oriented communities is based on
empirical research into the relationship between the built environment and
transportation outcomes. This appendix summarizes some of the evidence
behind each of the 6 Ds.
A large and growing body of research demonstrates how community form
shapes travel behaviour. A recent comprehensive review of the literature
on how individual and household travel behaviour relates to differences in
the built environment analyzes and summarizes the research on how VKT
(Vehicle Kilometres Travelled), transit use, and walking vary with respect to
differences in community form (Ewing and Cervero, 2010).1 These variables
are of particular interest to TransLink and its partners because they relate
to the regional and municipal goals of increased walking, cycling, and
transit, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and improved air quality.
These relationships are stated in terms of elasticities, which describe how a
percentage change in one variable affects a percentage change in a second
variable. For example, if a 100% increase in variable A corresponds with a
50% increase in variable B, then the elasticity of A with respect to B is 0.5.
All of these relationships are what economists call 'inelastic', meaning that
a given percentage difference in any of the built form variables corresponds
with a more modest difference in travel behaviour. Inelasticity occurs
because other factors besides built form – including, income, geography,
culture, and habit – influence travel behaviour. Though inelastic, these
relationships are far from unimportant. In their meta-analysis, Ewing and
Cervero find that by following through on land use and transportation
visions using the tools available, more transit-oriented communities can meet
their region’s goals for mode shift and a more sustainable transportation
system (while also helping to achieve other important policy goals).
1 The most recent and comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature on this topic, this
review is organized to compare disparate findings and measures across the available
studies. The authors’ analysis reveals the elasticity of VKT (Vehicle Kilometres Travelled),
transit use, and walking across a number of variables that represent different aspects
of the built form. See the authors' summary table of their research on p. 143.
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TRANSIT-ORIENTED COMMUNITIES DESIGN GUIDELINES
135
A. APPENDICES
A. APPENDICES
A2 How the 6 Ds Relate to Transportation Outcomes
The research shows that destination
accessibility – how easy it is to
reach homes, businesses, and other
destinations using a particular mode
of transportation – has an important
relationship with how people
move around. The closer and more
connected a community is to the
centre of the region, for example,
the fewer kilometres residents
will need to drive (on average, a
10% decrease in the distance to
downtown corresponds with a 2%
decrease in VKT). Similarly, when
more jobs are accessible by way of
transit, people use transit more often
(a 10% increase in the number of
jobs accessible by transit corresponds
with a 0.5% decrease in VKT).
The distance a person must travel
to reach a transit station or stop also
corresponds strongly with choice of
travel mode; for example, a 10%
decrease in the distance from transit
along the shortest street routes
predicts, on average, a 2.9% increase
in transit ridership and a 1.5%
increase in walking. When thinking
about community design, this finding
has two important implications: the
more homes, businesses, and other
activities that can be located near
transit, the better utilized transit will
be and the less people will need to
drive. As traveling to transit occurs
not ‘as the crow flies’, however,
but by using the available streets,
a well-connected street network
is equally essential for reducing
traveler’s effective distance to transit.
Research shows that street
connectivity and block length have
strong relationships with walking
and transit use; for example, a 10%
increase in intersection density
corresponds with a 3.9% increase
in walking, a 2.3% increase in
transit use, and a 1.2% decrease in
VKT. In addition to being important
indicators of effective distance to
transit, block length and street
network connectivity are often
used in transportation research to
represent design quality. Short
blocks and well-connected streets
contribute to a higher-quality
pedestrian experience and pedestrian
realm, and they often occur in
places where other elements of
good design, such as adequate
sidewalks, are also in place. Because
of the importance of details and
context, other aspects of design
quality are difficult to quantify. 2
2 Other, more tailored measures of design quality tend to
be complex – in that they try to address the multitude
of factors that make up good design through multipart indices – and/or they require observational data
that is not feasible to collect on a regional scale.
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TRANSIT-ORIENTED COMMUNITIES DESIGN GUIDELINES
A. APPENDICES
A2 How the 6 Ds Relate to Transportation Outcomes
A. APPENDICES
Summary of the elasticities (impact) of the 6 Ds on selected transportation outcomes3
Weighted average
elasticity of
auto use (VKT)
Destinations
Distance and
Design
Jobs within one mile (1.6 km)
Diversity
Demand
Management
Weighted average
elasticity of
transit use
0.15
Job accessibility by auto
-0.20
Job accessibility by transit
-0.05
Distance to downtown
-0.22
Distance to nearest transit stop
-0.05
0.15
0.29
Intersection density
-0.12
0.39
0.23
-0.06
0.29
0.07
0.07
Job density
0.04
0.01
Commercial floor area ratio
0.07
Four-way intersections
Density
Weighted average
elasticity of
walking
Population density
-0.04
Land use mix
-0.09
0.15
Jobs/housing balance
-0.02
0.19
Distance to a store
-0.12
0.25
Parking price
0.12
-0.1 to -0.3
3 All data from Ewing and Cervero (2010). Demand management
data from Kuzmyak, Weinberger, and Levinson (2003) and Vaca
and Kuzmyak (2005) as documented in Litman (2012).
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TRANSIT-ORIENTED COMMUNITIES DESIGN GUIDELINES
137
A. APPENDICES
A. APPENDICES
A2 How the 6 Ds Relate to Transportation Outcomes
The research shows clearly that
land use density alone – without
walkability, a mix of uses, and good
transit access – does not significantly
reduce driving: when all other
factors are excluded, a doubling
of density corresponds with just a
4% decrease in VKT. Density is the
most important factor, however,
allowing more people to live and
work near good transit (as discussed
in the distance findings above) and
creating a market for a mix of uses
within walking distance (see diversity
findings below) are also critical. As a
primary causal factor, density by itself
is a weak predictor of transportation
behavior; however, density combined
with transit provides an exceedingly
important precondition for other
factors that reduce driving and
promote transit and walking.
Research also shows how a diversity
of land uses (including residential,
commercial, industrial, institutional,
and recreational) promotes
walking and transit ridership and
reduces driving. A common way to
measure land use diversity in the
transportation research is to create
an index that assigns a high value
to areas with a broad mix of land
uses and a low value to areas with
just one use. When land uses are
more mixed, more daily needs can
be met within walking distance: on
average, a 10% increase in land
use diversity corresponds with a
1.5% increase in walking (as well
as a 1.2% increase in transit use
and a 0.9% decrease in VKT).
Though not documented in
the Ewing and Cervero analysis
discussed above, an extensive
body of research demonstrates the
important influence of demand
management policies on travel
behaviour. Numerous studies show
that employer-based TDM programs
reduce employee vehicle commute
trips by up to 36%, with the
largest reductions achieved through
parking pricing.4 The literature also
shows the primary importance
of the price and availability of
parking on choice of travel mode.
Studies reviewed by the Victoria
Transportation Policy Institute, for
example, demonstrate that an
average increase of 10% in the price
of parking corresponds with a 1%
to 3% decrease in vehicle trips.5
4 Willson and Shoup (1990); Comsis Corporation
(1993); Valk and Wasch (1998); Pratt (2000).
5 Kuzmyak, Weinberger and Levinson (2003) and Vaca
and Kuzmyak (2005) as documented in Litman (2012).
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TRANSIT-ORIENTED COMMUNITIES DESIGN GUIDELINES
B
Complete Street Guidelines
The following section is derived from the City of Toronto’s Complete Street Guidelines, April 2017.
Complete Streets provide for all road users – pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and motorists of all
ages and abilities. The implementation of Complete Streets results not only in improved conditions for
cyclists, pedestrians, seniors, and children but also supports vibrant, healthy communities. Evidence
shows that Complete Streets:
• Provide better and more transportation options;
• Improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians;
• Reduce traffic congestion;
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
• Create more walkable, and therefore liveable, communities; and
• Stimulate economic growth with increased shopping activity, sales, and property value.
There is no “one size fits all” solution or specific design standards that can be universally applied. Surrounding context and local community inform the best solution, resulting in many kinds of Complete
Streets. How a street is “completed” is unique based on numerous variables including, but not limited to,
surrounding community context, role of the street in the overall network, and the traffic volume for all
travel modes.
B.1
Street Types
Street types should be used to establish a starting point in the complete streets design approach. Not
every street will fit neatly within a specific street type, and some streets could be combinations of two or
more street types. A street’s type may change along its length, as different segments have different land
uses and contexts. Furthermore, a street’s type may evolve over time.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of every type of possible street that exists, but is intended as a starting point in
the complete streets design approach. Each street type includes a brief description, a series of key design
objectives, and an aspirational example rendering to help illustrate what such a street could look like. It’s
important to remember that the renderings show one visual illustration of how a street of this type could
be designed. The renderings don’t depict exactly how every street of that type must be designed.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.1
Street Types
Civic Street
2.3.1
CIVIC STREET
Civic Streets are streets with symbolic, cultural or ceremonial
importance in Toronto, often distinguished by their landmark quality,
and unique role in the civic life and identity of the city. These streets
are destinations typically lined with clusters of civic, institutional,
government, cultural buildings, significant open spaces or other
public landmarks.
Civic Streets are typically found in the
older historic parts of the city, such as
University Avenue in the Downtown,
where they are often used for special
city-wide events, parades, and public
demonstrations.
Civic Streets can also be found in
local neighbourhoods, lined with
important neighbourhood civic
buildings and destinations, including
schools, libraries, and community
centers, as well as neighbourhood
public parks and open spaces.
On-street parking is sometimes
provided on Civic Streets.
c: Marcus Mitanis
Some Civic Streets have wayfinding
totems.
Some Civic Streets have planters and
unit paving.
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24
While they share many similar design
objectives, ‘local neighbourhood’
Civic Streets are different from more
‘city-wide’ Civic Streets. They have
fewer visitors from outside the city
and other neighbourhoods, host
fewer special events, and have a less
distinctive quality of materials and
furnishings.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.1
Street Types
Civic Street
For illustrative purposes.
Provide convenient and attractive
bikeway design options and bicycle
parking.
• Seek ways to integrate green
infrastructure, including tree
plantings and other landscaping
treatments, to meet environmental
objectives.
• Use high-quality and distinctive
materials, furnishings and public art
to create a sense of character and
identity, especially for Civic Streets of
city-wide importance.
• Consider ways to reduce sidewalk
obstacles and clutter such as by
using building setbacks and burying
overhead utilities.
59
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Seek ways to enhance the views,
connectivity and experiences of
adjacent civic buildings and public
spaces like plazas and green space.
• Provide wide sidewalks and
boulevards to attract and support
high levels of pedestrian activity and
special events.
• Provide pedestrian amenities such as
benches/seating, lighting, and
wayfinding.
• Provide convenient and attractive
transit options to access important
destinations.
•
Provide appropriately located offstreet parking and access such as
side streets parking lots, garages,
lanes and parking at the back of
buildings to augment parking supply,
accommodate loading and minimize
driveways, curb cuts and conflicts
especially where space is constrained
on the street itself. Time-of-day
parking restrictions may be used for
on-street parking.
25
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.2
Downtown and Centres Main Streets
have sidewalks to accommodate many
people walking, like this one in North
York.
A busy sidewalk with pedestrians and
window shoppers on a Downtown and
Centres Main Street.
DOWNTOWN & CENTRES MAIN STREET
Downtown & Centres Main Streets are vibrant mixed-use streets
located in the city’s higher-density growth areas. They support a
wide range of land uses, activities, and are often home to prominent
commercial, retail and mixed-use buildings. These streets are often
surface transit priority routes in the City’s Official Plan and in the
Downtown, and many have busy streetcar routes.
Downtown & Centres Main Streets
are often routes that lead directly to
rapid transit stations. These streets
are often lined with taller buildings
with wide frontages and active
ground-floor uses. Sidewalks are
typically adjacent to the curb with
existing buildings at or near the
street right-of-way. These streets are
often supported by a Business
Improvement Area.
Downtown & Centres Main Streets
are typically major streets in the
transportation network with a large
number of competing demands on
available street space, especially on
the narrower rights-of-way in the
Downtown. They typically connect
significant regional and city-wide
attractions and destinations and
serve a wide variety of different
people from across, and even outside
the city: residents, workers, shoppers
and visitors.
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26
2.3.2
Street Types
Downtown & Centres Main Street
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
Provide wide sidewalks and
boulevards with high-quality
pedestrian-scale streetscapes and
amenities to encourage walking,
lingering, dining and shopping.
• Use building setbacks, curb
extensions or parklets to expand the
space for adequate sidewalks,
outdoor seating, cafés patios,
plantings, trees and street
furnishings.
• Prioritize safe movement of
pedestrians, cyclists, and surface
transit and design for slower but
consistent, motor vehicle travel
speeds.
• Provide frequent and safe
opportunities for pedestrians to cross
the street, with wide and prominent
pavement markings at intersections.
Also, explore using curb extensions
on side streets to expand the
pedestrian realm along the Main
Street, shorten crossing distances,
and reduce motor vehicle turning
speeds.
•
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.2
Street Types
Downtown & Centres Main Street
For illustrative purposes - may include a mix of permanent/temporary materials.
Provide generous amounts of public
bicycle parking that should be
coordinated with bicycle parking
provided by any adjacent public
spaces and buildings.
• Support healthy street tree growth
on streets where sufficient space
exists to achieve required pedestrian
clearways and where growing
conditions can be optimized. Where
space is constrained, consider
covered tree pits with Silva Cells and
adequate soil volumes to ensure
growth.
•
Consider creative ways to optimize
and manage curb-side space for
integrating a variety of uses, e.g.,
parklets, on-street bicycle parking,
loading areas, and accessible vehicle
boarding.
• Provide appropriately located offstreet parking and access such as
side streets, parking lots, garages,
lanes and parking at the back of
buildings to augment parking supply,
accommodate loading and minimize
driveways, curb cuts and conflicts,
especially where space is constrained
on the street itself.
•
Work with local Business
Improvement Areas and
neighbourhood groups on ways to
support placemaking, local economic
development, and neighbourhood
identity.
• To reduce clutter, consider burying
overhead utilities if possible or
coordinate with other infrastructure,
like sharing hydro and streetcar
poles, for example.
•
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27
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.3
Straight and direct sidewalk on an
Avenue and Neighbourhood Main Street
in Etobicoke-York.
Avenue and Neighbourhood Main Streets
sidewalks often have greening, trees,
transit, cafes, sidewalks and more.
AVENUE & NEIGHBOURHOOD MAIN STREET
Avenue & Neighbourhood Main Streets are vibrant streets that serve
as a local focus for Toronto’s many neighbourhoods. These Main
Streets typically follow busy surface transit routes with a mix of uses
and especially retail at street level.
Many of these streets have an
Avenue designation in the Official
Plan, which means they are important
corridors where incremental change,
and often growth, is intended to
occur. These streets are often lined
with mid-rise or low-rise buildings of
a more modest scale than the tall
buildings found on Downtown &
Centres Main Streets. In some parts
of the city, the street right-of-way is
often wider that those in the
Downtown or Centres.
Avenue & Neighbourhood Main
Streets are important places in the
local community, helping support
local businesses and services that
serve the immediate neighbourhood,
but can also attract visitors from
outside the area. These streets are
often supported by a local Business
Improvement Area. These Main
Streets typically include cafés, street
trees and other plantings as
important pedestrian amenities that
make the street a vibrant,
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28
2.3.3
Street Types
Avenue & Neighbourhood Main Street
comfortable, and appealing place.
Sidewalks are typically adjacent to
the curb or separated from the
roadway by a boulevard, and
buildings are sometimes set back
from the street to help provide more
sidewalk space.
Avenue & Neighbourhood Main
Streets are major streets in the
transportation network for several
different travel modes, often all
competing for space and
prioritization in the street. They are
important for the delivery of transit
service and for goods delivery to
businesses and shops.
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
Provide wide sidewalk and boulevard
space to support high to moderate
levels of pedestrian movement.
• Encourage people to linger with
active ground floor uses, quality
pedestrian-scale streetscapes and
amenities like greening/trees,
benches, parklets and café patios.
•
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.3
Street Types
Avenue & Neighbourhood Main Street
For illustrative purposes - may include a mix of permanent/temporary materials.
Prioritize safe movement of
pedestrians, cyclists and surface
transit and design for moderate
motor vehicle travel speeds.
• Provide frequent and safe
opportunities for pedestrians to cross
the streets. Also explore using curb
extensions on side streets to expand
the pedestrian realm along the Main
Street, shorten crossing distances,
and reduce motor vehicle turning
speeds.
• Provide adequate and safe bicycle
facilities and generous bicycle
parking to encourage cycling trips.
•
Locate vehicle driveways, goods
deliveries and loading on side streets
or rear lanes where possible to
minimize curb cuts and areas of
conflict along the street. On some
Main Streets, on-street parking can
be provided, but look for suitable
replacement parking at off-street
locations to minimize on-street
conflicts.
• Work with local Business
Improvement Areas and
neighbourhood groups to help
emphasize neighbourhood identity.
•
Support healthy street tree growth
with open tree pits and planters on
streets where sufficient space exists
to achieve pedestrian clearway
requirements. Where space is
constrained, consider covered tree
pits.
• To reduce clutter and visual impacts,
consider burying utilities if possible
or coordinate with other
infrastructure, and in consultation
with the BIA.
•
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29
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.4
New buildings are often set back on
Downtown and Centres Residential
Streets to provide adequate sidewalk and
amenity space.
DOWNTOWN & CENTRES RESIDENTIAL STREET
These streets are found in the Downtown and Centres and support
primarily higher-density residential neighbourhood uses, with taller
buildings and higher levels of pedestrian activity than the other
residential streets.
Buildings on these streets typically
range from mid-rise to tall – either
independently or as part of a larger
building complex – and are
sometimes set back a small distance
from the street right-of-way, with tree
plantings or landscaping. Ground
level retail, office, grade related
apartments or amenities are
sometimes located within the base of
the buildings.
Downtown and Centres Residential
Streets are important links in the
city’s transportation network, with
high levels of pedestrian and cycling
activity and moderate levels of
vehicular traffic.
Downtown and Centres Residential
Streets often have wider sidewalks than
other residential streets due to the
volume of pedestrians they carry.
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30
2.3.4
Street Types
Downtown and Centres Residential Street
There are typically little to no transit
services provided on these streets,
although significant transit services
are usually found close by. Sidewalks
are often located next to the curb,
though ideally separated by a buffer
from moving traffic.
Downtown and Centres Residential
Streets have a moderate number of
competing demands on available
street space, especially on the
narrower rights-of-way in the
Downtown.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.4
Street Types
Downtown and Centres Residential Street
For illustrative purposes.
Provide ample bicycle parking for
visitors and residents to encourage
cycling.
• Plant street trees in the frontage zone
if boulevard space is limited.
• Manage speed by rightsizing lanes
and corners, and providing chicanes,
mid-block crossings and on-street
parking.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Accommodate a high level of
pedestrian activity with wide
sidewalks. New buildings should be
set back to create sidewalk and
amenity space.
• Prioritize the safe movement of
pedestrians and cyclists and design
for modest motor vehicle volumes
and speeds.
Provide driveways and servicing
through shared access lanes and on
side streets to minimize conflicts on
busy residential streets.
• On-street vehicle parking may
sometimes be provided on at least
one side of the street.
• Minimize freight transport that is not
servicing local properties.
•
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31
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.5
Apartment Neighbourhood Residential
Streets have sidewalks that connect to
buildings.
Example of an Apartment
Neighbourhood Residential Streets with
a bike parking shelter.
APARTMENT NEIGHBOURHOOD RESIDENTIAL STREET
Apartment Neighbourhood Residential Streets are found throughout
the city and are typically lined with a range of residential buildings:
townhouses, walkups, mid-rise buildings, and tall buildings.
Traditional Apartment
Neighbourhood streets have a range
of scales of apartments with shallow
front yards and entrances organized
like a house. Mid-century ‘tower-inthe-park’ apartment complexes,
found in all parts of the city, have
large lots with few public streets and
large buildings placed in the middle
of the lot. They are typically set back
from the front property line and
landscaped. Street frontages on
larger lots include auto drop-offs and
parking entrances and may have
private short term parking.
Apartment Neighbourhood
Residential Streets may sometimes
play a major role in the city-wide
transportation network, especially
where they act as key transit routes.
Because of their higher density, they
often have higher levels of
pedestrian use than on
Neighbourhood Streets.
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2.3.5
Street Types
Apartment Neighbourhood Residential Street
Apartment Neighbourhood
Residential Streets are typically
located on or near transit and many
trips are accomplished by walking,
cycling or taking transit. Moderate
levels of vehicular traffic are typical,
and some may have surface transit
routes present.
Some Apartment Neighbourhood
Residential Streets are strong
candidates to introduce stormwater
management features. This is
because Apartment Neighbourhood
Residential Streets typically have
available space due to large building
setbacks, few driveways and low
on-street parking demand.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
Street Types
Apartment Neighbourhood Residential Street
2.3.5
For illustrative purposes.
Adequate bicycle parking should be
provided outside residential
buildings to supplement bicycle
parking provided inside buildings.
• Maintain low motor vehicle speeds to
help ensure the street is safe for
everyone, and inviting for novice
bicyclists and more vulnerable
pedestrians. Consider complete
streets elements, such as mid-block
curb extensions or chicanes to
reduce speeds.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Provide wide sidewalks that connect
buildings to the pedestrian network
to support a high level of pedestrian
activity.
• Promote socializing, interaction and
activities along the street, including
community events, such as street
parties, yard sales, or children
playing.
• Enhance safety and comfort of transit
waiting areas, and transit operations
priority where transit service is
provided.
Provide green space such as a
continuous canopy of trees, and
stormwater management in curb
extensions.
• Minimize conflict between motor
vehicles and cyclists and pedestrians,
especially at driveways and vehicular
drop-off areas in front of buildings.
• Include lighting that illuminates
street and sidewalk but prevents light
pollution into the sky and adjacent
residences.
•
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.6
Neighbourhood Residential Streets
sidewalks often have parents walking with
children to school.
NEIGHBOURHOOD RESIDENTIAL STREET
Neighbourhood Residential Streets are found throughout Toronto
in areas designated as ‘Neighbourhoods’ in the City’s Official Plan,
which are generally considered as physically stable areas. A range
of building types under four storeys in height are permitted in
Neighbourhoods, including single family residential and multi-family
residential properties.
Neighbourhood Residential Streets
provide access for buildings and
usually provide people with direct
pedestrian access to their front door.
These streets provide the setting for
a range of local neighbourhood
gatherings and informal interactions,
such as yard sales, festivals and block
parties. They are streets where
children often play after school or on
weekends. They primarily serve local
movement needs and have relatively
low volumes of motor vehicle traffic.
Pedestrian and cyclist safety is a high
priority. Transit service is less often
provided on this type of street. All
Neighbourhood Residential Streets
should have sidewalks.
Neighbourhood Residential Streets
commonly have multiple users, trees, and
low vehicle speeds.
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2.3.6
Street Types
Neighbourhood Residential Street
Neighbourhood Residential Streets
are not intended to play a major role
in serving city-wide traffic movement.
Neighbourhood Residential Streets
have potential to introduce
pedestrian improvements, such as
intersection curb extensions, as well
as greening, landscaping, and
stormwater management features.
There are generally two different subtypes of Neighbourhood Residential
Streets in Toronto, distinguished by
the era they were originally planned
or developed: pre-1950s
construction and post-1950s
construction (see pages 36 and 37).
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.6
Street Types
Neighbourhood Residential Street
For illustrative purposes.
Promote social and community
interaction and activities, both across
and along the street, including
accommodating community events,
such as street parties, yard sales, or
children playing.
• Maintain low motor vehicle speeds to
help ensure street is safe for
everyone, and inviting for novice
bicyclists and more vulnerable
pedestrians.
• Accommodate neighbourhood
vehicle access and circulation needs
while deterring through traffic.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Emphasize safety and connectivity
for pedestrians and cyclists of all
ages and abilities.
• Provide green space and landscaping
and promote a robust canopy of
trees. Consider the opportunity to
manage stormwater at source as
much as possible to reduce stress on
sewers and promote natural water
infiltration.
Provide driveway access to private
properties, accommodating curb cuts
as necessary, but design to prioritize
pedestrians where driveways meet
the sidewalk and street.
• Provide connectivity to local
destinations particularly for
pedestrian access.
• Include lighting that illuminates
street and sidewalk but prevents light
pollution into the sky and adjacent
residences.
•
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.6
Street Types
Sub-type: Neighbourhood Residential Street
(built circa pre-1950s)
SUB-TYPE: NEIGHBOURHOOD RESIDENTIAL STREET
(BUILT CIRCA PRE-1950 s )
For illustrative purposes.
These Neighbourhood Residential
Streets were typically built prior to
1950, in the period before the
automobile became a primary
consideration in neighbourhood
planning and street design. These
neighbourhood streets are usually
arranged in a grid pattern, typically
with right-of-way widths of 20m or
less.
Neighbourhood Residential Streets built
before 1950 typically have sidewalks
against the curb.
Neighbourhood Residential Streets
may include features to encourage
pedestrians and cyclists by reducing
vehicles speeds and volumes.
Sidewalks are typically on both sides
of the street, usually located next to
the curb, with a boulevard between
the sidewalk and property line. There
is sometimes a planting zone
between the sidewalk and the curb.
These streets tend to have shallow
building setbacks and porches at or
near the property line.
Driveways and curb cuts are
uncommon on pre-1950s
Neighbourhood Residential Streets,
and motor vehicle access and
parking is sometimes accommodated
through rear lanes. On-street parking
is often permitted and some streets
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have also allowed curb cuts for front
yard parking. These streets are often
one-way for motor vehicle traffic and
have narrower pavement widths.
Some of these streets also have
traffic calming and diversions. There
exists a moderate opportunity for
implementing green infrastructure.
ADDITIONAL DESIGN
OBJECTIVES
• Trees or landscaping should be
provided between the sidewalk and
buildings.
• Allow for on-street parking on at
least one side of the street where
space permits.
• Consider designated routes for
cyclists of all ages and abilities.
• Front-yard parking pads are
discouraged to reduce impermeable
surfaces and to provide parking
on-street.
• Avoid unnecessarily widening the
street in reconstructions.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.6
Street Types
Sub-type: Neighbourhoods Residential Street
(built circa post-1950’s)
SUB-TYPE: NEIGHBOURHOODS RESIDENTIAL STREET
(BUILT CIRCA POST-1950 s )
For illustrative purposes.
Primarily planned and constructed
during or after the 1950s, these
Neighbourhood Residential Streets
were designed mainly to facilitate car
movement, but based on principles
that discouraged through traffic.
c: Brandon Quigley
Neighbourhood Residential Streets built
after 1950 typically have buildings set
back from the street and landscape strips
between the curb and sidewalk.
Curb extensions may including
landscaping or green infrastructure on
Neighbourhood Residential Streets.
They were often designed to
promote local walking and cycling
toward the centre of a
neighbourhood, where parks and
schools were located.
Cul-de-sacs, loop crescents, and a
curvilinear street network were
created instead of the traditional
grid-style street network present in
pre-1950s Toronto. Typically, the
post-1950’s Neighbourhood
Residential Street includes buildings
that are set farther back from the
property line and have driveways
with curb cuts. Long-term curbside
parking is usually not permitted and
rear lanes are rare.
Sidewalks are often separated from
the curb by grass or treed areas, but
sometimes there are no sidewalks at
all. A significant opportunity for
green infrastructure exists in this type
of Neighbourhood Residential Street.
ADDITIONAL DESIGN
OBJECTIVES
• Rightsize the street through on-street
parking, and curb extensions or
chicanes.
• Provide a sidewalk on at least one
side of the street for universal
accessibility and pedestrian safety.
• Integrate streetscapes with
landscaping through setbacks and
open space.
• Integrate stormwater control
measures to improve the natural and
aesthetic environment.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.7
Some Mixed-Use Connector Streets have
trees in a median.
Pedestrians and transit are common on
Mixed Use Connector Streets.
38
2.3.7
Street Types
Mixed Use Connector Street
MIXED-USE CONNECTOR STREET
Mixed Use Connector Streets are found throughout the city, but
more often outside of the downtown and central neighbourhoods.
These streets are often longer and more continuous, providing direct
travel routes for people and goods that span and connect several
neighbouring communities and areas.
These streets typically have a mix of
different land uses and building
types along them with a variety of
physical configurations and
relationships with the street:
sometimes buildings are located
further away from the street with
landscaping or a parking lot in
between, while other times buildings
are much closer, with their front
entrances at the street.
Mixed-Use Connectors play a
significant role in the City’s
transportation network. They are
important travel routes for all modes,
but often have higher volumes of
motor vehicles and lower volumes of
pedestrians and cyclists. Given the
higher motor vehicle speeds and
volumes, separated bicycle facilities
are recommended. These streets also
often have important city-wide transit
routes and should be designed to
give transit priority, where applicable.
They are also usually important
streets for moving goods.
While Mixed Use Connectors play a
role in enabling longer-distance
travel and movement
72in the city, it is
important that these streets be
gradually and incrementally
improved to help create a more safe
and inviting street for people walking
and cycling. These streets are often
found in areas of the city with longer
distances between signalized
intersections and higher motor
vehicle speeds, so additional care is
needed to ensure streets and
intersections are designed to be safe
for the most vulnerable people
walking and cycling. While efficient
motor vehicle travel is a priority on
these streets, ensuring safety for
people walking is critical, with
sidewalks sized for a medium volume
of pedestrians and intersections
designed with clear and well-marked
crossing features.
Wide landscape strips with trees
should be provided on boulevards,
as well as transit shelters and other
street furniture at stops. Buildings
should be set back to enhance street
character and increase comfort for
pedestrians. These streets are
candidates to introduce stormwater
control measures in the planting zone
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
Street Types
Mixed Use Connector Street
2.3.7
For illustrative purposes.
between curb and sidewalk, and
where applicable, in the frontage
zone. Mixed Use Connectors typically
do not have on-street parking.
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
Emphasize movement between
destinations via a variety of modes
and support commercial activity.
• Provide sidewalks and safe,
controlled crossings to connect
destinations and especially to transit
stops or stations.
•
Enhance transit amenities (e.g.,
benches/shelters) and transit
operations priority where transit
service is provided.
• Provide dedicated cycling facilities if
part of the cycling network.
• Improve safety and visibility at
intersections and crossings for
pedestrians and cyclists.
• Use shared access management to
reduce the frequency of access
points and conflicts to help manage
traffic flow and safety.
• Facilitate the efficient movement of
•
larger volumes of motor vehicle
traffic, especially freight and service
vehicles.
• Include a wide planting zone,
especially using frontage zones, to
support a continuous tree canopy
and to integrate stormwater control
measures.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.8
RESIDENTIAL CONNECTOR STREET
Residential Connector Streets are similar to Mixed Use Connector
Streets – their primarily role is to facilitate transportation for all
modes – but they provide travel routes and connectivity within and
through mainly residential areas of the city.
Residential Connectors are typically
lined with a variety of residential
buildings that face the street, often
set back with well-established front
yards, gardens, and driveways.
Sometimes there are occasional
businesses or stretches of rear-facing
residential lots and backyard fences
along the street.
Residential Connector Streets often have
a sidewalk between a row of trees and
the curb, and sometimes run along the
back of properties.
Residential Connector Streets may have
transit shelters and cycling infrastructure
between the curb and buildings.
While Residential Connectors play a
role in enabling longer-distance
travel and movement in the city, it is
important that these streets be
gradually and incrementally
improved to help create a safer and
more inviting street for people
walking and cycling. Residential
Connectors are often found in areas
of the city with longer distances
between signalized intersections and
higher motor vehicle speeds, so
additional care is needed to ensure
streets and intersections are
designed to be safe for the most
vulnerable people walking and
cycling. Although safe and efficient
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2.3.8
Street Types
Residential Connector Street
motor vehicle travel is a priority on
these streets, safety for people
walking is critical, with sidewalks
sized for low to medium volumes of
pedestrians and intersections
designed with clear and well-marked
crossing features.
Wide landscape strips with trees
should be provided on boulevards,
as well as transit shelters and other
street furniture at stops. Buildings
should be set back to enhance street
character and increase comfort for
pedestrians. Residential Connectors
can sometimes have some on-street
parking. Residential Connectors are
candidates to introduce stormwater
control measures in the planting zone
between curb and sidewalk, and
where applicable, in the frontage
zone.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
Street Types
Residential Connector Street
2.3.8
For illustrative purposes.
Enhance amenities (e.g., benches/
shelters) and transit operations
priority where transit service is
present.
• Provide dedicated cycling facilities if
part of the cycling network.
• Include a wide planting zone,
especially using the frontage zone, to
support a continuous tree canopy
and to integrate stormwater control
measures.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Emphasize movement between
destinations via a variety of modes.
• Improve safety and visibility at
intersections and crossings for
pedestrians and cyclists.
• Provide sidewalks and safe controlled
crossings to connect destinations,
especially to transit stops or stations
and major neighbourhood
destinations.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.9
Street Types
Scenic Street
2.3.9
SCENIC STREET
Scenic Streets are found throughout the city where there is a strong
relationship with natural features like ravines and the waterfront, or
with significant parks and green spaces.
Scenic Streets are primarily
characterized by their ‘park-like’
setting and adjacency with nature.
Scenic Streets are also often
meandering or winding, following
the city’s natural topography.
c: Kenn Chaplin
Scenic Streets often run along parks or
natural features.
Scenic Streets can play a variety of
roles in the transportation network.
Demand for walking or cycling is
often high, as these streets follow, or
are adjacent to, areas of high
demands for recreational use. Motor
vehicle volumes can be high during
peak hours, but much lower at other
times of the day. While separating
pedestrians and cyclists is always
preferred in areas with higher
recreational use, shared-use paths
may be considered in lieu of
Scenic Streets often have separated
paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
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sidewalks to separate pedestrians
and bicyclists from other traffic.
Scenic Streets may also be surface
transit routes. There are usually few
crossings on these streets but, where
present, they must be carefully
designed to safely allow connectivity
and crossings for recreational path
users. There is typically no on-street
parking on Scenic Streets.
Scenic Streets often have large and
healthy trees that together create a
substantial canopy. The adjacent
open spaces present many
opportunities to introduce storm
water control measures.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.9
Street Types
Scenic Street
For illustrative purposes.
Provide sidewalk on both sides and
separated bicycle facilities on at least
one side of the street where
appropriate. Ensure adequate space
for pedestrians and cyclists with a
physical delineator between
pedestrians and cyclists for safety
and universal accessibility.
• Integrate street and boulevard
design with adjacent areas such as
landscapes.
• Design to accommodate both
weekday rush hour commuter activity
as well as off-peak (e.g. weekend)
recreational use.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Emphasize and highlight natural
landscape character and features.
• Preserve and protect scenic views
and vistas.
• Enhance environmental quality by
protecting and enhancing tree
canopy and incorporating naturalized
stormwater control measures.
• Support medium to high volumes of
pedestrian and bicycle activity for
both recreation and transportation.
• Enhance transit operations priority
where transit service is provided.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.10
Park Streets are often lined with trees and
separated walkways.
Park Streets should be designed
to accommodate different types of
pedestrians and cyclists.
2.3.10
Street Types
Park Street
PARK STREET
Park Streets are streets found within, adjacent to, or leading to city
parks. They provide local neighbourhood connections and access
to park facilities. Park Streets are primarily intended to support and
complement parks and recreation uses.
These streets typically play a minor
transportation role for motor vehicles
and transit, but a significant role for
pedestrians and cyclists. Street
design,landscaping and features
should help create an environment
that naturally encourages lower
vehicle speeds and provides park-like
experiences on foot or on a bicycle.
Cycling and walking is prevalent, and
should be welcomed, prioritized and
safe, especially for the most
vulnerable. Cyclists may have a
separate facility such as a lane or
path, but may also mix in the general
use of the street. In areas with higher
recreational use, cyclists and
pedestrians should be separated to
improve safety, accessibility and
enjoyment. Bus transit may be
provided within larger parks during
park hours but are generally not
high-frequency routes. There is
sometimes on-street parking
provided. Park Streets within parks
are sometimes closed during the
evenings with the same hours of
access as the park itself, and some
may even be gated.
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Given they are in parks, adjacent to,
or leading to parks, these streets
should have large and healthy trees
that together create a substantial
canopy to complement and add to
the tree canopy in the park itself.
These streets present many
opportunities to introduce
stormwater control measures.
Streets adjacent to parks, or that lead
to and connect with parks can extend
the park amenity and character into
the surrounding neighbourhoods,
providing improved access to parks
for pedestrians, cyclists and wildlife.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.10
Street Types
Park Street
For illustrative purposes.
Enhance and augment existing tree
canopy and incorporate naturalized
stormwater control measures.
• Provide local vehicle access and
circulation to parks, and within some
parks, and target low vehicle speeds.
• Accommodate park service and
maintenance vehicle needs.
• Provide continuity in the landscape
design and streetscape between the
public spaces on adjacent streets,
and the routes within the park for a
connected network.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Complement and enhance the park’s
environmental and natural qualities.
• Provide attractive walking and
cycling routes between the park and
the local neighbourhoods and
between destinations within the park.
• Provide facilities for a wide range of
cycling skill levels, but provide
separate facilities for pedestrians and
cyclists in locations of heavy
recreational use, often on multi-use
trails or sidewalks on at least one
side of the street.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.11
Street Types
Employment Street
2.3.11
EMPLOYMENT STREET
c: Michael Poos
Employment Streets are typically found outside of the Downtown
and support mainly industrial or commercial uses inside Employment
Areas or Districts. Buildings usually range from multi-storey
commercial offices, to lower-rise wholesale or large-format retail,
warehouse, and manufacturing buildings. Buildings are often set
back from the property line with parking or landscaping between the
building and street.
Employment Streets often have
driveways and crosswalks to facilitate
access.
Employment Streets serving
warehouse or manufacturing uses
often need to accommodate larger
trucks turning, as well as loading and
unloading activities. Employment
Streets dominated by more
commercial or retail uses may have
less large truck activity.
Employment Streets are important
links in the goods movement
network, but typically of lower
importance in the overall city-wide
transportation networks. A significant
number of users of these streets
arrive by car, but this is not the only
mode of access. Many who work on
Employment Streets rely on transit,
walking and cycling. Employment
streets should be designed to
encourage walking, cycling and
transit use, especially where they
serve as a link between adjacent
neighbourhoods and Main Streets.
Employment Streets generally have
Employment Streets typically have bus
stops to provide mobility options for
workers and visitors.
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rights of way that enable the
provision of sidewalks on both sides
and complete connections in the
pedestrian network. Safe pedestrian
and bicycle accommodation,
especially at intersections where
trucks are turning, is essential. Truck
traffic may be significant on
Employment Streets. Vehicle traffic is
generally moderate, but can be
substantial during peak hours.
Parking on street is usually not
desired due to large truck turning
radii. Long term bicycle parking, such
as sheltered bicycle corrals, should
be provided.
Some Employment Streets have
grassy boulevards with significant
tree planting. Many are candidates to
improve street tree planting and
introduce stormwater control
measures in the planting zone
between curb and sidewalk (where
present).
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.11
Street Types
Employment Street
For illustrative purposes.
Encourage creating a sense of place
using streetscape improvements to
add value and attract additional
investment and employment
expansion.
• Facilitate movement to and through
the area, sometimes with significant
vehicle volumes.
• Accommodate access, loading, and
circulation by large vehicle types on
routes frequented by trucks such as
industrial employment areas.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Provide attractive mobility options
for workers, especially to support
reliable and convenient transit to
reduce motor vehicle congestion
(e.g., transit priority, transit shelters).
• Enhance transit service and access to
employment via transit.
• Create a street environment that is
safe and comfortable for pedestrians
and cyclists especially to connect to
transit stops or stations.
Make space for street trees and
landscape strips where possible for
stormwater management and
greening.
• Encourage employers to participate
in transportation demand
management programs such as
Smart Commute that promote ridesharing, transit pass programs,
flexible work hours and bicycle
parking, lockers and showers.
•
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.12
Street Types
Mixed Use Access Street
MIXED-USE ACCESS STREET
Mixed Use Access Streets are found mostly within the Downtown
and the Centres. Mixed Use Access Streets primarily provide ‘rear’
service and access functions to adjacent commercial and residential
properties, which often have their front doors on other nearby Main
Streets.
Mixed Use Access Streets generally
have narrower rights-of-way, but are
larger than a lane.
Mixed-Use Access Streets provide truck
loading access for large buildings.
Mixed Use Access Streets are
typically not major streets in the
transportation network. They are
usually limited in length and do not
support long-distance travel.
Driveways, service entrances and
loading docks are common on these
streets, which introduce conflicts with
pedestrians, cyclists and other
Mixed-Use Access Streets accommodate
pedestrians, delivery on foot, and often
have on- or off-street parking.
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2.3.12
vehicles that must be managed.
While cars and service vehicles are
often the dominant users, these
streets should also provide a safe
environment for pedestrians and
cyclists. Surface transit is very
uncommon on Mixed Use Access
Streets. Many will have low or
moderate pedestrian and cyclist
volumes, with low volumes of mostly
larger vehicles, like garbage or
delivery trucks.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
Street Types
Mixed Use Access Street
2.3.12
For illustrative purposes.
Provide an adequate furnishing zone
for key elements like light poles,
waste/recycling receptacles and
bicycle parking, and consider
landscaping and street trees where
possible.
• Some on-street parking may be
provided if space is available.
• Provide wayfinding signage to assist
drivers with finding building access
and entrances to loading areas and
parking garages.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Facilitate deliveries, loading, and
service access for adjacent residential
and commercial buildings.
• Provide access to secondary
pedestrian entrances to buildings.
• Safely accommodate pedestrians and
cyclists, and encourage low motor
vehicle speeds.
• Consider ways to create an attractive
environment that complements
adjacent Main or Civic Streets.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.13
Seasonal or permanent bike corrals are
common on Shared Streets.
2.3.13
Street Types
Shared Street
MIXED-USE SHARED STREET
Shared Streets are most often found in areas supported by a
high level of pedestrian activity, usually in mixed-use areas in
the Downtowns and Centres but can also be found in residential
neighbourhoods. Shared Streets are streets that blend and blur the
spaces and zones of the street – sometimes designed without curbs.
Different modes share the space together, but pedestrians typically
have the highest priority.
Shared Streets must maintain a
delineated pedestrian clearway zone
to ensure the street is universally
accessible. The remaining street
space is shared between several
different modes or users, but
pedestrians typically have the highest
priority. Shared Streets can have a
flexible design to accommodate
different uses and seasons. All modes
of travel may be permitted on Shared
Streets, but motor vehicle volumes
and speeds are extremely low. All
modes are expected to travel no
faster than walking speed. Some
Shared Streets may prohibit motor
vehicle access and parking entirely,
except for emergency, utility, and
delivery vehicles during specific
times of day, days of week, or entire
seasons.
Trench drain and bollards on Shared
Streets provide for curbless and flexible
streets.
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In the Downtown or Centres,
buildings are typically more mixeduse and located close to the
property line, clearly defining the
street edges. Shared Streets can
support a variety of uses, including
shopping, entertainment, cafés,
dining, and residences.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.13
Street Types
Shared Street
For illustrative purposes.
In mixed-use settings, support
commercial activity (such as
occasional pedestrian-only streets for
events/markets) or neighbourhood
gathering, recreation and leisure
depending on context.
• In mixed-use settings, support
flexible use of the street right-of-way
through all seasons including
incorporating café seating in spring/
summer/fall, and short-term parking
or drop-off in winter.
• In mixed-use settings, accommodate
high volumes of pedestrians and/or
pedestrian lingering, socializing.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Create street conditions for very low
motor vehicle volumes and very slow
travel speeds to facilitate shared use
of the street by pedestrians, cyclists
and motor vehicles.
• For universal accessibility provide a
direct and unobstructed walking path
of adequate width, delineated by
pavers and/or bollards with adequate
contrast and detectability.
• Create a slow zone “feel” for the
public space using design treatments
(e.g., rightsized space, pavers,
plantings, street furniture).
•
In mixed-use settings, prioritize,
enable and emphasize pedestrian
activities while also accommodating
motor vehicle access by service and
delivery vehicles during non-peak
hours.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.14
Residential Shared Streets are typically
slow zones that include space for people,
trees and parking.
Street Types
Residential Shared Street
RESIDENTIAL SHARED STREET
Residential Shared Streets are streets in primarily residential areas
that mix all modes together to blend and blur the spaces and zones
of the streets. All modes are expected to travel no faster than walking
speed.
Shared Streets in residential areas
provide space for informal
neighbourhood gatherings and
activities, like socializing and children
playing. In residential areas, where
they are referred to as ‘woonerfs’ or
‘home zone’ streets, Shared Streets
may also permit some on-street
parking. Shared Streets are good
locations for higher amounts of
bicycle parking to help serve the
needs of the surrounding area.
Shared Streets should be narrow to
help slow vehicle traffic and
emphasize pedestrian priority.
Some Residential Shared Streets, like this
one in Toronto, have planters and brick
pavers.
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2.3.14
Shared Streets are primarily
hardscape, but the low vehicle
volumes make them prime
candidates for pavers, permeable
pavement and other infiltration
strategies. Limited plantings and
planters soften the environment and
provide additional opportunities for
greening and stormwater
management.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
Street Types
Residential Shared Street
2.3.14
For illustrative purposes.
Create a slow zone “feel” for the
public space using design treatments
(e.g., rightsized space, pavers,
plantings).
• In residential settings, shared streets
can function as a public space for
recreation and socializing.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Create street conditions for very low
motor vehicle volumes and very slow
travel speeds to facilitate shared use
of the street by pedestrians, cyclists
and motor vehicles.
• For universal accessibility provide a
direct and unobstructed walking path
of adequate width, delineated by
pavers and/or bollards with adequate
contrast and detectability.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.15
Mixed-Use Lanes, like this one in Toronto,
may facilitate waste removal as well as
act as pedestrian cut-throughs.
2.3.15
Street Types
Mixed Use Lane
MIXED-USE LANE
Mixed Use Lanes are found in the Downtown, Centres and Avenues,
and other mixed use areas in the city. These lanes support vehicle
and pedestrian access to buildings of various uses. They are typically
narrow access routes flanked by the rear or side faces of abutting
properties.
Mixed-Use Lanes provide access for
deliveries, waste disposal and
pickup, and parking garage
entrances, as well as informal local
cyclist and pedestrian routes. They
help to restrict or minimize driveway
access and loading on Civic and Main
Streets to support efficient
movement of people and to reduce
conflicts among modes. Mixed Use
Lanes are typically significantly
narrower than Mixed Use Access
Streets and much shorter –
commonly just one block long.
Mixed-Use Lanes are very minor links
in the overall transportation network.
Although their primary role is for
motor vehicle service and access,
these lanes are often used as quieter,
informal routes for pedestrians and
bicyclists.
Laneways in Toronto provide space for
murals, and pedestrian and/or vehicle
access to properties.
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In a busy Downtown environment,
Mixed-Use Lanes can also offer
unique opportunities to create active
spaces for retail or other commercial
users, and become part of a vibrant
pedestrian network.
Although space for tree planting is
limited, and some servicing
requirements can present challenges,
Mixed-Use Lanes do provide some
opportunities to introduce
stormwater control measures.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.15
Street Types
Mixed Use Lane
For illustrative purposes.
Anticipate and accommodate
through-access by pedestrians and
cyclists and use of lanes as informal
public spaces.
• Durable street materials for heavier
vehicles, like garbage and delivery
trucks.
• Provide adequate lighting for
personal security.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Support adjacent commercial and
residential uses by providing access
to the rear of buildings for service,
delivery, loading, and parking garage
access needs.
• Minimize cut-through motor vehicle
traffic and design for slow vehicle
speeds.
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Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.16
2.3.16
Street Types
Residential Lane
RESIDENTIAL LANE
Residential Lanes are found throughout the city and typically provide
rear access for pedestrians and vehicles to garages, parking, and rear
entrances of single family homes and low-rise residential buildings.
They are often narrow access routes flanked by fences or garages at
the rear of properties.
Residential Lanes have the opportunity to become attractive public
spaces that support informal play and social interaction.
Residential Lanes are often used by
pedestrians and cyclists.
Motor vehicle volumes are low and
slow on residential lanes, and they do
not play a large role in the overall
transportation network. They are
often used for pedestrian and bicycle
connections within the
neighbourhood, and should be
designed for walking speed to
emphasize and encourage pedestrian
use. They are often used for local
recreational activities.
Residential Lanes typically provide
garage and vehicle parking access at the
rear of properties.
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Although space for tree planting is
limited, Residential Lanes do provide
opportunities to introduce green
street design elements and planting
to create more inviting and useful
spaces.
Toronto Complete Streets Guidelines
2.3.16
Street Types
Residential Lane
For illustrative purposes.
Minimize cut-through motor vehicle
traffic, enhance local access, and
design to slow motor vehicle speeds.
• Anticipate and accommodate
through-access by pedestrians and
cyclists.
• Provide adequate lighting for
personal security.
•
DESIGN OBJECTIVES
• Provide access to rear of residential
properties and encourage informal
spaces for playing and social
interaction through speed
management (e.g., rightsizing of
space).
• By providing the residential lane, this
reduces or removes the need for
driveways and motor vehiclepedestrian conflicts from the parallel
residential street.
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B.2
Common Street Design Terms
Here we define a few general terms and concepts that will be used throughout the remainder of this
section.
A curb extension is where the curb extends out and expands the sidewalk beyond the typical curb
alignment. Curb extensions can also be on either side of on-street parking, and provide additional space
for features such as benches, trees and plantings, surface transit stops, and bike racks.
Curb radii refers to the curved section of a curb that connects two intersecting streets.
Medians or raised islands separate lanes or directions of traffic within the roadway using pavement
markings or raised concrete islands.
Rightsizing involves redesigning the physical space and using geometric design to improve safety conditions for everyone using the street.
The purpose of traffic calming devices such as speed bumps or diverters is to alter drivers’ behaviour
and to improve road safety.
Transit queue-jump lanes are typically extended right turn lanes that provide opportunities for buses
to move to the front of the queue.
B.3
Street Design for Pedestrians
B.3.1
Sidewalk Design and Streetscaping
The most comfortable and functional sidewalks have five zones that vary according to the street’s land
uses and pedestrian volumes: frontage, throughway, furnishing, edge, and extension zones. These are
visualised in Figure 16 and discussed below.
• Frontage zone: On residential streets where buildings are near the street, frontage zones may be
wider to accommodate front stoops and waiting areas at front doors. Street furnishings can be
located in the frontage zone on sidewalks that are too narrow to accommodate a large furnishings
zone in order to keep the throughway zone clear for pedestrians and wheelchair users.
• Throughway zone: The throughway zone is the area of sidewalk that is free and clear of any
obstacles so that people of all ages and abilities can travel in a direct, continuous path. At minimum,
two assistive devices (e.g. strollers, wheelchairs, walkers) need to be able to pass each other with a
buffer. This minimum space (2.1 m) provides a safe, universally accessible path for people of all
abilities. Issues with lack of space include having to pass on uneven surfaces (like sod) that could
tip a wheelchair, or being blocked on one side by a wall and not having space to pass. This minimum
space can be widened to allow for higher volumes of pedestrians near frequent transit nodes and
other important destinations. When measuring the throughway, do not count the space right up
to a bench, bicycle post/ring, or other element (e.g. door opening areas, frontage and marketing
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Figure 16: The five zones of the sidewalk each have a role to play in designing streets for people.
areas or tree pits) as you must account for how it’s being used. Think of the users or objects taking
up space, such as someone sitting on a bench (with their legs/feet on the throughway), a bicycle
locked to a post/ring, or someone standing or lining up for a transit stop or food vendor.
• Furnishing (and planting) zone: Use street trees and landscaping to create a visual buffer between the roadway and the sidewalk, providing a sense of enclosure and comfort for pedestrians.
A furnishing zone of at least 1.5 m will provide pedestrians with a comfortable buffer from traffic.
Where transit shelters are required, a more generous furnishing zone may be necessary. To help
maintain pedestrian comfort when vehicle speeds on the adjacent street exceed 40 km/h, widen
the furnishing zone beyond 1.5 m. Treat the furnishing zone with a surface material different from
the throughway zone, where appropriate, to help identify it as a place for lingering outside of the
pedestrian path of travel. The furnishing zone can also be treated as a planting zone or bioswale
to enhance the streetscape and improve stormwater management. Street furniture should be
placed and arranged with children and the elderly in mind, as they may require more frequent
rest stops as well as furniture that is easily accessible. Trees are also useful for vulnerable populations as they provide a shade canopy. Space street trees consistently at 6 m to 9 m intervals, and
consider appropriate clearances from utility boxes and street lights. Use tree grates along areas
with high pedestrian activity to protect street trees and reduce safety hazards. Select plant species
that, when mature, are of an appropriate scale to the site. For example, to lower the apparent
height of a tall building, tree species that will grow tall can be effective in reducing the apparent or
perceived height of the building at grade. Alternatively, to frame a wide street, tree species should
be large/wide and of sufficient massing to create a sense of enclosure. Trees at the street edge
should generally be deciduous or palm (i.e., not coniferous).
• Edge zone: An edge zone of at least 1 m on streets with parallel parking will ensure that motorists
entering or exiting a vehicle don’t impede pedestrians or interfere with landscaping or utilities
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in the furnishing zone. Design the edge zone on commercial streets to accommodate curbside
freight loading.
• Extension zone: Extension zones can widen the usable pedestrian space at mid-block and corners
and can accommodate additional amenities such as bus shelters and other pedestrian features. Use
curb extensions to consolidate elements typically found in the furnishings zone, where appropriate,
to allow for a wider throughway zone. Where applicable, extend bus or pedestrian curb extensions
the full width of the parking lane.
B.3.2
Additional Accessibility and Universal Design Features
Tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs) are flat-topped bumps detectable under foot, used as
warning or attention indicators for people with low or no vision. These are installed at intersections,
curb ramps, transit platform edges, and depressed curbs where a pedestrian may encounter moving
vehicles. A tactile, colour contrasting, and/or physical delineator is required between the sidewalk and
sidewalk-level cycle track, or for a flush street where pedestrians are at the same level or grade as cyclists
and cars. Tactile strips must also be used at transit stop areas. The design and layout of TWSIs depends
on the context, i.e. speed and volumes.
B.3.3
Public Realm and Placemaking: Design Great Public Spaces
Placemaking is the act of creating public spaces that contribute to the location’s unique character. Highquality public spaces can take on many different forms: from small, intimate spaces between buildings,
to niches or steps that allow pedestrians to pause along a busy commercial corridor, to larger open plazas
that can accommodate public gatherings and events and have convenient access to public transit.
Seek ways to enhance and support the unique character of a street, e.g., social and cultural aspects of
the location, such as designing public spaces for lingering and respite, not just movement. For example,
curb extensions on side streets enable seating and plantings to enhance local character. Street furniture,
pedestrian-scale lighting, and public art will also contribute to the identity of a street. Look at strategies
that include use of building setbacks and/or re-purposing underutilised roadway space for placemaking
objectives for a street’s context.
The creation of seat walls, steps, and planters that can serve as informal seating areas is encouraged as
a means of expanding the seating potential and providing diverse opportunities for social interaction.
Provide formal and informal seating wherever possible to increase the number of opportunities for
people to socialise and spend leisure time outdoors along streets. Provide seating along walkways and at
key scenic viewing locations.
Use double rows of trees in key areas, such as adjacent to parks or along/within a segment of the centres
and corridors to highlight a landmark building or significant view. Use tree grates along areas with high
pedestrian activity to protect street trees and reduce safety hazards. Select plant species that, when
mature, are of an appropriate scale to the site.
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Design the public realm to contend with rain and other inclement weather. Pedestrians, particularly those
travelling to and from or waiting for transit, must be offered adequate shelter from inclement weather to
promote the use of transit services. Use treatments such as awnings, arcades, and galleries to protect
pedestrians from the weather and to add visual interest to the streetscape. Pursue continuous weather
protection on streets with high volumes of pedestrians, especially on key pedestrian routes to transit
stations and exchanges. Use clear or translucent materials for building overhangs, where appropriate, to
provide shelter while still maintaining natural light on the sidewalk. Ensure that shelter size and placement are sufficient to accommodate projected volumes of waiting transit passengers without impeding
pedestrian movement.
Locating parks, plazas, and visually appealing sites along pedestrian routes and sidewalks will increase
their usage and promote walking as a form of transport, in addition to promoting transit use by making
walking an attractive option (since part of taking transit is walking to/from transit stops). Different
types of parks and plazas, along with their design approaches and guidelines, are discussed in depth in
Appendix J.
B.3.4
Parking and the Pedestrian Realm
Surface parking in high-density areas along commercial and mixed-use corridors can be reduced by
placing parking underground, behind buildings, or in above-ground parking structures that are designed
with architectural screening or that are wrapped with retail uses to animate the pedestrian realm. This
approach will create a continuous street edge that is visually pleasing and that promotes interaction
between the public and private realms. Similarly, if designed properly, on-street parking can actually
enhance the pedestrian experience by serving as a buffer between sidewalks and vehicle travel lanes.
Provide shared parking facilities for uses that have peak demands at different times of the day and week,
thereby minimising the number of parking structures and reducing their impact on the urban form.
Ensure that on-street parking doesn’t block cyclist, pedestrian, and car sightlines, and does not interfere
with transit operations. Place off-street parking out of sight from the street – below grade or to the rear
of the building – to maintain a continuous edge between the public, semi-public, and private realms of
the streetscape, and to provide direct pedestrian access to buildings. Wrap multi-storey parking in active
retail or commercial uses to screen parking from the street and to increase street-level activity. Orient
parking garage access points toward side streets or alleys to reduce the potential for conflict between
cars and pedestrians on busy streets. Where larger areas of surface parking exist, introduce a street and
block pattern within parking lots to enhance pedestrian access and enable the introduction of streetscape
treatments.
Appendix L provides excellent parking lot guidelines, as well as many great design ideas.
B.3.5
Safety of the Pedestrian Public
Good design can help to enhance safety and security through the principles of natural surveillance and
territorial reinforcement. Orient buildings and windows toward streets, plazas, station areas, parking
lots, and other public spaces, and maximise the use of ground-floor retail to bring activity to street
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level. Maintain adequate sightlines with transparent materials in key design features such as fences. Use
benches, seating, plazas, or other amenities to attract people and establish public ownership of public
and semi-private spaces.
Street lighting supports safety, pedestrian activity, sense of place, and economic vitality. Place lighting
to illuminate points on the street where there is a high potential for conflict, such as driveways and
intersections. Pedestrian-scale lighting for sidewalks and crosswalks ensures that pedestrians are visible
to motorists and illuminates potential tripping hazards. Where cycling facilities are located adjacent
to the sidewalk, these benefits are also extended to cyclists. Orient lighting to maximise lighting efficiency and eliminate blind spots or dead zones. Avoid lighting that is too bright or out of character
with the rest of an area, as it can undermine natural surveillance through excess glare. For more information on creating safe environments via effective lighting while reducing light pollution, see Appendix K.
Since pedestrians are given the highest priority in the throughway zone, street furniture, outdoor cafés,
and marketing displays must not obstruct or infringe on the pedestrian throughway. Instead, locate these
in the Furnishing and Planting Zone or Edge Zone (for narrower elements), or on private property using
building setbacks and easements.
B.3.6
Child Mobility
Design safe mobility networks to encourage children’s independence and active transportation.
The ability of children to move independently through their neighbourhood fosters social and physical
development and provides opportunities for play. Children are granted increasing independence when
caregivers perceive a sense of safety and security in the public realm. Children move differently and
less predictably through the public realm than adults, and thus require some unique design considerations.
Schools are one of the most important daily destinations in a child’s routine, and active transportation
becomes a viable option when schools are within a convenient walking distance from home. A safe
route is the primary route through a neighbourhood that connects child-specific destinations. Safe
routes are ideally located on local streets. These help mitigate real and/or perceived risk associated with
independent mobility. Safe routes should be designed by:
• Identifying routes between existing child-focused destinations such as schools, community centres,
libraries, parks, and playgrounds;
• Locating new child-focused destinations on safe routes;
• Congregating child-focused destinations to minimise the number of intersections children need
to cross; and
• Using signage to indicate the presence of children, as well as signage legible to children to allow
for their way-finding. Signage should be located so that it’s visible at a child’s height and include
colourful symbols.
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Consider reduced speed limits on safe routes that include child-focused destinations along their length.
Pedestrian infrastructure should be wider, where possible, on safe routes to school for children under 14
who can legally ride bikes on the sidewalk, It should also incorporate ramps on public stairs for stroller
or bicycle wheels, to improve access and connectivity. When cycling infrastructure is provided, it should
connect to safe routes, to the network of child-focused destinations, and be physically separated from
vehicular lanes and parking to minimise risks and provide comfort for children.
B.4
Street Design for Cycling
B.4.1
Key Cycling Elements
When evaluating the potential of cycling infrastructure, routes, and facilities, consider the following
points visualised in Figure 17:
• Current and potential demand: Number of existing and potential cycling trips. Number of
short trips by motorists (less than 5 km) with a high potential to shift to cycling. Areas where
cycling volumes have high growth.
• Population and employment density: Greater density or new developments suggests more
cycling trips.
• Network coverage, connectivity, and barrier crossings: The presence of gaps in the network,
or barriers (e.g. ravines, rail corridors), that a route could help overcome. While few passengers
will walk more than 800 m to reach transit, cyclists might travel up to 5 km (usually, 2.5 km) to
reach high-frequency transit services.
• Trip generators and target demographics: Assess whether the cycling project would improve
access to popular destinations, such as schools, universities, and transit stations. Also look at how
well the cycling project would meet the needs of target demographics such as women commuting,
tourists, and children getting to school.
• Safety: Opportunities to improve cycling safety if the street in question is higher speed, known
to have a high number of collisions, or reported traffic safety issues.
B.4.2
Cycling Lane Infrastructure Design Principles
High-quality cycling facilities are attractive and people will go out of their way to use designated routes
with specialised infrastructure. The following are principles to apply when designing roads with bike
lanes and infrastructure:
1. Context-appropriate designs. Faster, busier streets create more risk for cyclists and will need
greater separation and protection for cyclists as shown in Figure 19. Quiet streets with low traffic
volumes and low speeds may provide a comfortable cycling experience without a dedicated cycling
facility. For more information, see subsubsection B.4.4.
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Figure 17: Considerations for Cycling Impact Analysis.
2. Design for both present and future users. Cycling ridership numbers will grow if a cycling
facility is provided on a street that was previously uncomfortable for cycling. Where cyclist
volumes are growing or predicted to grow, consider widening the cycling facilities.
3. Prioritise the most vulnerable road users. Vulnerable users such as children or the elderly can
be seriously injured or killed in even minor collisions. Think of how to design facilities for all types
of cyclists, as well as the protection of pedestrians of all ages and abilities. Protect pedestrians from
cyclists by providing cycling facilities that are separated from sidewalks using design treatments
that respond to both pedestrian and cycling speeds and volumes. Treatments range from buffers
and physical delineators to visual contrast and TWSIs.
4. Visible, intuitive cycling facilities. Clear delineation of the cycling path of travel and wayfinding
can improve safety for all road users. Use in-road markings to show cyclists where to position
themselves on a street with shared lanes and to indicate to drivers that cyclists will be present. To
increase motorist awareness and cyclist safety, use solid-coloured pavement (such as green) to
demarcate bike lanes. Use pavement markings, signs, grade change between users, and physical
design (like buffers) to mitigate hazards such as car doors opening, or pedestrians walking into
bike paths.
5. Intersection safety and mixing zones. Continue bike lane markings through intersections
and pedestrian crossing markings over cycling routes, and clearly mark conflict areas. Consider
providing visible, designated space for cyclists to wait and make turns. Avoid pedestrian and cyclist
mixing zones, especially at intersections with high pedestrian volumes. Provide traffic signals
where off-street bike paths cross major roads.
6. Adequate bicycle parking. Support and encourage cycling through a convenient and adequate
supply of bicycle parking, including multi-unit parking stations especially in mixed-use, institutional, and commercial areas. For more information, see subsubsection B.4.5.
7. Cycling infrastructure frequency. Cyclists are only likely to detour up to 400 m beyond the
shortest route to their destination to use designated bicycle facilities; therefore, bike networks
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Figure 18: Different types of cycling infrastructure.
should ensure that facilities are spaced a minimum of every 500 m in areas where increasing cycling
is an objective.
8. Cyclist visibility. Where angled parking is provided adjacent to bike lanes, use back-in angled
parking to improve visibility and reduce the risk of collisions. Also, handlebars are typically at a
height of 1.1 m with eye level at 1.5 m when seated on a bike, so keep this in mind when designing
bike lanes to ensure visibility.
B.4.3
Bike Lane Widths
In general, bikes physically take up 0.75 m width of space, so a comfortable minimum bike lane size
would be 1.8 m — enough for one bike to pass another bike with a buffer between them. An ideal width
for one-way lanes on roads is 2 m, especially on streets with steep grades or high volumes of cyclists.
At pinch points or constrained intersections, provide at least 1.5 m for a one-way lane. At a minimum,
no bike lane width should be less than 1.35 m. Off-street paths should be at least 3 m wide so that two
cyclists can ride comfortably together and pass another cyclist. Where high volumes of pedestrians and
cyclists are expected, providing separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians increases the safety of all users.
B.4.4
Context-Sensitive Cycling Facilities
As shown in Figure 18, different types of infrastructure exist for bike lanes depending on the local context.
Higher road volumes and speeds mean higher risk, which necessitates increased separation and protection
as shown in Figure 19. Examples include painted and buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks (separated bike
lanes with bollards, planters, or a row of parked cars between cyclists and moving traffic), and raised
cycling facilities (e.g., curb protecting cyclists from cars, cycling facility in the boulevard, etc.). In these
cycling facilities, motor vehicles aren’t allowed to drive, stop, stand, or park. Exceptions may be made for
transit pick-up and drop-off.
Low road volumes and speeds may provide a comfortable cycling experience without a formal cycling
facility (e.g. by instead using sharrows or shared lanes). Some quiet streets that are part of the cycling
network may have dedicated facilities, or a range of design features including traffic calming measures,
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Figure 19: The relationship of traffic speed and volume to types of cycling facilities.
shared lane pavement markings, and wayfinding.15 These may also include wider curb lane widths,
provisions exempting bikes from some traffic regulations, maintaining cycling access through traffic
calming infrastructure, and bicycle signals.
B.4.5
Bicycle Parking
Many types of bicycle parking facilities exist, from ring-and-post to bicycle parking structures such as
secure bicycle stations or bike lockers. Bicycle parking in the right-of-way should be considered on
every street type, except perhaps some Neighbourhood Residential Streets and Laneways. It’s especially
important on Main Streets and near destinations, such as in institutional, mixed-use, and commercial
areas. Bicycle parking, including the parked bicycles, must not obstruct the pedestrian throughway. Also
consider the space needed to access bikes while being locked or unlocked.
B.5
Street Design for Transit
B.5.1
Key Transit Street Elements
Transit lanes, transit stops, and intersection treatments are the three types of transit facilities that should
be considered for complete street improvements. They may be considered on their own, but should be
combined while considering their benefits and impacts on all road users in the street design process.
Dedicated transit lanes are typically used to move the highest volume of passengers and to support
the highest frequency of transit vehicles. They are marked for transit only using pavement markings,
signs, and sometimes physical design. Reserved lanes allow any combination of transit vehicles, taxis,
and bicycles.16 Reserved lanes can allow for greater transit frequency and reliability on routes with high
ridership and congestion. Shared-use lanes, where transit moves together with mixed traffic, are useful
alternatives in many places where right-of-way space is limited. Transit service can be improved on
shared-use lanes through geometric design, signal timing, and parking and turn restrictions.
15
16
Bicycle wayfinding consists primarily of signs and pavement markings legible to cyclists while travelling.
Note that shared bike/bus lanes force buses to go at the speed of bicycles if any bikes are ahead of that bus. As of
August 2017, no method exists to intelligently separate the two while maintaining a “shared” reserved lane.
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Intersection treatments are extremely important for all road users, and are thus discussed in-depth in
subsection B.9.
B.5.2
Transit Stops
The location and design of transit stops has direct implications for the comfort and convenience of
transit passengers and other users. The selection of stop locations is generally guided by the safety and
comfort of transit users, and minimising transit delay. Key considerations for locating stops include spacing between stops, as well as stop location relative to intersections and land uses, including intensifying
areas. The spacing between stops should be between 300 m to 400 m in most locations to balance access
to transit with travel time for passengers, though this may vary based on context. Generally, stops should
be located at intersections. Stops should be clear of clutter and unobstructed for boarding and alighting. Signalised intersections are ideal locations to allow for safe pedestrian crossings, and increase the
likelihood of route-transfers. Mid-block bus stops are recommended only near significant pedestrian generators, where intersections are far away, and should be located next to controlled crossings for easy access.
Key considerations for transit stop design include:
• Safety: visibility, lighting, geometry, and reducing conflicts.
• Accessibility: TWSIs, sign poles, curb cuts.
• Comfort: protection from weather, coordinated street furniture for waiting passengers, and
facilitating transfers with transit information.
• Placemaking: as gateways to streets and neighbourhoods, stops should be legible and provide
users with wayfinding information.
• Integration with transit vehicle design: the number, type, and size of vehicles that will use the
stop affects the size of a stop and landing pads.
B.5.3
Transit Design Principles
The following are principles to apply when designing roads with bus lanes and infrastructure:
1. Enhance transit users’ experience. Enhance the reliability, frequency, and speed for transit
by prioritising space for transit and by implementing signal priority. Consider ways to improve
convenience and comfort for users through amenities such as transit shelters, bus stop landing
pads, tram platforms, street furniture, lighting, greening, public art, and real-time travel and route
information.
2. Make connections safe, convenient, and seamless. Facilitate ease of transfers among different
transit routes, walking, cycling, and other modes of transportation, such as sidewalks and crossings
to transit stops, bicycle parking, and wayfinding information. While few passengers will walk
more than 800 m to reach transit, cyclists might travel up to 5 km (usually, 2.5 km) to reach
high-frequency transit services.
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3. Visible, safe, and convenient transit stops. The location of bus stops should take into account
the location of pedestrian crossings and seek to minimise crossing distances between transit
connections. Stops should be located at signalised intersections, or at controlled crossings, as
it allows for safe access to stops or when making route transfers. Locate stops near pedestrian
generators.
4. Universally accessible transit stops and facilities. Design for all users with universal accessibility, comfort, and mobility of passengers in mind, such as accessible transit shelters that
accommodate the pedestrian throughway, curb ramps for new LRT stops, TWSIs on platforms
and at stops delineating raised cycling facilities, and accessible pedestrian signals.
5. Curbside design to support transit efficiency. Where appropriate, queue-jump lanes provide
opportunities for buses to move to the front of the queue, avoiding significant delays. At stops
with adjacent on-street parking, transit platform bulb-outs can help people board or alight faster,
and they make it easier for transit vehicles to pull back into traffic. Remove or relocate on-street
parking away from transit stops and supplement it with traffic signs to ensure the space is clear for
transit vehicles all the time.
6. Traffic signal control strategies. Traffic signal progression and/or coordination aims to provide
a wave of “green lights” on corridors with on-street transit. Transit signal priority is another method
to enhance transit performance and keep transit on schedule. Time-based turn restrictions can
help prevent significant delays to transit and other drivers on busy routes.
7. Transit streets safe for walking and cycling. Create safe streets for people to walk and bike, as
well as safe crossings – as pedestrians and cyclists are most often the customers who use transit.
Incorporate TWSIs on curb ramps to aid navigation for the visually impaired. Design curb radii
that are as tight as possible, while still accommodating the turning movements of vehicles expected
to use the street, to increase pedestrian safety.
8. Transit streets are linear public spaces. Creating streets as places will enhance the attractiveness
of transit and its ability to support the city’s social, economic, and environmental vitality. Repurpose underutilised space for parklets, plazas, and cafés.
9. Design for growth. As your city continues to grow and develop, streets can be designed to retain
current riders and attract new riders through coordinated planning of transit expansion and new
development.
B.5.4
Context-Sensitive Transit Design
A street’s land use and network context will inform the type of transit accommodation and priority,
whether deciding on travel lanes, stop design, or intersection treatments. In addition, location-specific
information will help address issues such as transit user safety, comfort, visibility, boarding/disembarking,
transfers among routes and modes, and coordination of transit with land developments.
Very high-frequency and very high-volume services warrant unique considerations. For example, some
high-volume stops will require accommodating many waiting passengers as well as people boarding and
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disembarking through wider sidewalks, or longer platforms and bus bays to accommodate more than one
bus at a time. Where several thousand passengers per hour per direction is expected, unique and more
extensive transit priority measures may be required, such as corridor-wide turn prohibitions, extended
stopping prohibitions, or exclusive transit lanes.
General considerations for all transit design include:
• Existing and anticipated transit priority routes, ridership volumes, and transit vehicle frequency
• Location of current and proposed stops, including boarding and alighting volumes
• Transfers between transit routes and different modes (such as walking and cycling to take transit,
or passenger drop-off/pick-up)
• Access to destinations, especially special event venues, and transit rider-generating locations of all
kinds
• Other network priorities along the same route and location (e.g. cycling, goods movement)
• Existing and potential cycling and pedestrian volumes
• Number of through and turning vehicle lanes, their direction of travel (one- or two-way), and
their usage throughout the day
• Speed and volume of motor vehicles, and traffic congestion management
• Presence of on-street parking, driveways, and other curbside uses
• Presence of trees and other greening functions.
B.6
Street Design for Green Infrastructure
B.6.1
Key Green Street Elements
Green infrastructure designed to capture rainwater (e.g. raingardens) can help minimise stormwater load
on a city’s sewer system, which may come under increasing pressure with the frequency and severity of
storms. Green streets can help to reduce runoff volumes and manage stormwater runoff quality. Among
the many health and environmental benefits, green streets can also provide a more aesthetically pleasing
street and contribute to placemaking.
Trees and planting materials are most commonly installed in open landscape at grade, in planters (that
may double as seating), in covered tree pits, in stormwater tree pits/trenches, in bioswales, and in rain
gardens. They have numerous benefits related to ecology, air quality, temperature moderation, safety,
microclimate, land value, and human well-being.
Street trees and landscaping are ideally located where growing conditions are best, where people can
enjoy them, and where they can be efficiently maintained. Special consideration is required for trees
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in hard boulevard surfaces to provide adequate soil volumes and optimum growing conditions. Urban
and drought tolerant plant materials and native plant species can facilitate ease of maintenance. Open
planters, tree pits, and above-ground planters are all possible elements to contain trees and landscaping
on streets, but aren’t considered part of the pedestrian throughway.
B.6.2
Green Infrastructure Design Principles
Green streets employ green infrastructure solutions to support human health and well-being and to
relieve urban pressures on ecological systems, air quality, energy efficiency and water resources. Green
streets are designed with attention to the ecological and hydrological functions of the street, and in
particular, to the at-source treatment of stormwater runoff. The following are principles to apply when
designing green roads and infrastructure:
1. Street trees and landscaping. Seek ways to incorporate and provide healthy growing conditions
for trees and/or landscaping to improve air quality, mitigate urban heat-island effects, enhance
ecosystem health, and contribute to community character. Select planting locations, spacing, and
design details (e.g., adequate soil volume, water and sun access) so that trees and landscaping
will flourish. Trees can frame and define streets, calm traffic by visually narrowing the roadway,
provide shade, and add texture and visual interest.
2. Visibility and safety. Clear sightlines are important to the safety of all road users. Ensure adequate
visibility is maintained, especially at street corners, traffic lights, traffic signs, transit stops, and
driveways.
3. Universal accessibility. Design to provide universal accessibility, such as through the selection
of materials and elements, to accommodate people of all ages and abilities. Tree pits, openings,
and grates on the sidewalk aren’t considered part of the pedestrian throughway.
4. Operations and maintenance. Design for ease of maintenance, such as through passive irrigation,
selecting context-sensitive native plant species, and planning for safe access to maintain green
infrastructure.
5. Achieving multiple environmental objectives. Consider ways to combine environmental design, such as tree canopy expansion, stormwater retention, and microclimate moderation into
single street features like roadside rain gardens.
6. Sustainable energy. Consider energy generation, use, and management by selecting, designing,
and locating street elements such as solar lighting, bicycle parking machines, and street furniture
to contribute to an energy efficient city.
7. Sustainable transportation. Provide greener, healthier mobility choices so that more people
walk, bike, and take public transit.
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B.6.3
Context-Sensitive Green Streets
It’s possible to incorporate green infrastructure in a variety of places within the public right-of-way.
The planting and furnishing zone is an ideal location for green street elements as it provides a buffer
between pedestrians and vehicles. This zone may also make use of street poles for hanging planters,
trellises, and solar panels as long as adequate visibility and safety are maintained. Curbsides in the
roadway are where greening can often be enhanced through curb extensions, bioswales, rain gardens,
permeable paving on the curb extension or edge zone, cycling facilities, parking laybys, and other green
street elements. Medians or raised islands in the roadway can be good places to include trees and other
landscaping, but require special attention to ensure visibility and safety for travellers and long-term
maintenance.
Factors to consider when designing green streets include sunlight; available right-of-way width and
building setbacks; open space context; curbside accommodations for goods movement, delivery, and
loading; sightlines and other safety considerations; and setbacks from intersections and other street
infrastructure.
B.7
Street Design for Roadways
B.7.1
Roadway Design Principles
The following are principles to apply when designing roadways in general:
1. Multi-modal transportation. While few passengers will walk more than 800 m to reach transit,
cyclists might travel up to 5 km (usually, 2.5 km) to reach high-frequency transit services. Give
reliable, convenient, and attractive mobility choices to people. Support more efficient, active,
and healthier forms of travel (by foot, bicycle, transit) to reduce vehicular congestion. Provide
emergency access and operations, and support goods movement and delivery by different modes.
Identify and support existing and planned priority networks for each mode.
2. Safety. Fully consider road users who are particularly vulnerable in a crash or in interactions
with other road users, such as pedestrians (especially children, older adults, and persons with
disabilities) and cyclists. Seek ways to reduce their exposure to risk (e.g., rightsize travel lanes,
re-purpose underused road space, and separate pedestrians from cyclists). Provide visible, clear,
and predictable travel paths for all road users.
3. Context-sensitive target speed and reliable travel. Create a safer environment for everyone
by using design to facilitate the intended speed of travel for drivers based on the street’s context.
Safer speeds and driver behaviours result in fewer incidents on the roadway that can cause delays and vehicular congestion, which negatively impact emergency access and goods movement.
Coordinated signals, along with target speed, can help improve consistency in travel times. Peakhour restrictions for stopping, parking, and turn movements can improve travel times along key
routes.17 This also helps to manage demand and road capacity during peak travel times.
17
Not yet available in the core C:S game or in a mod, but hopefully TM:PE will add this at some point.
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4. Placemaking. Consider existing and planned land uses, urban form, and the different uses of the
street (e.g., social and economic activities) when making decisions about competing demands for
space on the street. Seek ways to provide space, e.g., through building setbacks and/or re-purposing
underused roadway space for streetscaping, street trees, street furniture, café or marketing areas,
parklets, bicycle parking, pedestrian lighting, snow storage and removal, etc.
5. Greening and stormwater management. Limit the area of impervious materials. Seek ways to
integrate street trees, landscape features, as well as water retention and treatment strategies and
snow storage. Promote non-motorised modes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air and
noise pollution. Use durable materials that contribute to sustainability and reduce the urban heat
island effect.
B.7.2
Design for a Multi-Modal Transportation System
Street space requirements increase with vehicle speeds, as faster vehicles require more distance between
them and other objects. Space requirements also decline with more space efficient modes like walking,
cycling, and transit. A car on an urban arterial requires about 20 times as much space as a pedestrian
or transit passenger, and five times as much as a cyclist. Transit vehicles carry far more passengers than
private cars and should be given priority wherever practical to reduce congestion. Fewer cars will help
free up space for other purposes, such as urban goods movement or placemaking. Whenever possible,
design streets to encourage and support higher-volume and space-efficient modes like walking, cycling,
and public transit.
B.7.3
Design for Safety of Vulnerable Users
Vulnerable pedestrians such as children, the elderly, and people with disabilities are the priority. Pedestrians are more vulnerable to serious injury or death in motor vehicle collisions, as well as in interactions
with cyclists. Cyclists are also at greater risk of injury and mortality during a collision than motor vehicle
occupants. Reducing speed is a critical aspect to improve safety for the most vulnerable, as visualised in
Figure 20.
Assess risks for the most vulnerable users, ensure dedicated space, and reduce exposure to faster modes
that may harm or injure pedestrians. Shorten crossing distances and exposure of vulnerable users to
vehicles in the roadway. Increase and ensure the visibility of pedestrians and cyclists to drivers. Curb
extensions and rightsizing intersection corners may help address turning speeds. Where practical,
implement separation between different users, and greater separation with increasing speeds. Design
bicycle facilities according to context and to make cyclists more visible to turning motor vehicles.
B.7.4
Design Using a Target Speed for the Street Context
Target speed is the intended speed of travel for drivers based on the street’s context. For example, safe
speeds around schools or busy pedestrian areas will need to be lower than on wide streets with large
setbacks or land uses that don’t generate many trips.
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Figure 20: Vehicle speed, stopping distance, and chance of survival. *Stopping distances during wet
conditions. Single car length of 5.6 m. Based on a 2.5 s reaction time, representing 90th percentile of
drivers.
Conventional street design considers a posted maximum speed as lower than the design speed. Contextsensitive design promotes that the street includes elements so that the posted maximum speed and
design speed are the same, so that drivers aren’t comfortable exceeding the intended posted speed. Speed
is especially lethal to vulnerable users like pedestrians and cyclists. Field of vision is the area a person
sees when their eyes are fixed in one position, as visualised in Figure 21. The risk of severe injury increases
as a driver’s field of vision narrows and misses potential hazards.
Street design is always more effective in shaping behaviour than posted speed limits. Incorporate contextsensitive design features when redesigning streets to achieve that street’s target (posted) speed. More
consistent travel speeds support reliable and smooth traffic flows for all road users, and can help reduce
traffic delays and congestion.
Examples of mid-block design measures to achieve target speed based on street context include:
• Rightsizing lane widths mid-block and rightsizing turning radii.
• Mid-block curb extensions to rightsize roadway (e.g., pinch points to reduce vehicular speeds).
• On-street bicycle or car parking.
• Trees and other vertical elements (to “cause visual friction”).
• Presence of pedestrians and cyclists, and facilities that support them.
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Figure 21: Vehicle speed and field of vision.
• Signals synchronized to achieve target (posted) speed.
B.7.5
Design to Support Placemaking and Street Context
Traditional roadway design focused on a “centreline-out” approach where the basis of street design began
from the centre of the roadway, meeting the vehicle needs first without an understanding of the context
that the street exists within. A best practice for transportation engineering is to take a more holistic
approach – one that looks at the whole street from building face to building face. Taking a holistic view
of streets means applying a “building in” perspective that first looks at the adjacent land uses and users of
the street, and then the curb to curb portion of the street. Street context informs the priority functions
and uses of the street, as well as details such as choice and quality of materials, need for furnishings, user
amenities, and greening schemes.
B.7.6
Rightsizing and Repurposing Roadway as Complete Streets
On many streets, a key objective is to observe what space isn’t being used effectively, and to rightsize and
re-purpose that space to achieve complete streets goals. Ensure that excess space isn’t provided for any
one mode to the detriment of the safety of other modes and/or street project objectives such as safety
and target speed, active and sustainable transportation options, placemaking, greening, or universal
design and accessibility.
Rightsizing and re-purposing roadway space involves redesigning the physical space and using geometric
design to improve safety conditions for everyone using the street. Design techniques include:
• Chicanes (or road narrowings), such as on-street parking or curb extensions, that alternate on a
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street or at intersections.
• Reconfiguring four lanes into three, with a shared turn lane as the middle lane.
• Reviewing for adequate corner radii for truck routes or transit vehicles.
• Rightsizing vehicular lanes and re-purposing space to add/widen on-street parking and/or bike
lanes and/or sidewalks and boulevards.
• Re-purposing or redesigning sidewalks and boulevards to ensure that the pedestrian throughway
isn’t cluttered or obstructed, such as by moving a transit shelter to the back of a sidewalk onto
private property through an easement, or providing outdoor café patio seating using a parklet.
B.7.7
Traffic Calming
The need for traffic calming devices is often an indication that the street isn’t well-designed to achieve its
desired target speed for vehicles. The better approach is to seek opportunities through street redesign
projects to rightsize and re-purpose street space to achieve complete streets objectives. When implementing traffic calming, treatments intended to curtail motor vehicles should exempt cyclists, not be located
on transit routes, and should accommodate emergency vehicles and winter maintenance requirements.
B.7.8
Roadway Zones
The roadway is generally defined as the space between the curbs. It functions primarily to support the
movement of people and goods by various modes, including transit, bicycles, and motorised vehicles.
The roadway may also include parking or loading areas, greening, placemaking (such as parklets in the
curb lane) and other uses.
Vehicle travel lane widths can range from 3 m to 3.5 m depending on context and constraints, including
land uses; presence of pedestrians, cyclists, and transit; truck volumes; emergency services; posted speed;
on-street parking; etc. Curb lane widths depend on whether there are dedicated cycling facilities – if there
aren’t any, the curb lane width should still be designed to enable a car to safely pass a cyclist on the roadway.
Curb extensions should be considered where on-street parking exists, as the extensions can be on either
side of the on-street parking and provide street space for features such as benches, trees and plantings (for
stormwater management), surface transit stops, and multi-unit bike racks to increase parking. Within
the extension zone, extend the sidewalk into the parking lane at intersections, a transit stop, or a midblock crossing to reduce pedestrian crossing distances and improve pedestrian visibility. Provide curb
extensions on frequent transit corridors and streets with high vehicle or pedestrian volumes and long
crossing distances to improve pedestrian safety. Where appropriate, extend a curb extension around a
corner onto the cross street.
Medians or raised islands may be applied for different reasons – they can be used to manage or restrict
access, provide space for turn lanes (and turning vehicles), facilitate pedestrian crossings, placemaking,
and provide space for greening. Since medians typically require a wider right-of-way, one must weigh the
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benefits of a median against using the space to support other uses and facilities (e.g., curb extensions,
cycling facilities, sidewalk and boulevard widening for pedestrians and streetscaping). In addition,
medians or raised islands can impact emergency vehicles accessing properties and intersecting side
streets, which should be considered in design options.
B.8
Highway Traffic and More Lanes
New lanes don’t help traffic jams on highways because:
1. People who avoided highways before because they were busy will now want to take them again,
since there’s more lanes and they think it’ll be less busy; and
2. When a transport mode is faster, we tend to use it to go further rather than spending less time
travelling. Thus, new infrastructure simply allows people to live further from work, etc.
Alternatives include tolls, and/or reducing speed on highways to make them less attractive.
B.9
Street Design for Intersections
B.9.1
Intersection Design Principles
The following are principles to apply when designing intersections:
1. Safety first: Intersections are where the most points of conflict occur between different street
users. The design of intersections should first and foremost ensure safe crossing for the most
vulnerable users.
2. Predictability: Provide clear guidance for all users on where crossing movements are expected
and the correct path of permitted movements. Simplify complex intersections wherever possible.
3. Visibility: Ensure unobstructed sightlines among road users at intersections. Locate crosswalks
close to the intersection to improve the visibility of pedestrians to drivers. Reduce physical barriers
and visual clutter.
4. Multi-modal: Select traffic controls based on equitable consideration of all street users, the street’s
context, and role in the network. Analyse capacity from a multi-modal perspective, focusing on
movement of people rather than vehicles.
5. Accessibility: Incorporate accessible design at intersections such as TWSIs, curb ramps or
depressed curbs, accessible pedestrian signals, walk speeds at crossings for all ages and abilities,
and access to transit stops.
6. Compact design and shorter crossings: Compact intersections tend to lower motor vehicle operating speeds and enable more eye contact, which increases safety. They also minimise pedestrian
crossing distances and exposure to risk for vulnerable road users. They can also shorten signal
cycle lengths which benefits all modes by reducing delay and improving convenience.
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7. Active transportation: Observe and anticipate pedestrian and cyclist desire lines to inform
design based on street context. For example, provide depressed curb ramps and wider crosswalks
in locations with higher pedestrian volumes, and bike boxes where needed to enhance safety for
cyclists making turns.
8. Transit: Incorporate transit stops at intersections to allow for convenient transfers for transit
users. Consider transit priority measures based on street context.
9. Placemaking: Depending on street context and width, re-purpose space to enhance quality of
life with greening, street furniture, or public art gateways, especially to define the entrance to
unique neighbourhoods.
10. Maintenance and operations: Intersections should function well for all users all year, e.g. design
to prevent ponding at ramps and snow from blocking access to pedestrian push buttons.
11. Manage stormwater: Incorporate green street elements depending on street context and width,
such as on curb extension to reduce stormwater runoff and recharge ground water, improve air
quality, and beautify.
B.9.2
Key Needs and Perspectives of Each Road User
A key starting point is to understand the primary needs of each modal user. Keep in mind that some
street elements that improve the conditions for one mode may reduce the comfort or convenience of another, but these should never supersede the need for safety of all road users, especially the most vulnerable.
For pedestrians, this includes:
• Lower motor vehicle speeds, by rightsizing vehicle lanes and curb radii, and traffic calming on
local or side streets such as installing curb extensions or raised intersections.
• Reduced exposure to risk and conflicts, with clear sightlines and visibility, shorter crossing distances, adequate pedestrian space on corners, and adequate crossing time.
• Accessibility and universal design for all, with curb ramps or depressed curbs, TWSIs, accessible
pedestrian signals, dedicated space (away from mixing with cyclists and vehicles), sufficient walk
time for all ages and abilities, and adequate sidewalk and crosswalk widths given pedestrian
volumes and the street context.
• Adequate signalised crossing opportunities.
• Desire lines inform crossings, so that crosswalks align with the path of travel.
• Placemaking considerations, based on street context, such as buildings that front on the street or
have transparent storefronts (for “eyes on the street”), transit shelters and benches.
For cyclists, this includes:
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• Lower motor vehicle speeds, by rightsizing vehicle lanes and curb radii, and traffic calming on
local or side streets such as installing curb extensions or raised intersections.
• Reduced exposure to risk and conflicts, with clear sightlines, shorter crossing distances, and
dedicated space, separation and signal design for cyclists that are context sensitive.
• Wayfinding on cycling routes and how to stay on the network and navigate routes, especially at
complex intersections.
• Nearby bicycle parking stations to support cycling options for people, especially at transfer points
like transit or major destinations.
For transit users, this includes:
• Good pedestrian and cycling connections (see the previous sections), with sidewalks, transit
shelters and benches, nearby bicycle parking, wayfinding, and cycling route information.
• Reduced exposure risk and conflict, such as curb extensions at bus stops, transit-only lanes, and
far-side bus stops.
• Accessibility for all with context-specific stop spacing, platforms, bus pads and sidewalk ramps
with TWSIs, well-lit transit stops, and adequate pedestrian throughway widths.
• Reliable and improved travel times and schedules, with context-specific measures such as frequent
headways, signal priority, queue-jump lanes, and seamless connection to other transit.
• Placemaking considerations based on street context, such as buildings that front on the street or
have transparent storefronts (for “eyes on the street”), safe and comfortable waiting areas, and
transit-supportive developments.
For motorists (i.e. all drivers), this includes:
• Reduced conflicts and severity of crashes, with clear sightlines and visibility, dedicated space for
all modes, and predictability of expected movements (e.g. using pavement markings, signage and
signals/traffic controls).
• Safe turning options, with context-specific measures such as phase-separated turning movements,
placement of advanced stop bars, and clearly marked turn lanes.
• Wayfinding, with large visible street name signs and other wayfinding information to help people
navigate the city, e.g. to locate parking options.
• Reliable and improved travel times, using coordinated signal timing, responsive vehicle detection
and signals, traffic regulations, and congestion reduction by shifting more trips to walking, cycling
and transit.
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B.9.3
Crosswalks
Crosswalks that are at least as wide as the sidewalks that approach them, especially at busy intersections,
will improve pedestrian safety by reducing crowding and encouraging pedestrians to stay within the
crosswalk while crossing. Maintain sightlines and visibility for pedestrians and motorists by ensuring that
the approach to the crosswalk is free of such obstructions as signs, structures, or landscaping. Enhance the
visibility of crosswalks through effective lighting, to help alert motorists to the most important crossings
and points of potential conflict. Forbid on-street parking within 10 m of intersections and mid-block
crossings to improve pedestrian and motorist sightlines. To improve pedestrian visibility and reduce
vehicle speeds, provide raised (not elevated) crosswalks.
Provide stop lines in advance of the crosswalk at signalised or stop-controlled intersections, to help
ensure that vehicles don’t encroach upon the crosswalk and impede pedestrian flow. Provide yield lines
in front of mid-block crosswalks to indicate where vehicles should stop, so that vehicles approaching
in adjacent lanes can better see a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Consider special paving treatments such as
brick, coloured concrete, and pavers, in conjunction with crosswalk markings to enhance the visibility of
crosswalks, improve aesthetics, and serve as a visual and tactile cue to drivers.
At intersections with high pedestrian volumes and where conditions are favourable, innovative solutions
such as pedestrian scrambles, which stop all vehicular traffic at an intersection and allow pedestrians to
cross an intersection in every direction, including diagonally at the same time, may improve pedestrian
movement.
B.9.4
Accessibility and Universal Design of Intersections
To eliminate the need to step down from a curb to the roadway to cross at intersections, design intersections with adequately wide and properly designed curb ramps and depressed curbs at intersections. A
curb ramp or depressed curb is needed for people with physical disabilities or even people using shopping
carts or strollers. A fully depressed curb has the benefit of removing trip hazards (e.g., the section of
curb between crosswalks), especially with high volumes of pedestrians. Curb ramps can also be found at
transit stops. TWSIs must be included and placed as discussed in subsubsection B.3.2.
Typical walk speeds when crossing the street are 1 m s−1 to 1.2 m s−1 , but this walking speed could
exclude one-third of older pedestrians, 70 % of elementary school aged children, and 90 % of pedestrians
using an assistive device such as a walker or cane. Where there are higher pedestrian volumes and the
expectation of pedestrians with disabilities based on demographics and land use context, the walk speed
for traffic signals should be in the range of 0.8 m s−1 to 1 m s−1 to enable safe crossings for people of all
ages and abilities.
The hierarchy of vulnerable users has pedestrians at the top because they’re unprotected when encountering faster-moving road users, such as cyclists and drivers. At intersections and mid-block locations, it’s
important to provide dedicated space for pedestrians and separation from cyclists and motor vehicles,
whether on the sidewalk, at transit stops, and at intersections – on street corners and crosswalks.
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Safe, passable space is needed to accommodate people using assistive devices and the context-specific
pedestrian volumes at intersections. Sidewalk and crosswalk widths should be commensurate with
the intensity of pedestrian activity and volumes at intersections, to minimise crowded conditions, and
potential conflicts among modes.
B.9.5
Context-Sensitive Intersection Design
Three main intersection situations exist.
Main Streets or Mixed-use Connectors often have a combination of high traffic volumes, high approach
speeds, transit stops, and pedestrian and cycling activity. The challenge becomes balancing the need to
reduce risk to all road users, while accommodating traffic capacity and turning movements for larger
vehicles. Consider the following design treatments:
• Due to the size of these intersections, clear alignments and pavement markings are needed to
guide the paths for all road users and to provide predictable and visible movements.
• To help pedestrians of all ages and abilities to safely cross wide roadways, consider pedestrian
crossing islands, zebra crosswalk markings, standard curb radii, leading pedestrian interval signals,
adequate space for pedestrians waiting on street corners (e.g., declutter corners, rightsize corner,
set back buildings, etc.), and other pedestrian safety measures.
• To make cyclists more visible to other road users, mark bicycle facilities through the intersection,
including bike boxes or queue boxes, providing designated bicycle signal phases where appropriate,
and regulatory and warning signs for motorists where notable conflicts exist.
• Analyse intersection capacity from a multi-modal perspective and focus on moving people rather
than vehicles, such as by prioritising transit, in order to reduce traffic congestion as intersections
become busier with residential and employment growth. Consider planned land uses, anticipated
mode split shifts, and latent demand for pedestrian, cyclist, and transit users during the design
process.
Design becomes complex for situations where lower volume streets intersect with higher volume streets
(i.e. intersections between residential streets with main, civic, and connector streets), because
traffic flow and capacity will focus on the busier street, yet side streets and their users also need to be
accommodated. These intersections may be signalised, or have two-way stop control such as stop signs.
Consider the following design treatments:
• Clearly mark controlled pedestrian and cyclist crossings (i.e. with stop control, flashing lights, or
signals) wherever they exist.
• Analyse and design intersections taking into account the transportation network. It may not
be possible or practical to accommodate all movements at all times (e.g. through or left-turn
movements from the side street) at a two-way stop-controlled intersection.
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• If there is heavy traffic on Main, Civic, or Connector Streets, with insufficient gaps in traffic for
safe turns, consider access management strategies such as consolidating and limiting driveways,
laybys or other conflict points, and potential turn prohibitions from side streets.
Residential street intersections are characterised by low traffic volumes and slower speeds. In addition,
people of all ages and abilities may be on foot in the neighbourhood for various activities such as getting
to school, transit or nearby destinations. Consider the following design treatments:
• Enhance pedestrian safety with crosswalks, all-way stop control, curb extensions, raised intersections, and rightsizing corner radii as well as complementary mid-block measures (e.g., chicanes,
mid-block curb extensions, etc.).
• In general, delay and capacity aren’t key factors for residential intersections as they have low
volumes and speeds. Design of these intersections focuses on pedestrian accessibility and connectivity to homes, parks, community centres, and the pedestrian network to transit and other
streets. Cyclists are often accommodated in a similar manner to motor vehicles or are supported
by bike-friendly street designs noted in the Cycling chapter of this document (e.g., adequately
wide curb lanes, bicycle detection at actuated signals, etc.).
• While larger vehicles such as fire, waste collection, and snow-plow trucks are important to consider,
the turning movements for these vehicles will typically use the width of the roadway to negotiate
turns.
B.9.6
Intersection Elements and Geometric Design
The size of curb radii affects the turning speed of vehicles, pedestrian crossing distances, visibility, and
space available for pedestrians waiting to cross the street.
The decision to include pedestrian crossing islands or medians should be weighed against using that
space instead for adequately wide sidewalks, cycling facilities, and planting and furnishing zones.
Depending on street context, there may be features that enhance the sense of place while balancing
the need for safety and clear sightlines. Features used at intersections include but are not limited to:
wayfinding signs, maps or information pillars; landmarks; gateway features; meeting locations with seating; pedestrian lighting; pedestrian crossing islands with landscaping; decorative pavers; and carefully
selected street furniture and/or street art.
Cross rides indicate where cyclists may ride to cross a roadway at controlled crossings, alongside pedestrians. Adequate width and attention to design are required for the crosswalk and cross ride to prevent
conflicts among cyclists and more vulnerable pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
A left-turn queue box consists of pavement markings indicating a safe and designated area for cyclists
making a left-turn manoeuvre. These may be accompanied by a right turn on red restriction if the queue
box is in the path of vehicular right turns.
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Transit queue jump lanes should be considered for areas where heavy volumes of mixed traffic negatively impact transit service, depending on space and impacts to other road users.
Right turn channels present safety concerns for all road users, as they result in poor sightlines for all in
addition to significant barriers to people with disabilities. Remove wherever possible.
Roads that run overhead or underground are called grade-separated. Such facilities create significant
barriers between neighbourhoods and for vulnerable road users.
B.9.7
Intersection Signals and Other Traffic Controls
When reviewing or making decisions about signals or traffic control devices, there are some key considerations to keep in mind for the safety and comfort of all road users regardless of age and ability:
• Leading pedestrian intervals give pedestrians a five second head start, making them more visible
to turning motorists.
• Safety first: Consider the use of a combination of physical design (e.g., rightsized traffic lanes and
corner radii) and traffic control features to achieve the desired target speed for the street’s context.
• Use future, not past data: Use projected future volumes (and not past or existing data) for all
modes in the analysis and review of future infrastructure, new developments, and environmental
sustainability.
• Spacing between controlled crossings: Consider land uses, density, pedestrian volumes, and
demographics when looking at spacing of controlled crossings. All pedestrians, especially people
with disabilities, benefit from having more closely spaced crossing opportunities. The desire for
widely spaced intersections for faster motor vehicle movements needs to be weighed against the
impacts on safety, connectivity, and accessibility of pedestrians and cyclists.
• Adequate crossing times and walk speeds accounting for all ages and abilities: Consider
how to best accommodate slow walkers through the provision of the shortest possible crossing
distance and adequate signal time. Long crossing distances not only increase pedestrian exposure
to risk of collision in the street, they also require longer signal cycles to give enough time to safely
cross the street.
• Short signal cycles: In general, short signal cycles (60 s to 90 s) are preferred as they provide
predictable and regular crossings, and generally minimise overall delay for all users. While short
cycles tend to encourage people to obey the signals compared with locations with longer delays,
the short cycle length needs to be weighed against the safety benefits of separated signal phases,
such as having dedicated left-turn signals.
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B.10
Street Network Design
B.10.1
Fine-Grained Street Networks
Studies show that higher levels of intersection density (i.e., more intersections) result in lower levels of
overall travel by car and higher likelihoods of travel by sustainable modes. A pattern of smaller blocks
and connected streets makes it possible to travel along direct routes. A connected street network extends
the reach of transit, walking, and cycling, and closes the gap between destinations; it also brings origins
and destinations closer together and makes access to everyday activities more convenient by sustainable
modes of travel. Street connectivity may be of highest priority in established Urban Centres and is most
critical near frequent transit stops or stations.
Design block patterns with short block lengths, to create a connected grid of streets that minimises pedestrian and cyclist travel distances between points. Blocks should generally range in length between 200 m
to 250 m to promote walkability, and shouldn’t exceed 250 m. Blocks longer than 250 m should only
be considered where shorter block alternatives aren’t feasible; in such cases, provide publicly accessible
through-block pedestrian walkways (at least 6 m wide) or a linear park. Public pedestrian walkways
should include pedestrian-scaled lighting, and provide clear sightlines allowing view from one end of the
walkway to the other. Ensure landscaping doesn’t create blind spots or hiding places in walkways.
Plan for spacing of approximately 800 m between arterial streets, with local blocks no longer than 150 m.
Ensure that internal streets for large development projects are accessible to the public, and that the
development is permeable for pedestrians, cyclists, and emergency vehicles. To further minimise the
visual impact of blocks, turn lots located on the end of the block 90° to face the street. Reverse frontage
lots should be also avoided. Achieve positive frontage on arterial and collector streets through the use of
rear lane access, rear access from local streets, or single-loaded service streets. Provide a mix of lot sizes
and orientations to ensure a diversity of housing types and designs, and to enhance visual interest along
the streetscape. Avoid dead-ends, culs-de-sac, and running streets through green spaces.
Provide safe and convenient pedestrian crossings of arterial streets near transit passenger facilities.
Where appropriate, provide closely-spaced pedestrian crossings of primary streets to improve access and
convenience to both sides of the street (e.g., in Urban Centres). Provide at-grade pedestrian crossings of
primary streets, rather than over- or under-passes, to avoid delaying pedestrian travel. Provide pedestrian-,
cyclist-, and/or transit-only crossings along desire lines to increase the convenience and competitiveness
of these modes and to help overcome physical barriers to movement, such as major highways and rivers.
B.10.2
Coordinated, Multi-Modal Transportation Networks
This approach recognises that not every street will serve every mode of transportation in the same way. A
multi-modal network includes different types of streets and pathways that combine to provide optimal
connectivity for all modes within a community.
Designate a network of arterial streets that connect major destinations and provide direct paths of travel,
avoiding unnecessary breaks and diversions, in order to achieve more efficient and convenient transit
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corridors. Avoid concentrating vehicle traffic on only a few corridors by providing multiple, relatively
even-spaced, and well-connected arterial streets. Fine-grained design discussed previously creates an
effective street network providing for quick pedestrian routes and efficient transit operations.
Create a well-connected network of bike lanes, priority lanes, routes, and paths that provide direct
connections to local destinations and transit passenger facilities. Select bicycle priority streets, where
possible, that have low traffic volume and a fairly flat terrain to provide convenient connections to transit
passenger facilities. Ensure that the bicycle network provides strong connections to important transit
nodes. Even where facilities for cyclist through-movement are provided on low-volume streets adjacent
to major arterials, design arterials for safe access by cyclists to destinations along those streets. Provide
additional connectivity by creating bicycle boulevards or neighbourhood greenways on streets with low
traffic volumes.
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Figure 22: Avoid towers in a park. Free-standing towers disrupt the pedestrian-oriented scale, character,
and vitality of the street.
C
Tall Building Guidelines
The following section is derived from the City of Toronto’s Tall Building Design Guidelines, March 2013.
C.1
Introduction
The design and placement of tall buildings should make a positive contribution to the public realm, and
fit harmoniously within the surrounding context and skyline. Avoid free-standing towers without bases
or a direct relationship to the street, e.g. “towers in a park” as shown in Figure 22.
C.2
Site Context
C.2.1
Fit and Transition in Scale
Ensure tall buildings fit within the existing or planned context and provide an appropriate transition in scale down to lower-scaled buildings, parks, and open space.
When tall buildings are proposed within an identified growth area, design towers nearer to the edge of
the growth area to be progressively lower in height than those in the “centre”, i.e. the location of greatest
intensity and highest order transit, as shown in Figure 23. Appropriate fit and transition in scale may
mean that not all sites are suitable for tall buildings.
In general, appropriate fit and transition is achieved when tall buildings:
• Respect and integrate with the height, scale and character of neighbouring buildings;
• Reinforce the broader city structure;
• Provide horizontal separation and transition down to lower-scale buildings and open space (as
seen in Figure 24); and
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Figure 23: A progressive transition in the height and scale of tall buildings from the centre of a growth
area down to a lower-scale area.
• Maintain access to sunlight and sky view for surrounding streets, parks, public or private open
space, and neighbouring properties, as shown in Figure 25.
Angular planes (seen in Figure 26) are a commonly applied measure to provide appropriate transition
in scale from tall buildings down to lower-scale areas, limiting shadow and overlook on neighbouring
properties that are lower-scale, and limiting shadow and loss of sky view on adjacent streets and open
space. They are also used to protect access to sunlight and sky view for streets, parks, public and private
open space. Typically, a maximum of 45° for an angular plane is best.
C.2.2
Sunlight and Sky View
Locate and design tall buildings to protect access to sunlight and sky view within the surrounding
context of streets, parks, public and private open space, and other shadow sensitive areas.
Consider different placements of tall buildings within the surrounding block to ensure maximum sunlight
penetration and sky view to lower-scale areas. While limiting the scale and height of the base building to
appropriately frame the public realm, maintain access to at least five (5) hours of sunlight on the opposite
side of the street. Consider the cumulative effect of multiple towers on resulting shadowing.
Shadow-sensitive areas include places like play fields, schoolyards, and cemeteries. Heritage properties
and local landmarks may also be shadow-sensitive, and should have shadows cast on them minimised.
Cast shadows are especially important depending on the local climate; cold locations with long winters
need as much sunlight as possible.
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Figure 24: Horizontal separation distance, and a change in base building height and form to support tall
building transition down to a lower-scale area.
Figure 25: A new tall building fitting within an existing context of other tall buildings of consistent height.
Note the appropriate separation distance between buildings of similar height.
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Figure 26: An angular plane, and direct relationship in base building height and form to support tall
building transition down to a lower-scale area.
C.2.3
Prominent Sites and Views from the Public Realm
Provide an appropriate, high-quality design response for tall buildings on or adjacent to prominent sites, and when framing views from the public realm to prominent sites.
Well-placed (and well-designed) tall buildings on prominent sites can themselves become landmarks,
providing points of orientation and visual interest within a city. Most often, however, tall buildings
typically play a secondary role to what is being viewed at a pedestrian level. For example, the design
and placement of the base building, tower and open spaces work together to open up or better frame
the view. Less frequently, tall buildings may be an integral part of shaping what is being viewed, such
as with skylines. When a tall building frames a view from the public realm to a prominent site or other
important feature, the design and placement of the tall building should play a supportive role to those
sites and features.
C.3
Site Organisation
C.3.1
Building Placement
Locate the base of tall buildings to frame the edges of streets, parks, and open space, to fit harmoniously with the existing context, and to provide opportunities for high-quality landscaped open
space on-site.
Where the existing setback pattern is consistent and not planned to change, align new base buildings with
neighbouring building frontages. Where existing setback patterns vary on either side of a tall building
site, locate and design the base building to resolve the differences. On corner sites, respond to the setback
pattern and alignment of neighbouring buildings on both streets. Provide greater building setbacks at
strategic points, such as intersections.
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Figure 27: A series of street-related entrances promote interaction between the building interior and the
public realm. Public art and signature architectural features also effectively highlight primary building
entrances.
C.3.2
Building Address and Entrances
Ensure primary building entrances front onto public streets, are well defined, clearly visible, and
universally accessible from the adjacent public sidewalk.
Differentiate between residential and commercial entrances in mixed-use buildings. Where building
entrances are set back by a plaza or forecourt, maintain high visibility and direct, universal access from the
public sidewalk. Coordinate the location of building entrances with transit stops and stations. Highlight
corner and mid-block entrances, as shown in Figure 27.
C.3.3
Site Servicing, Access, and Parking
Locate “back of house” activities such as loading (commercial) and vehicle parking underground
or within the building, away from the public realm and public view.
Avoid areas where high pedestrian traffic is expected by directing vehicular access to on-site parking,
loading, and servicing facilities to local streets and rear lanes, and not from the arterial street. Where
feasible, incorporate shared driveways in order to reduce the extent of interruption to pedestrians. Where
vehicular access is only feasible from arterial streets, a front driveway may be permitted, provided that
mutual access with adjacent properties are provided wherever possible, and that the access point is
located away from areas where high pedestrian activities would occur.
Through-lanes (public or private) are encouraged to minimise vehicle turnarounds. Organise dropoff areas into the side or rear of the side. When located at the rear, provide direct visual and physical
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pedestrian access to the street frontage. Provide taxi stands and bus drop-off areas on private property
for tall buildings which contain hotels, or commercial and office uses. Drop-off areas should include the
following elements:
• Drop-off access should be from rear lanes or secondary streets wherever possible. Avoid placing
drop-off areas at highly visible locations, such as street termini.
• Pedestrian connections should lead directly from drop-off areas to street frontage and to the front
entry of the building. Provide weather protection for outdoor waiting areas, to make getting to
and from the site more comfortable.
• Design drop-off areas to be pedestrian-oriented, minimise conflicts with pedestrian routes, and to
include decorative paving material, textures, or colours to emphasise pedestrian connections.
Design any above-grade parking structures to reinforce the intended built character, and blend into
the streetscape through façade treatments that conceal the parking levels and give the visual appearance
of a multi-storey building. Façade design of above-grade parking structures should complement adjacent
buildings in terms of openings, vertical articulation, materials, and colours. Pedestrian amenities such
as awnings, canopies, and sheltered entries are encouraged. Locate pedestrian entrances for parking
structures adjacent to main building entrances, public streets, or other highly visible locations. Locate
exterior vehicular ramps and garage entrances to parking structures at the rear or side of buildings, away
from main building frontages and streets. Avoid locating ramps/entrances at street corners or view
termini.
C.3.4
Publicly Accessible Open Space
Provide grade-related, publicly accessible open space within the tall building site to complement,
connect, and extend the existing network of public streets, parks, and open space.
Providing good quality, publicly accessible open space within a tall building site can help new development
fit within the existing context and is particularly important when there is a shortage of public park space
in the surrounding area. Locate and design publicly accessible open space to:
• Read as a public place and include features to encourage year-round use;
• Provide direct visual and physical connections to public streets, parks, and open space, including
adjacent pedestrian and cycling routes;
• Complement and connect with publicly accessible open space on neighbouring properties, where
possible;
• Maximise safety, comfort, and amenity, including access to sunlight, clear views to and from
adjacent streets and buildings, universal accessibility, pedestrian-scale lighting, four season landscaping, seating, public art, and protection from wind and inclement weather.
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Figure 28: Tall building sites offer a broad range of publicly accessible open space opportunities.
On larger sites, use publicly accessible open space to provide through-block pedestrian connections.
Define and animate the edges of publicly accessible open space with well-proportioned base buildings
and active uses at-grade.
Types of publicly accessible open space may include:
• Courtyards: Landscaped open space, located in the centre of a single or consolidated block with
no direct street frontage.
• Forecourts: Landscaped open space between the public sidewalk and the main entrance of a
building.
• Landscaped Setback: Space between the public sidewalk and building face characterised by
hard or soft landscape treatment.
• Plazas: Animated gathering place with predominantly hard surfaced landscape features flanking
a public street.
• Urban Gardens: Landscaped space, usually of intimate scale, open to a public street, located and
oriented to provide maximum sunlight during midday.
• Walkways: Exterior public pedestrian route at street level, usually providing connection through
the block. A galleria, when glazed and enclosed.
Examples of such spaces are shown in Figure 28.
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Figure 29: Tall buildings require a broad range of private open spaces to meet the needs of building
occupants.
C.3.5
Private Open Space
Provide a range of high-quality, comfortable private and shared outdoor amenity space throughout the tall building site.
Locate and design shared private outdoor amenity space to maximise access to sunlight, while minimising
noise and air quality impacts from site servicing (mechanical equipment, etc.). In residential or mixed-use
developments, include places for pets and pet runs either at-grade or on a shared rooftop space, and
provide access to secure outdoor play space and equipment for families. Where possible, ensure such
spaces are directly overlooked by windows and balconies. Examples of different types of private open
spaces are shown in Figure 29.
C.3.6
Pedestrian and Cycling Connections
Provide comfortable, safe, and accessible pedestrian and cycling routes through and around the
tall building site to connect with adjacent routes, streets, parks, open space, and other priority
destinations, such as transit and underground courses.
Providing direct, convenient, safe, highly visible, and universally accessible connections to the surrounding public realm is key to promoting walking and cycling as viable transportation choices for building
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occupants. Design on-site pedestrian and cycling routes to read as publicly accessible; be direct, logical,
and continuous; and include landscaping, pedestrian-scale lighting, and other amenities to enhance
safety, comfort, and four season use. A network of above- and below-grade connections to local destinations can also help tall buildings integrate with the surrounding context, but should never be at
the expense of good connections at-grade to support vibrant public streets and sidewalks. Prioritise
pedestrian and cyclist circulation and connectivity with adjacent sites.
C.3.7
Public Art
Pursue public art opportunities on tall building sites or adjacent public lands to enhance the quality of the development, the public realm, and the city.
Public art enriches the public realm by making buildings and open spaces more interesting, engaging,
and memorable. Where applicable, provide adequate building setbacks and space around public art so
that it can be properly viewed and experienced from the public realm. Public art opportunities on tall
building sites may include:
• A conceptual framework to organise open spaces including parks, plazas, setbacks, or streetscapes;
• An independent sculpture or two-dimensional work that marks an entryway, corner, feature area,
or view terminus; or
• Visual arts combined with landscape design, functional, and decorative elements of a site, such as
water features, lighting, canopies, seating, paving, walls, fences, etc.
C.4
Base Building Design
C.4.1
Base Building Height and Scale
Design the base building to fit harmoniously within the existing context of neighbouring building heights at the street and to respect the scale and proportion of adjacent streets, parks, and
open spaces.
The role of the base building is to help a tall building fit harmoniously within the existing or planned
street wall context; define the edges of adjacent streets, parks, and open space at good proportion; and
maintain access to sunlight and sky view for pedestrians and neighbouring properties.
Where there is an existing context of street wall buildings with consistent height, align the new base
building with the height of the street wall. In the absence of a consistent street wall height context,
provide a minimum base building height between 3 to a maximum of 80 % of the adjacent street width
as shown in Figure 30 (up to a limit of 24 m, or 5 storeys). Doing so provides consistency in proportion
and maintains access to at least five (5) hours of sunlight on the opposite side of the street at the spring
and fall equinoxes. On wider streets (30 m to 45 m in width), additional base building height may be
appropriate with a stepback of at least 3 m, provided that the total height doesn’t exceed 100 % of the
adjacent street width as shown in Figure 30 (up to a limit of 24 m, or 7 storeys). This ensures the base
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Figure 30: The height and scale of the base building responds to the scale of neighbouring buildings and
the street proportion.
doesn’t overwhelm the pedestrian environment, compound tall building impacts on shadow and sky
view, and contribute to a disproportionate tall building composition.
For sites where the adjacent context is lower-scale and not anticipated to change, provide a transition
in the base building height down to the lower-scale neighbours. Match at least a portion of the base
immediately adjacent to the lower-scale context with the scale and height of neighbouring buildings.
Many tall building sites, including corner sites, have multiple frontages facing streets, parks, and public or
private open space. The scale, height, and form of the base building may need to vary in order to respond
appropriately to differences in adjacent building height, character, open space size, and street width for
each face. The appropriate height for base buildings facing small open spaces within a site is often lower
scale than may be appropriate for street frontages. Provide a smooth transition where a change in base
building height, scale, and character occurs.
C.4.2
Street Animation
Line the base building with active, grade-related uses to promote a safe and animated public realm.
Active, street-related commercial and retail uses are often the most desirable activity generators in the
base building, since the resulting pattern of entrances and display windows provides multiple points
of interaction between the building interior and adjacent public realm. On streets with a mixed-use or
commercial character, line the base building with a series of active commercial and retail uses. Where
possible, dedicate at least 60 % of street frontage to active retail uses. Multiple building and storefront
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entrances, spaced an average of 7 m to 10 m along street and open space frontages, are encouraged.
Conversely, lobbies, large-format commercial uses, private indoor amenities, and guest suites tend to
be relatively inanimate spaces that lack a strong or engaging connection with pedestrians and do little
to improve safety compared to the constant surveillance of street activity. Where large-scale spaces are
necessary on the first floor, locate them toward the building interior and line them with active uses along
all street and public open space frontages.
On streets with a mainly residential character, line the base building with grade-related residential units
such as townhouses (except along arterial roads where smaller apartments with multiple entrances
would work better) with front entrances and windows to living spaces facing the street. This can create a
pleasant and animated base building alternative, broaden the range of housing choices, and increase the
opportunity for social interaction and natural surveillance.
C.4.3
Public-Private Transition
Design the base building and adjacent setback to promote an appropriate level of visual and physical access and overlook reflecting the nature of building use at-grade.
For all public entrances, such as entries to commercial uses or shared lobbies (public and private), provide
direct, universal access, flush with the public sidewalk. Along mixed-use and commercial street frontages,
avoid locating balconies (projecting or inset) within the first 3 storeys of the base building. Between 3
and 6 storeys, inset balconies behind the street wall.
For private entrances to ground floor residential units, provide grade separation (up to 0.9 m) and a
minimum of 3 m distance separation from the front property line. Filter and screen views into private
dwelling units with soft landscaping, but ensure views to streets and open space are maintained for natural
surveillance.
Examples of transition for public and private spaces are shown in Figure 31
C.5
Tower Design
C.5.1
Tower Placement
Place towers away from streets, parks, open space, and neighbouring properties to reduce visual
and physical impacts of the tower and allow the base building to be the primary defining element
for the site and adjacent public realm.
Towers that meet the ground directly can generate uncomfortable wind conditions, establish an overwhelming street proportion, and create an oppressive sense of pedestrian scale. Setting the tower back at
least 3 m and more where possible reinforces the base building as the defining element for the public
realm, enhances pedestrian comfort by absorbing downward wind shear, and limits the visual impact of
the tower at grade. Generous tower stepbacks, substantially greater than 3 m, as well as coordination of
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Figure 31: Treatment of the transition space between the public sidewalk and building interior reflects
the differing needs for access and privacy between residential and commercial frontages.
tower placement with the location of other tall buildings, may also improve wind conditions and access
to sunlight and sky view in the surrounding area.
Coordinate tower placement with other towers on the same block and adjacent blocks to maximise access
to sunlight and sky view for surrounding streets, parks, open space, and properties. Step back the tower
(including balconies) at least 3 m from the face of the base building, along all street, park, and open space
frontages (including publicly accessible or private shared open space and rooftop amenity within the
site). Tower stepbacks greater than 3 m are encouraged and may be necessary to fit tall buildings within
an existing context. As an option within the stepback, up to one third of a point tower frontage along a
street or open space may extend straight down to the ground (as shown in Figure 32. At these locations,
provide permanent building features such as canopies and overhangs to mitigate pedestrian-level winds.
C.5.2
Separation Distances
Setback towers from the side and rear property lines, or centre line of an abutting lane, by 12.5 m
or greater. Provide separation distances of 25 m or greater between towers, measured from the
exterior wall of the building, excluding balconies.
Placement of towers should minimise negative impacts on the public realm and neighbouring properties,
such as shadowing, pedestrian-level wind, and blockage of sky view, and maximise environmental quality
of building interiors, including sunlight, ventilation, and privacy. The minimum separation distances
are established to ensure tall buildings achieve the following objectives for the protection of sky view,
privacy, and daylighting:
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Figure 32: The tower frontage, including balconies, steps back at least 3 m from the base building. As an
option, up to one third of the point tower frontage within the stepback extends to the ground.
• Sky View between buildings is essential to maintain the character, usability, and quality of streets,
parks, open space, and neighbouring properties. Lack of sky view can also negatively affect the
microclimate and sense of pedestrian scale at-grade.
• Privacy objectives, particularly for residential units, are achieved when tower orientation, appropriate facing distances, and setbacks combine to mitigate overlook between the windows or
balconies of one building and those of another.
• Daylight access in the building interior is an important component of residential liveability,
workplace productivity, and sustainable building practice.
If towers are located too close to side or rear property lines, the need to provide access to sunlight, sky
view, privacy, and daylighting may restrict adjacent sites from developing in a similar manner. Thus,
minimum tower stepbacks from side and rear property lines are required as shown in Figure 33.
Where the existing context is characterised by separation distances greater than 25 m, provide tower
setbacks and separation distances in keeping with the more generous spacing established by the context.
Even if tall buildings in close proximity to other tall buildings meet the minimum required separation
distances, setbacks, and stepbacks, towers should be further shaped, placed, and articulated to increase the
actual and perceived distances between adjacent building elevations, as shown in Figure 34. If buildings
are taller, provide greater setbacks and separation distances proportionate to increases in building size
and height. Use the widest dimension of the tower as a guide to determining setbacks and separation
distances, as shown in Figure 35.
C.5.3
Tower Orientation and Articulation
Organise and articulate towers to promote sustainability and visual interest.
Vary the design and articulation of each tower façade to respond to changes in solar orientation. When
multiple towers are proposed, stagger tower heights to create visual interest within the skyline, mitigate
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Figure 33: Conceptual “small sites” showing recommended minimum tower stepbacks from the base
building and setbacks from side and rear property lines or centre line of an abutting lane.
Figure 34: Adequate minimum tower separation distances, measured from closest building face to
building face, protect access to sunlight and sky view for the surrounding public realm and neighbouring
properties, and improve privacy and daylighting within tall buildings.
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Figure 35: Minimum tower separation distance proportionate to building width, measured from building
face to building face.
wind, and improve access to sunlight and sky view. In general, variations of 5 storeys or more provides a
difference in height that can be perceived at street level. Designs which reduce the appearance of the
overall tower bulk and present a slender, point tower form in the skyline are encouraged.
C.6
Pedestrian Realm
C.6.1
Streetscape and Landscape Design
Provide high-quality, sustainable streetscape and landscape design between the tall building and
adjacent streets, parks, and open space.
A well-designed and vibrant streetscape is vital to the character and quality of the tall building site and
the surrounding public realm, as well as to the liveability of the city. Create a strong visual and physical
connection between the building setback and public streetscape. Maintain universal access to public and
shared entrances, particularly when there are changes in topography. On streets characterised by soft
landscape setbacks or where ground floor uses require more privacy from the adjacent sidewalk, provide
additional landscaping between the building face and public sidewalk.
C.6.2
Sidewalk Zone
Provide adequate space between the front of the building and adjacent street curbs to safely and
comfortably accommodate pedestrian movement, streetscape elements, and activities related to
the uses at grade.
Along the primary street frontages of a tall building site, secure a sidewalk zone at least 6 m wide, as shown
in Figure 36. Tall buildings at corners, transit nodes, on wider streets with higher and faster volumes of
vehicular traffic, or other locations with significant pedestrian use, may require additional setbacks to
accommodate pedestrian flow. Furthermore, tall buildings of significant height and density may require
additional sidewalk width beyond 6 m to accommodate the anticipated volume of pedestrian traffic.
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Figure 36: A generous sidewalk and strategic setback supports an active street frontage and vibrant
pedestrian environment.
C.6.3
Pedestrian Level Wind Effects
Locate, orient, and design tall buildings to promote air circulation and natural ventilation, yet
minimise adverse wind conditions on adjacent streets, parks, and open space, at building entrances, and in public and private outdoor amenity areas.
While air circulation around tall buildings is important, down drafts from the buildings or accelerated
winds from tunnelling between buildings can negatively affect pedestrian-level comfort and even become
hazardous. In general, the taller the building, the stronger the potential for wind effects at the base and
the greater the need for mitigation measures.
The use of stepbacks at the tower base is a particularly useful strategy to dissipate down drafts. Landscaping and walls, as well as architectural devices such as projecting cornices, screens, terraces, overhangs,
and permanent canopies can also be applied to reduce the effects of high speed wind around the base
building and within rooftop amenity areas.
A number of different scenarios and solutions to poor wind design are provided in Figure 37.
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Figure 37: Issues and solutions to building wind design.
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C.6.4
Pedestrian Weather Protection
Ensure weather protection elements, such as overhangs and canopies, are well-integrated into
building design, carefully designed and scaled to support the street, and positioned to maximise
function and pedestrian comfort.
The inclusion of pedestrian weather protection along the edges of buildings can greatly enhance the
year-round enjoyment of streets and open space. Where base buildings form a continuous street wall,
coordinated and uninterrupted weather protection allows pedestrians to move comfortably throughout
the entire area in all seasons. Weather protection elements can work together with street trees to define
and frame a street. They can help define building proportions at the street level, articulate entrances,
animate base buildings, and enhance the character of a neighbourhood. Such protection is especially
important at locations adjacent to transit stops and other areas with significant pedestrian flow.
Provide permanent pedestrian weather protection, such as overhangs or canopies, at building entrances
and along commercial and mixed-use street frontages. In general, locate weather protection at the top of
the first floor (up to a maximum of 6 m above ground) and provide a width of 3 m projecting from the
building. Translucent or opaque materials are recommended to mute reflections on ground floor glazing,
mitigate passive solar gain, and reduce light trespass from the building interior.
Colonnades are generally discouraged as weather protection devices, as they tend to pull retail frontages
and associated pedestrian activity away from the street. Where they do prevail, design and space columns
to maintain clear views to the uses behind, and promote ease of pedestrian flow. Provide generous
proportions, including a minimum width of 3 m and minimum height of 6 m (1:2 ratio).
C.7
Glossary
• Articulation: The layout or pattern, expression and material character of building elements,
including walls, doors, roofs, windows and decorative elements such as cornices and belt courses.
• Point tower: A compact and slender tall building form with a typical residential tower floor plate
of 750 square metres or less.
• Setback: Horizontal distance measured at a right angle from any lot line to the nearest part of the
main wall of a building or structure.
• Stepback: The setting back of the upper storeys of a base building or of a tower from the face of a
base building.
• Streetscape: The distinguishing elements and character of a particular street as created by its
width, degree of curvature, paving materials, design and placement of street furniture, trees,
landscaping, lighting and other pedestrian amenities, as well as the setback and form of surrounding
buildings.
• Street Wall: The condition of enclosure along a street whereby the fronts of buildings align and
the façades visually and physically join together to create a continuous defining edge for the street.
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D
Mid-Rise Building Guidelines
The following section is derived from the City of Toronto’s Avenues and Mid-Rise Buildings Study, May
2010, including revisions from a 2016 City of Toronto Review of this study. An updated version of these
guidelines is set to be published by late 2017. One general definition of mid-rise buildings used by the
City of Toronto is “taller than a typical house or townhouse but no taller than the width of the street’s
public right-of-way.” and not higher than 36 m (or 11 storeys). Note that these guidelines do not apply to
base buildings (of tall buildings).
D.1
Building Height
The maximum allowable height of mid-rise buildings should be no taller than the width of the right-ofway, up to a maximum mid-rise height of 11 storeys (36 m). All buildings on arterials must achieve a
minimum height of 10.5 m (3 storeys) at the street frontage, to make better use of existing infrastructure
and prevent inefficient development as well as achieving minimum density for improved public transit.
D.2
Front Façades
D.2.1
Angular Plane
The building envelope should allow for a minimum of five (5) hours of sunlight onto the main road
sidewalks from spring to fall equinoxes.18 Specifically, mid-rises should allow for five (5) hours of
sunlight access on the opposite sidewalk on east/west roads, and combined on both sides of the street for
north/south roads (i.e. there must be sunlight on the sidewalks on both sides of the street, separately or at
the same time, for 5 hours total). This minimum requirement also applies for diagonal streets, buildings
set back from the property line, and streets that have a grade difference from one side to the other.
D.2.2
Pedestrian Perception Stepback
The minimum sunlight hours discussed above generally result in a stepback of the upper floors of mid-rise
buildings. An additional stepback may be appropriate for buildings taller than 7 storeys (or 23 m) in
height as a means of mitigating the pedestrian perception of height on the road. Above the maximum
street wall, the building should have a stepback between 3 m to 5 m to achieve a clearly discernible top to
the street wall and minimise shadow impact on the public realm. The minimum stepback dimension is
3 m. For roads 20 m or less in width, the stepback height should be at 10.5 m. For roads between 20 m
to 36 m in width, stepback height should be at 13.5 m. For roads greater than 36 m in width, stepback
height should be at 16.5 m.
D.2.3
Alignment
The front street wall of mid-rise buildings should be built to the front property lines or applicable setback
lines. The street wall is defined as the portion of a buildings façade (frontage) comprised of the building
base (minimum of 10.5 m or 3 storeys in height and up to the 80 % of the permitted maximum building
18
Or from fall to spring if you live upside down.
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height). A mid-rise building should have a minimum of 75 %19 of its street wall built to the setback line,
while the remaining 25 % may setback to a maximum additional distance of 5 m to provide a deeper
area for lobby entrances, bike parking, or outdoor marketing areas such as café seating. At the ground
floor level, any setback zone should be treated as an extension of the public realm in order to provide
additional outdoor space and landscaping opportunities, allow for at-grade uses to expand outdoors, and
to encourage street animation. This relationship of sidewalk to grade-related uses encourages diverse
economic stimulation and social interaction at a pedestrian scale.
D.3
Rear Transition
Rear lanes such as local streets and service lanes are encouraged, with grade-related residential entrances
facing existing low/medium density residential neighbourhoods where appropriate and possible.
D.3.1
Rear Transition to Neighbourhoods: Deep Properties
A deep property is defined depending on the width of the right-of-way. For a 20 m road, a deep lot is
one 33 m or deeper. For a 27 m road, it’s 41 m; for a 30 m road, it’s 45 m; and for a 36 m road, it’s 52 m.
The transition between a deep property and neighbourhoods, parks, open space areas, and natural areas
to the rear, should be created through setback and angular plane provisions.
This transition should include a minimum setback of 7.5 m to the building face and a 45° angular plane
from the property line to a maximum height of 1:1. The 7.5 m setback allows for a two-way lane (6 m),
and a walkway (1.5 m) or landscape buffer (1.5 m). This results in a lower building at the rear and a
gradual transition from the rear property line. Where a public laneway abuts a site, the laneway may be
included for the purposes of establishing the setback and angular plane, as shown in Figure 38. In order
to minimise overlook, avoid windows closer than 10 m from the rear property line, and avoid balconies
below 3 storeys from the rear property line.
D.3.2
Rear Transition to Neighbourhoods: Shallow Properties
A shallow property is one that isn’t defined as a deep property, as discussed above. All of the same
standards discussed above apply for deep properties as for shallow properties, but for shallow properties
the angular plane is taken from a height of 10.5 m (3 storeys) at the 7.5 m setback, instead of from the
property line as for deep properties. The angular plane provisions for deep and shallow properties result
in minimal shadow impacts on properties located behind a mid-rise building. Ideally, the minimum rear
yard (or side yard) setback should be at least equivalent to the height of the nearest building on the site
(e.g. house across the street).
In situations where the rear of the property is at a different grade level than the mid-rise road frontages (e.g.
the lane/property behind the mid-rise is elevated higher/lower than it), the rear angular plane should
always be taken from the lowest grade elevation of the adjacent property located along the rear of
19
This may be incompatible with certain typologies which may be desirable in residential areas, e.g. courtyard-style
buildings that open to the street. In such cases, context is important and the rules may vary. The general idea, however,
is to make sure the building meshes with its surroundings.
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Figure 38: Rear transition for deep properties abutting neighbourhoods, parks, open space, and natural
areas (30 m right-of-way).
the mid-rise building’s property line. This holds true for deep and shallow properties. This will
ensure that properties to the rear aren’t subject to additional shadow impacts resulting from changes in
grade, or creating potential for taller buildings adjacent to these shared property lines.
D.3.3
Rear Transition to Employment Areas
For industrial and office areas behind residential and/or mixed-use mid-rises, the requirements for
privacy and sunlight aren’t as strict as they are for residential, mixed-use, parks, and open space areas. The
transition in this case includes a minimum setback of 7.5 m from the property line to the building face to
allow for a rear lane. At the setback line, the building height is permitted up to 13.5 m (or approximately
four storeys). All floors above 13.5 m must step back an additional 2.5 m. This equates to a total setback
of 10 m from the property line above a 13.5 m height. An example is shown in Figure 39.
D.3.4
Rear Transition to Apartment Neighbourhoods
A mid-rise building may be bounded along the rear by apartment(s), with the apartment building
generally in one of three (3) configurations:
1. Parallel to the mid-rise’s rear property line with a setback used for parking and/or traffic;
2. Parallel to the mid-rise’s rear property line with a setback used for parks and/or open space; or
3. Perpendicular to the mid-rise’s rear property line with minimal to no windows facing the mid-rise.
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Figure 39: Rear transition for properties abutting employment areas (30 m right-of-way).
140
There are three (3) main considerations that potential mid-rise properties should take into account:
• Provide a minimum separation distance of 20 m between buildings, especially for those with
facing windows.
• Install attractive landscaping at the rear of the mid-rise, especially for those in Configuration 2.
• Ensure the setback is consistent with the other rear transition requirements discussed in subsubsection D.3.1 and subsubsection D.3.2.
For mid-rise buildings with Configuration 2 at the rear, the apartment building’s park/open space area
must be treated as a public park/open space area and therefore follow guidelines listed in subsubsection D.3.2. Mid-rise stepbacks may start at higher heights than mandated in subsubsection D.3.2 for
mid-rises with Configuration 1 at the rear, since the need for sunlight is less significant. For mid-rise
buildings with Configuration 3 at the rear, a minimum separation distance of 15 m will suffice for apartment buildings 20 storeys or less, but should be higher for taller apartments. Note that guidelines in
other sections still apply, e.g. shadow casting, ensuring 5 hours of sunlight, 7.5 m setbacks, etc. The
guidelines discussed here are merely additional considerations to take into account when encountering
Configurations 1–3.
D.4
Corner Sites: Heights and Angular Planes
On corner sites, the front angular plane and heights that apply to the right-of-way frontage will also
apply to the secondary (side) street frontage. Exceptions to this condition may include key locations (e.g.
where two major roads intersect) where design features should give prominence to the corner. At such
major intersections, the widest right-of-way should be used to determine the stepbacks and heights that
will apply to both frontages. Where this occurs, rear transition angular planes still apply. An example of a
corner site mid-rise configuration is provided in Figure 40.
D.5
Minimum Sidewalk Zones
Right-of-ways between 20 m to 30 m inclusive should provide a minimum sidewalk width of 4.8 m.
Right-of-ways between 31 m to 35 m inclusive should provide a minimum sidewalk width of 6 m. Rightof-ways 36 m or greater should provide a minimum sidewalk width of 7.5 m. Areas with busy transit stops,
street corners and intersections, and other cluster areas of high pedestrian use require larger sidewalk
widths. However, ‘sawtooth’ or uneven setbacks are anticipated in some areas as a temporary condition,
and should be mitigated whenever possible. Note that these minimum sidewalk widths don’t include
areas occupied by spaces such as cafés, and wider widths should be provided in those cases.
D.6
Side Property Lines
D.6.1
Continuous Street Walls
A break in the continuity of the street wall and building fabric is disruptive to the success of the public
function of the main road. For this reason, front yard parking, automotive uses, and buildings with large
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Figure 40: Example of corner site conditions for mid-rise buildings.
setbacks are detrimental in mixed-use and commercial areas.
Mid-rise buildings should be built to the side property lines for at least the first 10.5 m of building height
and up to a maximum of 6 storeys20 , to create continuous façades along the road and avoid blank side
walls. The first 3 storeys should be continuous with the street wall, but the rest of the building above the
street wall should have upper storey stepbacks and windows. Gaps between buildings, if any, should be
minimal unless adjacent buildings have side windows (see subsubsection D.6.4). Note that a continuous
street wall may not be required for, e.g., buildings adjacent to parks, open spaces, or heritage buildings.
See the subsequent subsubsections for more details.
D.6.2
Limiting Blank Side Walls
Blank side wall conditions may be acceptable up to a height of 6 storeys if treated properly. However,
large expanses of blank sidewalls should be avoided. To mitigate their impact, they should be designed
with a material finish that complements the architectural character of the main building façade(s).
D.6.3
Stepbacks at Upper Storeys
There should be breaks at upper storeys between mid-rise buildings, providing sky-views and increased
sunlight access to the sidewalk. This can be achieved through side stepbacks at the upper storeys, to
avoid a “canyon effect” on the road. For mid-rises between 7 to 11 storeys, the following guidelines help
avoid massive continuous 36 m-high slab-type buildings. Side stepbacks of a minimum of 5.5 m from
the property line should be provided anywhere between 10.5 m (3 storeys) up to the building’s 80 %
20
Also see subsubsection D.2.2 and subsubsection D.6.3.
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Figure 41: Diagram illustrating the side street setback.
height to increase sky views and sunlight access to the sidewalk. Buildings that are 20 m (or 6 storeys) in
height or less aren’t required to have upper storey side stepbacks.
D.6.4
Existing Side Windows
While minimising gaps between buildings is appropriate for most sites, this may not be desirable for
some certain areas. This sometimes occurs where mixed-use areas abut an apartment complex adjacent
to it on the road. New development must not negatively impact existing buildings with side windows.
Where adjacent sites have walls with windows, a minimum of 5.5 m must exist between the windows
and the adjacent building wall.
D.6.5
Side Street Setbacks
Where adjacent side street properties are low-scale residential with front yard setbacks, buildings should
be setback along the side streets for a minimum 15 % of the side street lot frontage (lot depth) and range
from a minimum of 2 m to a maximum of 5 m. This will help maintain views from the neighbourhood
and create a gradual transition from the neighbourhood’s street to the main road. A visualisation of this
setback is provided in Figure 41.
D.7
Maximum Building Width
Long façades at grade provide less interest and variation at the pedestrian level. At upper storeys, long,
continuous façades prevent sunlight access and skyviews to the street. Where mid-rise building frontages
are more than 60 m in width, building massing should be articulated or “broken up” to ensure that façades
aren’t overly long. This can be accomplished by creating multiple buildings on wide sites, as well as by
breaking up the façades through the use of vertical breaks and stepbacks.
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D.8
Residential At-Grade Uses
On certain main roads, it’s expected that limited portions may include residential uses at grade for the
long-term. This is only appropriate where commercial uses aren’t likely to be viable. Townhouses aren’t
appropriate on arterials and/or major roads, as it creates a privatised frontage which is difficult to convert
to commercial uses in the future. Furthermore, townhouses don’t provide the minimal level of intensification desired for major roads.
Ground floor residential units are encouraged to have their principal entrance from local streets where
feasible. For mid-rise buildings with individual residential unit entrances along the main road, a minimum
setback of 3 m is required beyond the 4.8 m or 6 m sidewalk zone that contains front steps (with the
ground floor raised 1 m above grade), a raised planter, and porch/terrace area (similar to the townhouse
guidelines). This is required to achieve an appropriate transition between public and private realms. For
ground-level (i.e. not mixed-use) mid-rise residential buildings without individual unit entrances, this
minimum setback is increased to 3.8 m and should contain a row of trees and a landscape buffer.
D.9
Balconies and Projections
As many units as possible should have balconies — it’s more family oriented, and encourages owner
occupation and eyes on the street. However, neither projecting nor inset balconies on the front façade
should be allowed on the 1st storey, and projecting balconies shouldn’t be allowed on the 2nd and 3rd
storeys. Recessed, inset, and/or Juliet balconies between the 2nd and 3rd floors are permitted and
encouraged.
On the street-facing façade, projecting balconies shouldn’t be located within the Pedestrian Perception
Stepback Zone (between 3–6 storeys), or below the first stepback. Within this portion of the building,
recessed balconies inset behind the street wall, Juliet balconies, and terraces (as part of a stepback) are
acceptable. However, a 0.5 m projection zone is permitted only if used to reinforce the sense of continuity of
the street wall. Balconies on the rear façade should be setback a minimum of 10 m from the rear property
line. Balconies, projections such as railings, and other permanent building elements shouldn’t encroach
into the public right-of-way or setback, and should be contained within all angular planes.
D.10
Roofs and Roofscapes
Mechanical penthouses may exceed the maximum height limit by up to 5 m but must not penetrate
any angular planes, as shown in Figure 42. Rooftop equipment and mechanical penthouses should be
located within the specified right-of-way width to building height ratio. Placed this way, they’ll generally
not be visible from adjacent sidewalks while minimally visible from the opposite sidewalk. However, as
mechanical penthouses will be visible from adjacent properties, including neighbourhoods, they should
be recessed, architecturally integrated, screened, and clad with materials that are complementary to the
architecture of the building and the building façades.
Portions of the roof not covered by mechanical penthouses should be developed as green roofs and/or
usable outdoor amenity space. Examples include terraces and roof gardens, among others. If amenity
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Figure 42: Mechanical penthouse placement within all angular planes.
is provided on the rooftop, it should be screened with planters and/or setback to avoid overlook, and
landscaped to promote comfortable use and shelter from wind and sun. Do not place habitable space (e.g.
dwelling units) wrapping rooftop equipment and mechanical penthouses above the maximum allowable
height.
D.11
Prominent Sites
Provide prominent architectural or landscape features (excluding signage) at the corners of sites or
intersections to make them stand out from the building pattern along the rest of the block. On larger
sites, articulate building mass to emphasise a sense of entry into a district or precinct or to distinguish
one from another.
D.12
Façade Design and Articulation
The street wall should be designed to create a comfortable, yet highly animated, pedestrian environment
through a rhythm of multiple retail frontages, architectural articulation, numerous entrances, display
windows, canopies, and signage. The building should reinforce or establish a fine-grained retail character
along the street wall, especially in districts where this is the characteristic. The ground floor should be
articulated and highly transparent, with a minimum 60 % of this frontage to be transparent glass, in order
to support a safe, accessible, and vibrant public realm. Utilities, vents, and other undesirable elements
should be avoided on the lower levels of façades adjacent to the public realm.
For larger buildings with shared pedestrian entries, entry should be through prominent entry lobbies or
central courtyards facing the street. From the street, these entries and courtyards should provide visual
interest, orientation, and a sense of invitation.
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D.13
Parking, Servicing, and Vehicular Access
Loading, servicing, garbage, on-site parking, and other vehicular-related functions shouldn’t detract
from the use or attractiveness of the pedestrian realm. The main road should be pedestrian focused and
therefore try to provide as uninterrupted of a pedestrian realm as possible. Ideally, these functions should
be integrated within the interior of a building at the rear whenever possible, with vehicular access from a
rear lane or local side street (and not from the arterial street). Locate waste and loading areas so that they
aren’t visible from the public street. Where parking and service areas are located in courtyards, design
buildings and landscape to minimise visual and noise impacts on outdoor spaces.
Rear lanes should always exit onto adjacent side streets. Where feasible, incorporate shared driveways
in order to reduce the extent of interruption to pedestrians. Consolidate vehicular entrances to serve
multiple buildings within each block in order to minimise the number of interruptions in the street wall
and to reduce the number of potential conflicts with pedestrians and cyclists. Prioritise pedestrian and
cyclist circulation and connectivity with adjacent sites.
Mid-block vehicular access should be avoided wherever possible. However, there are instances where this
is the only point of access for certain sites. For mid-block sites without rear lane access, a front driveway
may be permitted, provided established criteria are met, including:
• The driveway is located as far from the adjacent intersection as possible, or a minimum of 30 m
from the centre of the driveway to the centre of the nearest side street;
• The access point is located away from areas where high pedestrian activities would occur;
• Mutual access with adjacent properties is provided wherever possible;
• Appropriate spacing between adjacent driveways is maintained resulting in no more than one
driveway every 30 m; and
• They should be contained within the building massing with additional floors built above the
driveway.
If a mid-block front driveway is built, a 6 m public lane must be provided at the rear of the property; this
will form part of a continuous laneway system within the block as adjacent properties redevelop. As this
redevelopment occurs, approved mid-block driveways should be designated for shared access to serve
adjacent properties in lieu of, and until, a rear public laneway is established.
Design any above-grade parking structures to reinforce the intended built character, and blend into
the streetscape through façade treatments that conceal the parking levels and give the visual appearance
of a multi-storey building. Façade design of above-grade parking structures should complement adjacent
buildings in terms of openings, vertical articulation, materials, and colours. Pedestrian amenities such
as awnings, canopies, and sheltered entries are encouraged. Locate pedestrian entrances for parking
structures adjacent to main building entrances, public streets, or other highly visible locations. Locate
exterior vehicular ramps and garage entrances to parking structures at the rear or side of buildings, away
from main building frontages and streets. Avoid locating ramps/entrances at street corners or view
termini.
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D.14
Heritage Districts and Character Areas
Mid-rise buildings must respect and be sensitively integrated with heritage buildings, and fit into the area’s
local character. Impacts to the perception of the heritage properties or its prominence within an existing
context should be minimised. Sightlines and views to identified landmarks shouldn’t be encroached
upon by new developments. Cornice lines of adjacent buildings should be respected and followed, and
use of building material similar to local buildings is encouraged.
Additions to existing buildings are an alternative to redevelopment projects, and are encouraged in areas
with an existing urban fabric. Additions shouldn’t exceed the overall maximum height for the site, and
should be 50 % or less of the existing building height. Furthermore, additions should fit within the
permitted envelope, i.e. meet all angular plane provisions and adhere to local façade articulation.
D.15
Business and Commercial Parks
The following suggestions may be helpful if you are building a business park area. Landscaping and
architecture can help to anchor the overall image of the business park and create a sense of entry. Establish
gateway features at the intersection of arterial streets with streets leading into the business park. Use
landscaping and built form to create recognisable landmarks and community orienting focal points.
Configure entry features to provide pedestrian access to the site.
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Figure 43: Conserving local heritage with new building developments.
E
Townhouse and Low-rise Apartment Guidelines
The following section is derived from the City of Toronto’s Townhouse and Low-rise Apartment Guidelines,
February 2017. Note that much of these guidelines are identical to those listed in Appendix C, as they
follow the same general outline, so identical text is replaced with a simple referral to the corresponding
text in Appendix C.
E.1
Site Context
E.1.1
Heritage
Locate and design buildings to conserve the cultural heritage values, attributes and character of
on-site and adjacent heritage properties.
In locations where proposed developments allow for appropriate conservation measures to be undertaken, heritage properties should be referenced to inform the scale and contextual treatment of the new
development (as shown in Figure 43). When a proposed building is adjacent to a heritage property,
design new buildings to respect the urban grain, scale, setbacks, proportions, visual relationships, topography, and materials of the historic context. If well-designed and appropriately sited, new development
can make a positive contribution to a historic setting. Ensure that low-rise, multi-unit buildings don’t
visually impede or have a physical impact on the setting of heritage properties. Adaptive re-use of heritage
properties is encouraged.
E.1.2
Building Types
Employ a suitable building type (or types) to ensure that the new development fits well and responds appropriately to the particular site conditions, adjacencies and surrounding context.
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Provide a less intense housing type as a transitional form adjacent to low scale residential neighbourhoods,
parks and open spaces, or other less intensive uses. Use the appropriate building type to avoid:
• Fronts of buildings facing rear yards or backs of buildings facing streets or parks;
• Too many individual entrances on one façade;
• Entrances not visible or with direct access from a street;
• Parking lots located between a building and a street.
On large sites, generally avoid a monotonous repetition of one type.
Parking for street-related townhouses underground or at the rear of the building accessed via a lane or
driveway is preferred. Townhouses with front driveways and garages should be avoided generally as they
reduce front yard areas for landscaping and soil volume for tree growth. The garage doors present a face
to the street lacking in animation and multiple curb cuts reduce pedestrian comfort and safety. Front
integral garages should only be considered when no other option is technically feasible.
E.2
Site Organisation
E.2.1
Streets, Lanes, Mews, and Walkways
Provide new streets, pedestrian mews, and walkways for safe, comfortable, and direct access for
all new buildings.
Design streets and lanes to be inviting. Create attractive and comfortable, pedestrian environments with
landscaping including canopy trees, pedestrian-scale lighting, and other amenities. (For lanes, adapt
streetscaping elements to fit within tighter dimensions). Provide through streets and lanes to minimise
vehicle turnarounds, where possible. Locate access to sites on secondary streets, where possible, and
consolidate driveway/laneway access points to minimise curb cuts.
E.2.2
Shared Outdoor Amenity Areas
Design shared outdoor amenity areas to be publicly accessible and a focal point within the development.
Townhouses and low-rise, multi-unit buildings are popular with families with children and pets owners.
Developments with well-designed and well-placed shared amenity areas with children’s play space, facilities for pets, and other shared elements like communal gardens, allow residents to experience and
share in their collective property. Different types of open spaces are ideal for different densities and
development sizes, and some are discussed in subsubsection C.3.4.
High quality, centrally located, and sun-filled amenity spaces are focal points of communities. For projects
including 20 units or more, where no or only some backyards are provided and for developments where
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the site area is 1.0 ha or more, provide shared play space for children and other shared outdoor amenities
as a focal point of the new development. Locate shared outdoor amenity area to maximise frontages
on streets, mews and walkways to provide visibility and access. Locate and design amenity spaces for
maximum access to sunlight. Complement and connect with open space on neighbouring properties,
where possible. Locate parking, mechanical equipment and servicing areas away from amenity areas.
Provide outdoor activity supports, such as seating and barbecues.
E.2.3
Building Placement and Address
Locate the buildings to frame the edges of streets, parks, and open space. Ensure that buildings fit
harmoniously with the existing context and provide opportunities for high-quality landscaping
and streetscaping.
Maintain high visibility and direct access to front doors from the public sidewalk, especially when building entrances aren’t located on a public street. Design all building elevations that face streets, mews,
parks and open spaces to appear and function as fronts, complete with porches/stoops, front doors and
windows to activate the public realm. Provide greater building setbacks at strategic locations to avoid
long, monotonous façades in order to improve pedestrian amenity and increased space for trees and other
landscaping. Generally, provide breaks between buildings every 36 m. On corner sites, provide primary
façades facing both streets and align the building to the setback pattern of neighbouring buildings on
both streets.
Setbacks allow for projecting elements such as porches, canopies, and landings. More information on
setbacks can be found in subsubsection C.3.1 and subsubsection C.4.3.
E.2.4
Site Services, Access, and Parking
See subsubsection C.3.3. In addition:
• Where surface parking is provided, the main parking area should be located within the interior of
the site and to the rear and side of buildings.
E.2.5
Priority Lots
Use Priority Lots as gateways to the community, setting the look and feel of the interior neighbourhood.
Ensure the community design incorporates priority lots including: gateway lots, corner lots, view terminus sites, windows street lots, and lots abutting parkland. Examples of such are shown in Figure 44.
Gateway Lots are located along the main entrances to neighbourhoods from the external street system.
As important markers or wayfinding devices for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists travelling within
and through a neighbourhood area, they are usually sited in conjunction with a landscaped community
entry feature and should be designed to express the image and character of the community. Locate
soft landscaping gateway features (such as planting, shrubs, etc.) within the public right-of-way. These
features should be clustered and substantial enough to define the gateway site and street edge, requiring
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Figure 44: Some examples of Priority Lots include: Gateway lots (G), Corner lots (C), and lots abutting
Parkland (P).
minimal maintenance. Plant material in the daylight triangle should be no taller than 0.5 m. Locate built
or structural landscaped gateway features (such as architectural walls, ornamental fences, signage, etc.)
within the gateway lot outside of the public right-of-way.
Corner Lots play a significant role in setting the image, character and quality of the street and acting as
landmark buildings within the neighbourhood. Treat both street-facing façades in a consistent manner
with sufficient detailing to relate to the pedestrian scale at the street. Use architectural features such as
wrap-around porches, doors, corner bays, gables, or bay windows to present a positive frontage to both
streets, as well as to articulate and distinguish both façades.
View Terminus sites occur at the top of a ‘T’ intersection (where one street terminates at a right angle
to the other) as well as at street elbows. Dwellings on these sites are prominent in the streetscape as they
terminate a view corridor and should be designed to provide visual interest (such as by incorporating
significant architectural details and landscaping). For a pair of houses located at the end of a view corridor,
locate driveways to the outside of the pair of dwellings to form a landscaped focal area.
Window street lots front onto a local street parallel to an arterial/collector street but are separated from
it by a boulevard or buffer. Due to the high degree of public visibility from major streets, dwellings
on these lots have an impact on the overall character of the neighbourhood and should be designed to
provide visual interest. Incorporate architectural features including a covered porch, portico, and large,
well-proportioned windows. The main entrance to the dwelling should be oriented to face the window
street.
E.3
Building Design
E.3.1
Fit and Transition
See subsubsection C.2.1.
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Figure 45: An example of how not to place townhouses.
E.3.2
Facing Distances and Setbacks
Locate and design buildings to ensure sunlight and sky views. Reduce overlook conditions between buildings and neighbouring properties.
Adequate facing distances, setbacks and stepbacks between buildings assist in achieving desirable public/private amenity spaces on the development site and appropriate relationships to adjacent properties
avoiding shadowing and overlook. For buildings less than 9.5 m in height (2–2.5 storeys), building
faces should be separated at a minimum distance of 11 m. For buildings between 9.5 m to 11.5 m (3–3.5
storeys), this minimum distance is 13 m. For buildings taller than 11.5 m (3.5–4 storeys), this minimum
distance is 15 m. Ensure that any additional height beyond the Main Building Face Height fits under a
45° angular plane originating from the top of the Main Building Face Height. Limit building element
projections, such as balconies, into setback areas, streets, mews, and amenity areas to protect access to
light and sky view.
E.3.3
Primary Entrances
Ensure well-designed front entrances and front yards. Enhance privacy for the resident, while
maintaining “eyes on the street”.
See subsubsection C.4.3. Avoid excessive projections such as stairs, porches, stoops, canopies, and private
amenity spaces into pedestrian mews and front yard setbacks, as in Figure 45. For more suggestions on
primary entrance placement, see subsubsection C.3.2.
E.3.4
Private Outdoor Amenity Space
Enhance the usability, comfort, and appearance of private outdoor amenity spaces within the
public realm.
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Figure 46: Private amenity spaces in townhouses. Note that “grade-related private amenity space” ≈
backyard.
As shown in Figure 46, private amenity spaces can take a number of forms. Also see subsubsection C.3.5
for more information. The placement and design of balconies and terraces can have a major impact on
the real and perceived bulk of a building. When poorly located and designed, these spaces can clutter the
face of the building, shadow spaces below, and reduce privacy and sky view.
Locate private outdoor amenity spaces for family-sized units so that they have views and access to outdoor
play areas, where possible. Design private outdoor amenity spaces to mitigate impacts on the public realm
and neighbours while maintaining direct access to sunlight and sky view. At-grade terraces shouldn’t
compromise the public realm by “over-privatising” the area or preventing adequate landscaping in setback
areas. Instead, they should maintain privacy for residents while beautifying the public realm, as shown in
Figure 47.
E.3.5
Building Relationship to Grade and Street
Developments should relate directly to the existing or ‘natural’ grade and blend in with the topography of the surroundings.
Raising development above the level of natural grade or the grade of abutting properties can create problematic conditions for adjacent properties, abutting streets and open spaces. These problems relate to
issues of drainage, pedestrian access, and the quality of the public realm. Where it’s absolutely necessary
to resolve grade differences, stepped landscaped terraces are the preferred solution.
Maintain the existing grade at property lines. Design with existing grades on site and avoid artificially
153
Figure 47: Landscaping at the level of the raised terrace (backyard) and the sidewalk provide privacy for
occupants on the terrace and an amenity for the public.
raised or lowered grades. Limit the height of the stoop to the first floor to no more than approximately
3–5 steps and/or 1.2 m above the grade of the sidewalk directly at the front of the entrance, to avoid a
long barrier-like flight of stairs up to the porch or stoop.
Limit the height and use of retaining walls, particularly along street frontages, parks, open spaces, ravines
and other areas of the public realm. Where retaining walls cannot be avoided, provide them in the form of
low terraces with the total height not to exceed 1 m. Construct with attractive materials and incorporate
extensive soft landscaping.
E.4
Pedestrian Realm
E.4.1
Streetscape, Landscape, and Stormwater Management
Provide high-quality, sustainable streetscape and landscape between the building and adjacent
streets, parks, and open space.
Provide additional landscaping between the building face and public sidewalk on streets with soft
landscape setbacks or where residential ground floor uses require more privacy from the adjacent sidewalk.
Such treatment may include tree and shrub planting, minor grade changes, judicious use of railings, and
lighting. Where landscaping may have an impact on motorist/pedestrian sightlines or movement, keep
shrubs below 0.85 m in height and prune trees so that the lowest branches will be at least 2 m above
ground level. Limit any other landscape features that might cause obstructions to a maximum height of
1 m. Where practical, use permeable paving to allow for water infiltration.
E.4.2
Site Elements
Well-designed site elements and the proper placement of utilities help to elevate the quality and
experience of the public realm.
Provide pedestrian-scaled lighting, such as bollards or lower-scale pole fixtures along pedestrian routes.
Install appropriate lighting that is scaled to its purpose to avoid “over lighting”. Direct light downward
154
(with shielded fixtures, if necessary) to avoid light overspill onto adjacent properties, streets, and open
spaces. Strive for vertical lighting along property lines to be 0 foot candles.
E.4.3
Building Elements
Ensure attention to the quality of architectural design, materials, building articulation, and placement of building and utility elements.
Vary the design and articulation of each building façade to provide visual interest and respond to site conditions. Respect and reference built form pattern to help new buildings respect neighbourhood character.
Provide variations in architectural design between building blocks for multiple block developments to
create a different but cohesive collection of buildings.
Ensure that roof elements don’t dominate the building particularly on larger buildings. House-form
roofs, such as pitched or mansard roofs, aren’t appropriate for stacked and back-to-back townhouses or
apartment buildings. Design rooftop amenity and privacy screening so as to not add to the overall height
and mass of the building and minimise the visual impact of rooftop screens and rooftop accesses.
E.4.4
Public Art
See subsubsection C.3.7.
E.5
Demonstration Plans and Case Studies
Starting on the next page, demonstration plans provide 6 scenarios of how low-rise, multi-unit building
types can be accommodated on different sites in different ways, such as surrounding a tall tower or within
multiple blocks. I highly encourage you to take a look at them, located at the end of this pdf file, as
they’re very helpful in planning out townhouse layouts. If you want specific case studies of how these
demonstration plans have been applied in the City of Toronto, go here.
155
6.0
Demonstration Plans
6.1
Shallow Mid-Block Site
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
Deep Mid-Block Site
Site Adjacent to or with Heritage Resource
Site with Multiple Building Blocks
Large Site with Tower
6.6
Large Site with Multiple Development Blocks
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER - EXAMPLE OF TYPES AND DEVELOPMENT SCENARIOS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
6.0 DEMONSTRATION PLANS
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
DRAFT ONLY
156
Credit: Quadrangle Architects Limited
57
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
6.0 DEMONSTRATION PLANS
Section 6.0 provides a demonstration of how low-rise, multi-unit building types can be accommodated on different sites with
a selection of guidelines to describe key areas for consideration. These demonstrations are not intended to be a 'how to' for
developing sites with similar characteristics.
6.1 SHALLOW MID-BLOCK SITE
Public Street
Building Type Shown:
3
4
2
Stacked and Back-to-Back
Townhouse
5
Existing Building
On Site
Other Possible Building Types:
Townhouse or
Townhouse, Stacked Townhouse,
Low-Rise
Back-to-Back Townhouse, LowPrimary Building
Face
Rise Apartment Building, and
1
Pedestrian
Connection
Hybrid Building
6
Enhanced
Landscape Area
Existing Building
On Site
Shared Amenity
Space
Townhouse or
Low-Rise
Outdoor Private
Amenity
Primary Building
Face
Tree Protection
Area
Pedestrian
Connection
Individual Unit
Entrance
Enhanced
Landscape Area
Shared Lobby
Entrance
Shared Amenity
Space
SELECTION OF GUIDELINES
Parking
Outdoor Private
Amenity
The selection of guidelines below is intended to highlight key aspects of each demonstration plan. Additional guidelines Public
will apply.
Park
Tree Protection
Area
1 Section 3.2 Shared Outdoor Amenity Areas
1.
4 Section 3.3 Building Placement and Address
4.
Individual Unit
i. Create and maximize high-quality landscaped open space
on the site. Opportunities may include hard/soft landscaped
area and children's play space.
e. Where existing setbacks areShared
well-established,
but vary on
Lobby
Entrance
either side of a proposed development, setback all or part of
the building to resolve the differences.
2 Section 3.3 Building Placement and Address
2.
5 Section 3.4 Site Services, Access, and Parking
5.
a. In general, orient the primary facades of buildings and front
doors parallel to the street to frame the edges of streets,
parks, and open spaces.
a. Incorporate parking garage ramps, access stairs, garbage
collection/storage areas, and loading areas into the building.
DRAFT ONLY
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
Entrance
Parking
Public Park
6.
6 Section 4.1 Fit and Transition
3 Section 3.3 Building Placement and Address
3.
a. Apply angular planes, minimum horizontal separation
distances, and other building envelope controls to
side of the building facing an area that cannot be seen
transition down to lower-scale buildings, parks, and
and unit entrance
facing
street
or
a
single
entrance
to
a
lobby
with
unit
access through
from a street, park or publicly accessible open space,
open spaces.
157 do not have public
not provide unit
entrance
at thefacing
rearthe
of street,
the building
whereuse
entrances
locate
all entrances
or preferably
a
or low-rise
apartment
or through unit type instead.
cing the rearhybrid
or sides
of adjacent
properties.
block parcel
m. On deeper sites, where back to back units result in one
onnect the rear of the site to the public sidewalk. Landscape areas along the property
58
ed to buffer development from adjacent properties. When adjacent properties are
Continued on next page…
Well landscaped walkways
provide access to public
sidewalks and help connect to
adjacent developments
New development is setback
a minimum of 7.5m from
rear of ‘Neighbourhood’
properties and under a 45°
angular plane
Locate outdoor amenity
space in areas with
good sunlight
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
At grade private
amenity space for
rear facing units
RATIONALE
Shallow mid-block parcels exist in many parts of the City.
Redevelopment of these sites, especially with the Stacked and
Back-to-Back Townhouse type, can be especially challenging.
This demonstration plan considers the context of the
neighbourhood to select a building type that appropriately
frames the edge of the street, provides a landscaped front yard,
and improves the public realm. Other building types such as
the Low-Rise Apartment or Hybrid Building may be preferred
depending on the context.
yard setback consistent with adjacent buildings. Credit: Audax Architecture. Photo by:
Joy von Tiedemann.
DRAFT ONLY
It is possible for a building to employ an internal organization
where single or multiple entrances are located fronting a public
158
street, which retains the rear of the site as shared or private
outdoor amenity space and landscaped area.
New apartment building development respects neighbourhood context by providing front
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
A key concern with Stacked and Back-to-Back Townhouses
on shallow sites are the location of unit entrances. Individual
unit entrances facing the rear yards of abutting properties are
to be avoided due to the lack of visual connections to a public
street, safety and way-finding concerns for residents and
visitors. Locating entrances at the rear also creates atypical
building relationships which are not desirable or consistent with
Toronto's urban fabric. 59
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
6.2 DEEP MID-BLOCK SITE
PublicPublic
StreetStreet
Building Type Shown:
Hybrid Building
2
Other Possible Building Types:
Existing Building
3
5
On Site
Townhouse, Stacked Townhouse,
Townhouse or
Back-to-Back Townhouse, LowLow-Rise
1
Rise Apartment Building, and Primary Building
Face
Hybrid Building
Pedestrian
Connection
Enhanced
Landscape Area
4
4
Existing Building
On Site
Shared Amenity
Space
Townhouse or
Low-Rise
Outdoor Private
Amenity
Primary Building
Face
Tree Protection
Area
Pedestrian
Connection
Individual Unit
Entrance
Enhanced
Landscape Area
Shared Lobby
Entrance
Shared Amenity
Space
SELECTION OF GUIDELINES
Parking
Outdoor Private
Amenity
DRAFT ONLY
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
The selection of guidelines
below
is intended to highlight key aspects of each demonstration plan. Additional guidelines Public
will apply.
Park
Public
Street
Tree Protection
Area
1.
1 Section 3.3 Building Placement and Address
4.
4 Section 4.1 Fit and Transition
Individual Unit
m. On deeper sites, where back to back units result in one
side of the building facing an area that cannot be seen
from a street, park or publicly accessible open space,
locate all entrances facing the street, or preferably
use a hybrid or low-rise apartment or through unit
type instead.
a. Apply angular planes, minimum
horizontal separation
Shared Lobby
Entrance
distances, and other building envelope controls to
transition down to lower-scale buildings, parks, and
Parking
open spaces.
2 Section 3.1 Streets, Lanes, Mews and Walkways
2.
c. Locate and design streets, lanes, mews and walkways
to provide safe, direct, universally accessible pedestrian and
cycling facilities within the new development.
Entrance
Public Park
5.
5 Section 4.3 Primary Entrances
d. Consider a hybrid or apartment type when individual unit
entrances would not be clearly visible from a street or to
avoid multiple entrances per building bay.
eep mid-block parcel
3 Section 3.4 Site Services, Access, and Parking
3.
159along street.
vide building
frontage parking
parallelgarage
to street
grade-related
uses
a. Incorporate
rampswith
and access
stairs,
collection
loading areas
into the
building. to a shared lobby and hallway access to units.
small, deep garbage
mid-block
sites,andprovide
building
entrance
id locating unit entrances where residents and visitors will have to travel deep into the rear of the
site for
Continued on next page…
ess.
60
Orient building parallel to
street and align with
adjacent buildings
Integrate ramps, garbage
storage and service areas
into the building
Enhance pedestrian
walkway to entrances by
providing high quality
landscape design and
planting materials
Limit the number of
individual accesses to grade
to improve public realm
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
Upper units accessed via entrance
lobby with shared corridors and
vertical circulation improve
accessibility and public realm
RATIONALE
Redevelopment on parcels with narrow public street frontage
present significant site organization challenges.
Pedestrian walkway and shared amenity space work together to provide access
to grade-related units and gathering space for residents. Credits: David Peterson
Architect Inc., Triumph Developments. Photo by: Ben Rahn/A-Frame.
160
DRAFT ONLY
It is especially important to reduce the impacts of site servicing
elements on parcels with limited public street frontage. To
reserve space for public realm enhancements, integrate
servicing and ramp accesses into building and minimize width
of vehicular access. When a private street or vehicular mews
is proposed, design them to have the characteristics of a public
street.
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
In general, when the site is very deep and the travel distance
required to access a unit entrance from a public street is greater
than 6-8 units, consider the Low-Rise Apartment Building or
Hybrid Building type. It is preferred for deep mid-block parcels
to locate unit entrances on the public street frontage only and
avoid entrances facing the side property line. In scenarios
where access to units are located along the side, provide clear
sightlines, lighting, pedestrian amenities, and landscaping to
create a safe and comfortable pedestrian environment.
61
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
6.3 SITE ADJACENT TO OR WITH HERITAGE RESOURCE
3
Building Type Shown:
Existing Building
On Site
Townhouse
Public Street
Townhouse or
Low-Rise
Existing Building
On Site
Townhouse or
Low-Rise
Other Possible Building Types:
Primary Building
Building
Face
Stacked Townhouse,
Low-RisePrimary
Face
Pedestrian
Apartment
Building, and Hybrid
Pedestrian
Public Lane
Building
2
1
Connection
Connection
Enhanced
Landscape Area
Shared Amenity
Existing Building
Space
On Site
Outdoor Private
Townhouse
or
Amenity
Low-Rise
2
4
Public Street
Tree Protection
Primary Building
Area
Face
Individual Unit
Pedestrian
Entrance
Connection
Shared Lobby
Enhanced
Entrance
Landscape Area
Shared Amenity
Parking
Space
Outdoor Private
Amenity
Public Park
Enhanced
Landscape Area
Shared Amenity
Space
Outdoor Private
Amenity
Tree Protection
Area
Individual Unit
Entrance
Shared Lobby
Entrance
Parking
Public Park
Tree Protection
Area
SELECTION OF GUIDELINES
Individual Unit
The selection of guidelines below is intended to highlight key aspects of each demonstration plan. Additional
guidelines will apply.
Entrance
Small parcel with heritage resource
Shared Lobby
3 Section 3.4 Site Services, Entrance
3.
Access, and Parking
1 Section 1.3 Heritage
1.
Integrate underground garage ramp, service/loading areas into building massing.
b. Provide
access to site servicing
a.primary
Conserve
and integrate
heritage
properties
into
Provide
unit entrances
facing public
streets.
For back-to-back,
and stacked townhouses,
avoid
Parkingand parking at the rear of
the building or site, from a lane or from a shared driveway.
locating primary
entrance atinthea back
of thethat
building.
developments
manner
is consistent with accepted
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
Place newprinciples
building parallel
to public
street to
frame streets and
and public
spaces.
of good
heritage
conservation
the City's
Public Park
4 Section 4.1 Fit and Transition
4.
Respect heritage
Officialbuilding.......
Plan Heritage Policies (3.1.5). A Heritage Impact
Locate shared
amenity spaces
central tothe
the development
provide indoor
amenity spaces adjacent to
Assessment
will evaluate
impact of a and
proposed
alteration
c. Provide a transition in the building height down to the lowerscale neighbours. Reduce the height of at least the first
building, unit or bay where adjacent context is lower and not
anticipated to change.
outdoor spaces.
to a property on the Heritage Register and/or to properties
Provide pedestrian
through
adjacentconnection
to a property
onsite.
the Heritage Register to the
DRAFT ONLY
Lane access, rear parking where possible.
satisfaction of the City.
Setback and transition building to align with adjacent buildings and context.
Provide
yard setback
to align with
adjacent
building.
2 front
2.
Section
3.1 Streets,
Lanes,
Mews,
and Walkways
Enhance landscape area along the edges of site to screen new development from existing properties.
62
l. Employ minimum walkway dimensions as follows:
i.
when the walkway is the primary access to units,
provide a minimum building separation of 6.0m and
a clear path width of at least 2.1m with landscaping
and pedestrian scale lighting
161
Continued on next page…
Transition to fit-in with
adjacent built form and
frame street
Preserve prominent
views of heritage
building with strategic
building setback and
stepbacks
Provide front yard
setback to align with
adjacent built form
Incorporate heritage
landscape design as
part of conservation
strategy
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
Respect and enhance
architectural features
and rhythms of heritage
building
RATIONALE
When redevelopment occurs, employ strategies to complement
and respect the scale, character, form and setting of heritage
assets on or near the site.
Design of the new development is informed by the character of the adjacent Victorian
townhouses. Extra care must be taken to maintain and enhance the neighbourhood
162
DRAFT ONLY
characteristics such as front yard landscape and entrance design.
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
This demonstration plan provides sufficient facing distances
between the new development and the heritage building.
The new development is also setback in order to maintain
prominence of the heritage building and allow for preservation
of heritage features such as windows and cornices which would
otherwise be hidden.
63
Public Street
Building Type Shown:
Stacked and Back-to-Back
Townhouse
5
Existing Building
On Site
1
Other Possible Building Types:
Townhouse or
Townhouse, Stacked Townhouse,
Low-Rise
4
Public Street
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
6.4 SITE WITH MULTIPLE BUILDING BLOCKS
2
3
6
1
SELECTION OF GUIDELINES
Back-to-Back Townhouse, LowPrimary Building
Face
Rise Apartment Building, and
Pedestrian
Connection
Hybrid Building
Enhanced
Landscape Area
Existing Building
On Site
Shared Amenity
Space
Townhouse or
Low-Rise
Outdoor Private
Amenity
Primary Building
Face
Tree Protection
Area
Pedestrian
Connection
Individual Unit
Entrance
Enhanced
Landscape Area
Shared Lobby
Entrance
Shared Amenity
Space
Parking
Outdoor Private
Amenity
DRAFT ONLY
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
The selection of guidelines below is intended to highlight key aspects of each demonstration plan. Additional guidelines willPublic
apply.
Park
64
Tree Protection
Area
1 Section 4.1 Fit and Transition
1.
4 Section 3.2 Shared Outdoor Amenity Areas
4.
a. Apply angular planes, minimum horizontal separation
distances, and other building envelope controls to
transition down to lower-scale buildings, parks, and
open spaces.
f. Animate and frame shared outdoor
amenity areas
Shared Lobby
Entrance and active uses
with appropriate building massing
(e.g. entrances and primary windows).
2 Section 5.1.2 Landscape
2.
a. Retain and protect existing trees, vegetation, natural slopes
and native soils and integrate these features into the overall
landscape plan, wherever possible.
3 Section 3.4 Site Services, Access, and Parking
3.
e. Minimize the extent of site area dedicated to servicing and
vehicular access through the use of shared infrastructure
and efficient layouts, where possible.
Individual Unit
Entrance
Parking
5 Section 4.2 Facing Distances and Setbacks
5.
Public Park
a. Provide facing distance between buildings according to
Table 1, Facing Distance. An increase in the Main Building
Face Height results in an increase to the facing distance.
6 Section 3.3 Building Placement and Address
6.
j. Organize buildings to eliminate back-to-front facing
relationships such as front doors facing rear yards on
the site or on neighbouring properties. Avoid a rear yard
163 condition facing any street.
Continued on next page…
Locate shared outdoor
amenity spaces in areas
central to the development
with good sunlight
Locate unit entrances to
have greatest visibility and
accessibility to pedestrian
mews and/or street
Design private streets
to have characteristics
of public streets
Integrate and
consolidate garbage
storage, loading, and
servicing areas internally
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
Provide well-designed
pedestrian mews with generous
facing distance for access to
units and landscaping
Enhance landscape areas
along edge of the site by
planting shrubs and
shade producing trees
RATIONALE
Small communities are created when multiple building blocks
are developed on a site. These developments are large enough
DRAFT ONLY
On deep multi-block sites, it is preferred to have buildings
perpendicular to public streets where unit entrances have direct
views to public streets. The pedestrian mews on deep sites
serve as the main access for units and must be designed with a
high quality pedestrian experience in mind. When the visibility
of entrances from public streets is compromised, Low-Rise
Apartment Building or Hybrid Building types may be more
164
appropriate for the site.
In the demonstration plan, Block c is shown as Stacked
Townhouse type with all unit entrances along the vehicular
mews. This building type and entrance arrangement helps to
avoid undesirable front-to-side building relationship.
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
to form a distinctive character of their own, but too small to
become their own neighbourhoods. Parcels with multiple
building blocks should look at the site's configuration and
neighbourhood character to identify the appropriate site
organization, building type, and public realm design to strike a
balance between fitting-in and creating a sense of place.
Building types may vary throughout the development dependent
on the location of the particular building block. Internal to the
development site, buildings should have front to front facing
relationships with adequate facing distance between blocks.
65
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
6.5 LARGE SITE WITH TOWER
Public Street
BuildingExisting
TypeBuilding
Shown:
1
Public Street
2
Primary Building
Face
Existing Building
On Site
Townhouse or
Other Possible Building Types:
4
2
On Site
Stacked and
Back-to-Back
Townhouse or
Townhouse
Low-Rise
Low-Rise
Pedestrian
Townhouse,
Stacked Townhouse,
Connection
Primary Building
Face
Back-to-Back
Townhouse, LowEnhanced
3
Landscape Area
Rise Apartment Building, and Pedestrian
5
Shared Amenity
Hybrid Building
Space
Outdoor Private
Amenity Building
Existing
On Site
Tree Protection
Area
Townhouse or
Low-Rise
Individual Unit
Entrance
Primary Building
Face
Shared Lobby
Entrance
Pedestrian
Public Street
Shared Amenity
Space
Outdoor Private
Amenity
Tree Protection
Area
Individual Unit
Entrance
Enhanced
Parking
Landscape Area
Shared Lobby
Entrance
Outdoor Private
Amenity
The selection of guidelines below is intended to highlight key aspects of each demonstration plan.
Enhanced
Landscape Area
Connection
Shared Amenity
Public Park
Space
SELECTION
OFand
GUIDELINES
Large parcel
with tower
neighbourhood edge
Connection
Tree Protection
Area
Additional
guidelines
Parking
Public Park
may apply.
Individual Unit
Entrance
Provide building face and unit entrance facing street
1newSection
4 Section 3.4 Site Services, Access, and Parking
Place 1.
building parallel
to publicPlacement
street and provide
entrances with views to public streets.
4.
3.3 Building
and Address
Provide shared outdoor amenity spaces for new development and locate indoor amenity spaces to connect
Shared Lobby
Entrance
and front
doors walkways
parallel to
streetnew
to connections
frame
Improve existing
pedestrian
andthe
provide
to enhance connectivity of the site to
Parking
a. outdoor
In general,
the primary facades of buildings
with the
spaceorient
where appropriate.
f. Minimize surface parking, driveways and drop off areas:
where intensification is taking place on an existing
theneighbourhood.
edges of streets, parks and open spaces.
surrounding
residential site (e.g. tower-in-the-park
infill)
Public Park
New development
along Neighbourhood edge are to be designed to compliment and respect the prevailing
2
replace surface parking and driveways, where
2. Section 3.1 Streets, Lanes, Mews, and Walkways
built form, scale, and character of the neighbourhood.
possible, with well-landscaped open space
Integrate
ramps
the new
building
where possible or integrate other uses such as
a. underground
Extend and garage
connect
newinto
public
streets,
lanes,
indoor amenity
spaces mews
to create
newwalkways
communitytofocus.
5 Section 5.1.2 Landscape
5.
pedestrian
and
the local street/
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
iii.
DRAFT ONLY
Improve amenity
spaces
and facilities
for existing
residents.
pedestrian
network
and provide
links
to schools,
b. Provide high-quality landscaping throughout the site
Improve garbage
loading,
and servicing
areas of
the existing
transit,storage,
community
facilities,
and retail
areas,
wherebuilding by providing internal and
soften
and screen services areas, reinforce circulation
integrate garbage
and loading areas. Service areas can be of the existing building and theto
new
development
possible.
routes, create pleasant pedestrian conditions and maximize
can be consolidated when appropriate.
3
shadeand
and
stormwater benefits.
3. existing
Section
3.2 Shared
Improve
landscaped
areasOutdoor
includingAmenity
pedestrianAreas
walkways, driveways, surfacing parking
other
landscape features.
b. Locate shared outdoor amenity area to maximize
frontages
on
streets,
mews
and
walkways
to
provide
protection zone.
visibility
and access.
Remove as
much surface
parking and driveways as possible. Surface parking located at the front of the
Protect and accommodate existing trees on site by placing new buildings and construction
165 away from
building facing a public street are to be removed and replaced with landscape areas.
66Provide shade producing trees and shrubs to screen surface parking area from view.
Setback and transition built form to align with adjacent building setbacks and heights.
Continued on next page…
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
RATIONALE
The "Tower in the Park" design concept was widely used in
many parts of Toronto. These types of developments were
often "Towers in the Parking Lots" instead and disrupted the
pedestrian-oriented scale and character of many traditional
Toronto neighbourhoods. When a tower site is appropriate for
low-rise building infill, it is a priority for the redevelopment to
rectify negative site conditions and improve connections to the
surrounding neighbourhood.
New low-rise development helps to improve existing negative site conditions and create
new shared amenity areas for all residents.
166
DRAFT ONLY
Every opportunity is made to eliminate under-utilized driveways
and surface parking areas. Reorganizing the site may result in
significant public realm improvements and can help to create
more efficient and attractive site conditions.
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
In this demonstration plan, the new and existing buildings
work together to frame streets and outdoor amenity spaces.
Location of new buildings and open spaces consider the
shadow impacts of the existing tower. Landscape areas
throughout the site are improved to raise the overall quality of
the property. Physical and visual connections are introduced to
create a safer and more permeable site.
67
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
6.6 LARGE SITE WITH MULTIPLE DEVELOPMENT BLOCKS
3
Existing Building
Site Shown:
BuildingOnType
Townhouse
or
Townhouse,
Stacked
and Back-toLow-Rise
Back Townhouse
2
5
1
Pedestrian Building
Possible
Connection
Existing Building
On Site
Townhouse or
Low-Rise
Other
Types:
Primary Building
Stacked Townhouse,
Back to Back
Face
Enhanced
Landscape
Area
Townhouse,
Low-Rise
Apartment
Pedestrian
Connection
Amenity
Building,Shared
and
Hybrid
Building
Space
Public Street
Public Street
Primary Building
Face
Outdoor Private
Amenity
Existing Building
On Site
Tree Protection
Area
Townhouse or
Low-Rise
Individual Unit
Entrance
Primary Building
4
Face
Shared Lobby
Entrance
Pedestrian
Shared Amenity
Space
Outdoor Private
Amenity
Tree Protection
Area
Connection
Individual Unit
Entrance
Enhanced
Parking
Landscape Area
Shared Lobby
Entrance
Shared Amenity
Public Park
Space
Outdoor Private
Amenity
SELECTION OF GUIDELINES
Enhanced
Landscape Area
Parking
Public Park
Tree Protection
Area
The selection of guidelines below is intended to highlight key aspects of each demonstration plan. Additional guidelines will apply.
DRAFT ONLY
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
1
68
Individual Unit
Entrance
g. Complement and connect with open space on
Shared Lobby
Entrance
neighbouring properties,
where possible.
1. Section 1.2.1 Street and Block Patterns
e. Provide new public streets in accordance with the
City's Development Infrastructure Policy and
Standards (DIPS) for access and address to buildings
which are not accessible from existing streets.
2
4
3
e. Minimize the extent of site
Publicarea
Park dedicated to
servicing and vehicular access through the
use of shared infrastructure and efficient layouts, where
possible.
2. Section 3.1 Streets, Lanes, Mews, and Walkways
c. Locate and design streets, lanes, mews, and walkways to
provide safe, direct, universally accessible pedestrian and
cycling facilities within the new development.
3. Section 3.2 Shared Outdoor Amenity Areas
b. Locate shared outdoor amenity area to maximize
frontages on streets, mews and walkways to provide
visibility and access.
4. Section 3.4 Site Services,
ParkingAccess, and Parking
5
5. Section 1.2.1 Street and Block Patterns
c. Utilize areas alongside rail or hydro corridors and ravines to
extend the network of connections, where appropriate.
167
Continued on next page…
Provide unit entrance
facing park to animate
the park edge
Orient buildings to
frame edges of parks
and open spaces
Configure new public street to
improve visibility to existing
parks and open spaces
DEMONSTRATION PLANS | TOWNHOUSE AND LOW-RISE APARTMENT GUIDELINES
Design building to
address the corner at
corner sites
RATIONALE
Public streets, parks, open spaces, and built form all work
together to define the public realm for large sites with multiple
development blocks. The organization of the building blocks
on large sites is critical to creating a transition between existing
and new communities. It is vital that new developments
respect the positive characteristics of its context and further
enhance these attributes to create a cohesive neighbourhood.
Large blocks of townhouses can integrate well into established neighbourhoods by
DRAFT ONLY
enhancing pedestrian connections and positive characteristics of its context.
Public parks and open spaces are central to each new
neighbourhood and can be used as an organizational element
for large sites. They are civic spaces and place making
opportunities which can bring a community together. Public
parks should be located centrally within easy access to the
community with prominent public street frontage, access to
168
sky view and sunlight. Opportunities to expand public parks
are encouraged. POPS can work together with existing open
spaces to increase the possible activities and uses for the park.
For Discussion Purposes Only
City of Toronto – JAN 2017
Public streets are one of the fundamental building blocks to city
building. On large sites, new public streets are often required to
provide access. By aligning new streets to existing ones, they
help stitch communities together. Public streets and pedestrian
connections beyond the site should also be identified to protect
opportunities for future extensions.
69
F
Low-Rise Residential Buildings: Singles, Semis, and Duplexes
The following section is derived from the Town of Richmond Hill’s Urban Design Guidelines, September
2013.
Low-rise residential buildings generally range from 2 to 4 storeys and are typically built in wood frame
construction. Low-rise residential may include singles, semis, duplexes, house-form apartments, walk-up
apartments, or stacked townhouses. Access to units is either directly from the public sidewalk, a central
lobby, a common corridor, or a shared courtyard.
F.1
Frame the Public Realm
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.1. In addition:
• Organise low-rise residential buildings to frame the pedestrian realm and create an easily navigable
walking environment.
• Provide a minimum landscape setback between low-rise residential building and the public rightof-way, consistent with adjacent buildings. When there is an existing uniform front and/or side
setback with adjacent properties, use a similar setback to fit within the existing streetscape. For
new developments, design dwellings to frame the street edge with a consistent setback.
• Front yard setbacks to the main building wall should range between 3 m to 4.5 m, and a minimum
of 6 m to the garage wall. Side yard setbacks should be a minimum of 1.5 m, except where a
rear yard garage is provided in which case one side setback should be a minimum of 3 m to
accommodate the driveway.
F.2
Ground Floor-to-Street Relationship
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.2. In addition:
• Raise the front door of ground-related residential units in a building by approximately 3–5 steps
above the grade of the immediately abutting sidewalk, to ensure a clear distinction between the
public and private realm.
F.3
Sense of Entry
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.3. In addition:
• Clearly announce the primary pedestrian building entrance through the use of architectural
treatments such as canopies, awnings, or double-height lobbies.
• Orient building front entrances towards the street, and incorporate special architectural features
such as porches or landscaping to emphasise the prominence of the front entrance.
169
• Provide weather protection to pedestrians at the main entrance through the use of a covered
porch, portico, canopy, or recess. Porches, articulated rooflines, landscaping, and colour orient
the pedestrian towards the main entrance.
• Provide a clear and unobstructed pedestrian walkway from the sidewalk to the front door.
• Provide pathways between residential areas and non-residential sites that directly and clearly
connect these areas.
F.4
Integrate Urban Open Space
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.4.
F.5
Light, View, Skyline, and Privacy
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.5. In addition:
• Stepbacks of 2 m are required above the 3rd storey.
• Place lighting at each entrance to the dwelling, and provide a minimum of 1 light fixture per garage
door. Lighting fixtures should complement the architectural style of the dwelling.
• Lighting should be downcast to minimise light pollution and avoid spillover onto adjacent properties.
• Windows facing interior side yards should be kept to a minimum to ensure privacy.
F.6
Prominent Sites
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.6.
F.7
Priority Lots
Use Priority Lots as gateways to the community, setting the look and feel of the interior neighbourhood.
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection E.2.5 for Gateway, Corner, View Terminus, and Window
Street Lots.
F.8
Scale Transition
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.7. In addition:
• Buildings should relate to the scale and height of adjacent low-rise buildings to maintain a wellproportioned street elevation.
• Create a transition in building heights if the new development is higher or lower than existing
buildings. Avoid abrupt variations in building massing, height, and size of adjacent structures, as
shown in Figure 48.
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Figure 48: Building height should remain relatively constant with gentle transitions. Abrupt variations
in height should be avoided.
• Design bungalows with raised front façades, steeper roof pitches, and increased roof massing to
provide for better transition with any adjacent 2-storey dwellings.
F.9
Façade Treatment
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.8. In addition:
• Articulate the elevation of units through the use of material, colour and architectural elements in
a manner that provides variation between dwelling units, but reinforces common characteristics
that visually unites the block.
• Locating identical building elevations side by side or directly opposite on the same street is strongly
discouraged. Buildings with identical front elevations should be separated by a minimum of two
(2) buildings having different elevations.
• Design street-facing garages so that they aren’t the dominant feature in the streetscape. Encourage
the use of upgraded garage door styles, including integrated glazing and other architectural details.
• Provide a variety of roof configurations in order to provide visual interest along a streetscape.
F.10
Building Projections
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.9. In addition:
• Projections and encroachments such as porches, bay windows, canopies, and stairs into the front
yard are encouraged to add visual interest along the streetscape.
171
• For the side of a low-rise building with frontage on a main street, only a very small projection zone
is permitted to reinforce the sense of continuity of the street wall.
• For the side of a low-rise building that fronts on a local or residential street, a larger projection
zone from the principal street wall face is permitted.
F.11
Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation
Incorporate garages oriented towards the front of the dwelling into the main massing of the building.
Recess garages to ensure they are flush with the main building face. Garages that are detached from the
main dwelling unit in the front yard are not permitted. Driveway widths should be no wider then the
garages they serve. Locate driveways away from parks, open space features, public walkways, schools, and
intersections. Reverse sloping driveways (that slope down from the curb to the garage) are discouraged.
Permeable paving for driveways is preferred. Driveways should be paired where possible.
F.12
Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.10. In addition:
• Driveway widths should be no wider then the garages they serve. Locate driveways away from
parks, open space features, public walkways, schools, and intersections. Reverse sloping driveways
(that slope down from the curb to the garage) are discouraged. Driveways should be paired where
possible.
F.12.1
Pedestrian Connections
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection 10.10.1.
F.12.2
Service and Loading Areas
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection 10.10.2 for hiding utilities.
F.12.3
Parking
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection 10.10.3. In addition:
• Where a rear lane is provided, site garages at the rear of the lot and where possible, pair rear lane
garages to allow for an increased rear yard. Design rear lane garages to be complimentary to the
main dwelling. Site rear yard garages as close as possible to the minimum setbacks in order to
maximise the rear yard amenity area. Design rear yard garages to be complementary to the main
dwelling.
• Side-facing garages in front of a dwelling are generally discouraged. They may be permitted on
lots three (3) units wide or greater, provided that:
– The lot isn’t a corner lot;
172
– The wall of the garage facing the street exhibits a high level of design variety, including
windows and detailing consistent with the rest of the dwelling;
– Dwellings of this nature are sited in pairs with garages located to the outside of the pair in
order to create a courtyard effect between the dwellings;
– Main entry stairs into the dwelling are designed so as to not interfere with vehicular access
to the garage; and
– Garage doors are setback a minimum of 7.5 m from the side lot line.
• Incorporate garages oriented towards the front of the dwelling into the main massing of the
building. Recess garages to ensure they are flush with the main building face. Garages that are
detached from the main dwelling unit in the front yard are not permitted.
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G
Neighbourhood Plazas and Large Format Retail
The following section is derived from the Town of Richmond Hill’s Urban Design Guidelines, September
2013.
Neighbourhood plazas are small-scaled shopping areas. The primary clientele of neighbourhood plazas
are nearby residents. They often include a pharmacy or restaurant as the anchor, with other smaller
convenience commercial retail uses. Elements of a well-designed neighbourhood plaza include a unifying
site design, common architectural treatment, convenient pedestrian connections within the site and to
the adjacent residential neighbourhood, and sufficient on-site parking. It must fit within and respect
the scale of the neighbourhood, orient to the pedestrian, and encourage people to get out of their cars
to enjoy the pedestrian environment within the neighbourhood. Large format retail supports a larger
trade area and is generally part of a more comprehensive commercial shopping centre development. The
following guidelines support both types of commercial centres.
G.1
Frame the Public Realm
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.1. In addition:
• Orient buildings to place the longest side towards the primary street frontage.
• Organise buildings to frame the pedestrian realm and create an easily navigable walking environment.
• Locate pedestrian entrances towards the primary street frontage. Provide direct pedestrian access
from public sidewalk to building entrances.
• Organise sites to attract future infill development. Introduce an internal street-and-block pattern
into large sites, to facilitate intensification over time in an urban way, as shown in Figure 49.
G.2
Ground Floor-to-Street Relationship
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.2. In addition:
• Reduce the scale of blank walls through fenestration, canopies, arcades, and other architectural
techniques.
G.3
Sense of Entry
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.3. In addition:
• At the ground floor level, any setback zone shall be treated as an extension of the public realm, to
provide additional outdoor space, allow for at-grade uses to expand outdoors, and to encourage
street animation.
174
Figure 49: Basing new development on an internal street and block pattern can accommodate future
infill development.
175
• Clearly announce the primary pedestrian building entrance through the use of architectural
treatments such as canopies or awnings.
• Use tree planting, soft landscaping, street furniture, and surfacing material to define, improve, and
reinforce pedestrian routes.
• Provide pathways between residential areas and neighbourhood plazas that directly and clearly
connect these areas.
G.4
Integrate Urban Open Space
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.4. In addition:
• Encourage the development of courtyards and publicly-accessible open spaces visible from the
public realm at ground level. Where feasible, design these open spaces in relation to local serving
retail uses such as cafés and to the public open space network.
G.5
Light, View, Skyline, and Privacy
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.5. In addition:
• The minimum neighbourhood scale commercial building height is two (2) storeys; upper stories
could include other office commercial and professional uses.
• Single storey commercial buildings should approximate a minimum 2-storey building height. This
could be accomplished through a single-storey building with parapet or a double height ground
floor.
G.6
Prominent Sites
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.6.
G.7
Scale Transition
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.7. In addition:
• To ensure that light, view, and privacy is maintained for adjacent low density or medium density
residential neighbourhoods, design new development to incorporate transitional zones consisting
of:
– A minimum rear yard or side yard setback, measured from the boundary of the adjacent low
density or medium density residential area, equivalent to the height of the nearest building
on the site, and
– New local streets or service lanes facing existing low density or medium residential neighbourhoods where appropriate and possible.
• 3 m street wall stepbacks are required above three (3) storeys.
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G.8
Façade Treatment
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.8.
G.9
Building Projections
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.9. In addition:
• Entrance canopies, awnings, and signage should be appropriately scaled, attractive, and integrated
into the architecture of the building to contribute a positive vibrancy to the public realm.
• For the side of a large format retail building with frontage on a main street, a 0.5 m projection
zone is permitted to reinforce the sense of continuity of the street wall.
• For the side of a large format retail building that fronts on a local or residential street, a 2 m
projection zone from the principal street wall face is permitted.
G.10
Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.10.
G.10.1
Pedestrian Connections
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection 10.10.1. In addition:
• Prioritise pedestrian and cyclist circulation and connectivity with adjacent sites.
• An internal network of clearly designated, appealingly landscaped, and well-lit pedestrian walkways
should be provided to traverse routes between parking areas, building entrances, and public streets.
G.10.2
Service and Loading Areas
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection 10.10.2.
G.10.3
Parking
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection 10.10.3. In addition:
• Surface parking lots must not consume more than 40 % of the primary street frontage. Where
surface parking is provided, the main parking area should be located within the interior of the site
and to the rear and side of buildings.
• Arrange parking spaces to minimise the number of traffic aisles that pedestrians arriving by vehicle
must cross in order to move between parking and building entrance.
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H
Institutional Buildings
The following section is derived from the Town of Richmond Hill’s Urban Design Guidelines, September
2013.
Institutional buildings — including schools, places of worship, hospitals, police stations, fire halls, transit
buildings, community centres and other civic edifices — help to define the city’s civic identity and should
stand out from other buildings.
H.1
Frame the Public Realm
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.1. In addition:
• Institutional buildings should be architecturally distinct from the surrounding urban fabric.
• Locate institutional buildings on prominent sites to reinforce community identity and terminate
important views where possible.
• Institutional buildings should frame streets and public open spaces. Organise institutional buildings to frame the pedestrian realm and create an easily navigable walking environment.
• Orient buildings with elongated floor plates with the longest side towards the primary street
frontage.
• Locate pedestrian entrances towards the primary street frontage. Provide direct pedestrian access
from the public sidewalk to building entrances.
H.2
Ground Floor-to-Street Relationship
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.2. In addition:
• Reduce the scale of blank walls through fenestration, canopies, arcades, and other architectural
techniques.
H.3
Sense of Entry
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.3. In addition:
• At the ground floor level, any setback zone shall be treated as an extension of the public realm, to
provide additional outdoor space, allow for at-grade uses to expand outdoors, and to encourage
street animation.
• Ground floors for institutional uses shall be universally accessible, articulated to respond to human
scale, and provide good visual connection between interior spaces and the public realm.
178
• Clearly announce the primary pedestrian building entrance through the use of architectural
treatments such as canopies, awnings, or double-height lobbies. Primary entrances should face the
frontage street, be easily accessible from the sidewalk and provide legible connections between
the public realm and interior circulation spaces.
• Use tree planting, soft landscaping, street furniture, and surfacing material to define, improve, and
reinforce pedestrian routes.
• Provide pathways between residential areas and institutional/civic areas that directly and clearly
connect these areas.
H.4
Integrate Urban Open Space
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.4. In addition:
• Encourage the development of publicly-accessible outdoor open spaces at ground level, as well as
rooftop gardens and green roofs.
H.5
Light, View, Skyline, and Privacy
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.5.
H.6
Prominent Sites
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.6. In addition:
• Locate institutional buildings toward key intersections to emphasise their civic importance and
shape the pedestrian realm at corners.
• Provide significant architectural or landscape features at the corners of sites or intersections to
make institutional buildings stand out from the built form pattern along the rest of the block.
H.7
Scale Transition
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.7. In addition:
• 3 m street wall stepbacks are required for institutional buildings above three (3) storeys.
H.8
Façade Treatment
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.8.
179
H.9
Building Projections
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.9. In addition:
• Entrance canopies, awnings, and signage should be appropriately scaled, attractive, and integrated
into the architecture of the building to contribute a positive vibrancy to the public realm.
• For the side of a large format retail building with frontage on a main street, a 0.5 m projection
zone is permitted to reinforce the sense of continuity of the street wall.
• For the side of a large format retail building that fronts on a local or residential street, a 2 m
projection zone from the principal street wall face is permitted.
H.10
Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsection 10.10. In addition:
• Where feasible, incorporate shared driveways in order to reduce the extent of interruption to
pedestrians. Where vehicular access is only feasible from arterial streets, a front driveway may be
permitted, provided that mutual access with adjacent properties are provided wherever possible,
and that the access point is located away from areas where high pedestrian activities would occur.
H.10.1
Pedestrian Connections
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection 10.10.1. In addition:
• Prioritise pedestrian and cyclist circulation and connectivity with adjacent sites.
H.10.2
Service and Loading Areas
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection 10.10.2. In addition:
• Avoid areas where high pedestrian traffic is expected by directing vehicular access to loading and
servicing facilities to collector or local streets and rear lanes, not from the arterial street, and to
the rear or side of the building.
H.10.3
Parking
Follow the guidelines discussed in subsubsection 10.10.3. In addition:
• Where surface parking is provided, the main parking area should be located within the interior of
the site and to the rear and side of buildings. Surface parking is prohibited between the building
and sidewalk.
• Avoid areas where high pedestrian traffic is expected by directing vehicular access to parking
facilities to collector or local streets and rear lanes, not from the arterial street, and to the rear or
side of the building.
180
• Locate exterior vehicular ramps and garage entrances to parking structures at the rear or side of
buildings, away from main building frontages and streets. Avoid locating ramps/entrances at street
corners or view termini.
• Locate pedestrian entrances for above-grade and below-grade parking structures (i.e., not including
surface parking lots) adjacent to main building entrances, public streets, or other highly visible
locations.
• Design above-grade parking structures to reinforce the intended built character, and blend into
the streetscape through façade treatments that conceal the parking levels and give the visual
appearance of a multi-storey building.
• Façade design of above-grade parking structures should complement adjacent buildings in terms
of openings, vertical articulation, materials, and colours. Pedestrian amenities such as awnings,
canopies, and sheltered entries are encouraged.
H.10.4
Drop-off Areas
Organise drop-off areas into the side or rear of the side. When located at the rear, provide direct visual
and physical pedestrian access to the street frontage. Provide taxi stands and bus drop-off areas. Passenger
drop-off areas (from private cars) should include the following elements:
• Drop-off access should be from rear lanes or secondary streets wherever possible. Avoid placing
drop-off areas at highly visible locations, such as street termini.
• Pedestrian connections should lead directly from drop-off areas to the front entry of the building.
Provide weather protection for outdoor waiting areas, to make getting to and from the site more
comfortable.
• Design drop-off areas to be pedestrian-oriented, minimise conflicts with pedestrian routes, and to
include decorative paving material, textures, or colours to emphasise pedestrian connections.
H.11
Community Service Location and Shared Facility Use
Locate community facilities such as schools, libraries, and community centres to be focal points for
the community, and where possible, to create new terminus views. Ensure community facilities are
well-landscaped and visible at the pedestrian level, in recognition of their prominent locations. Locate
community facilities in close proximity to transit facilities and routes.
Co-locate community services and integrate facilities with new development to ensure shared
use as well as efficient, inclusive, and dynamic program delivery.
Locate compatible community buildings in close proximity or in the same building or on the same site
to promote visibility, maintain community focus, and ensure efficient use of land and building resources.
The co-location of services and facilities can minimise trips and travel time, and address a family’s daily
181
needs through various stages of life. Co-location supports interaction between people of differing backgrounds, ages, and socio-economic conditions. Maximising resources by grouping services in the same
facility improves public access. Shared use of multi-service facilities strengthens communities, improves
public health, and achieves positive socio-economic outcomes.
One example is to co-locate an elementary school, high school, neighbourhood centre, and child care
centre to share resources. A playground or playing field used by school children could be adjacent to a
park open to the public. Seniors centres can also host child care centres, or having the seniors centre
overlook the children’s courtyard, with seniors watching children playing. Local libraries can be located
within the same building as schools.
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I
Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities
The following section is derived from the City of Toronto’s Growing Up: Planning for Children in New
Vertical Communities, May 2017.
I.1
Whimsy and Design for Four Seasons
Incorporate whimsical elements and design for year round enjoyment.
Whimsical forms can become way-finding elements and help orient children by creating a sense of place,
inclusivity, and a feeling of belonging. Encourage a sense of joy and playfulness by incorporating whimsy
in public art, building design, streetscapes, street furniture, and parks and open space features. Design
child-friendly elements at a scale that responds to children, that provokes the imagination, and are fun,
interactive, educational, musical, and brightly coloured in fantastic sculptural forms.
Design for four seasons should be transformable, such as a walking trail that becomes a skating trail in
the winter; incorporate animated patterns, colour, and light; and flexible for year-round use and events.
I.2
Building Configuration
Provide a critical mass of large units primarily located in lower portions of the building.
Increasing the number of large units creates a sense of community within the building. Units in lower
portions of the building can have direct access to the outdoors (including rooftop amenity space) while
reducing dependency on corridors and elevators. Children playing outdoors can be more easily supervised from the units above. At-grade units should provide direct access to amenity, local streets, or
laneways for convenience.
I.3
Common Indoor and Outdoor Amenity
Provide indoor and outdoor amenity spaces to support a variety of age groups and activities.
Design a portion of amenity space for children and youth. Flexible-use space can be included in that area.
The proportion should relate to the number of large units in the building (ideally, at least 25 %). Locate
and protect outdoor amenity space from shadow and wind impacts of existing and future development.
Enable passive supervision by locating child-specific amenities adjacent to other amenities. Outdoor
amenity space designed for children and youth should be:
• Directly accessible from private terraces if located on the same level; and
• Could include hardy landscape planting for flexible outdoor play, but this should not be counted
towards more than 25 % of the outdoor amenity area.
183
When planning a site with multiple buildings, consider grouping a portion of the amenity in a shared
complex. Consider the community-building potential of food by providing indoor/outdoor furniture to
enable communal meals and gathering, as well as by providing roof-top gardening opportunities.
184
J
Parks
The following section is derived from the Town of Richmond Hill’s Urban Design Guidelines, September
2013.
J.1
Parks and Open Spaces: Access and Type
Provide a variety of types of parks and open spaces that are easily accessible and meet a range of
needs.
A 400 m radius is the rough comfortable walking distance with a child. A child’s mobility is determined
by age; thus, distances are experienced differently. Parks and open spaces are most accessible when
located close to home and on safe routes, allowing children to exercise independent mobility. New
parks and open spaces should be convenient and centrally located to meet daily needs within 250 m to
500 m, or 5–10 minute walking distance of a new development site. Where feasible, locate new parks
and open spaces on safe routes and minimise the number of intersections children need to cross to access
them. Pursue opportunities to re-purpose underutilised spaces such as surface parking lots, left-over
land parcels, and redundant vehicular lanes through “road diets”.
Park design should consider a range of elements that are flexible and specific to allow for a diversity of
activities, resting, climbing, and imaginative/adventure/nature play to suit all ages and abilities. Provide
a combination of:
1. Specific elements including: play equipment for a broad range of age groups, sandboxes, water
features, play courts, and smaller skateboard features; and
2. Flexible elements including: large boulders, lawn areas, mounds, concrete or stone shapes, and
seat walls.
These elements could be sculptural and whimsical. Where feasible, provide dog amenities to prevent
conflicts with children and minimise damage to the public realm.
Playgrounds should:
1. Be located safely within parks and away from streets;
2. Offer group seating and gathering space for caregivers to allow for formal and/or informal supervision;
3. Provide entry/exit points that include integrated physical barriers to prevent young children from
running into the street, such as fences, low walls, or maze-like offsets; and
4. Include naturalised spaces for children to explore.
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J.2
All Parks
Parks should be designed as a focal point for neighbourhoods, and should be centrally located, preferably
on a corner of two public streets wherever possible. The location of the parks should avoid major grade
changes in active areas. Front buildings to overlook public spaces, especially for playgrounds which
should be highly visible to public streets and/or houses to enhance safety.
Provide a mix of activity for constant use of the space. Highly visible parks should form a linked network,
in order to provide a variety of safe recreation and movement options between neighbourhoods and
centres and corridors. Park entrance design should be clearly defined using landscaping and architectural
elements, and should provide amenities including pedestrian-scale lighting and signage visible from
surrounding streets, to assist in orientation and use of park amenities.
Vehicular connections through parkland should be limited to emergency and maintenance vehicle routes,
and access to major park facilities and parking areas. Highly visible connections should link the major
park amenities and facilities through walkways and bike paths. Parks should be located to serve the
diverse needs of the community, including facilities for passive recreation (e.g. walking trails, community gardens, seating areas, park pavilions, interpretive displays, public art) and active recreation (e.g.
sports fields, skating rinks, bike paths). Seating and shade areas should be designed in coordination with
pathways and play area locations.
A greenway system is comprised of connected, uninterrupted, and undisturbed wild areas such as a
forest.
J.3
Community Parks
Community Parks should have frontage on an arterial or collector street. Where appropriate, houses
should front onto Community Parks on single-loaded streets to emphasise passive security or “eyes on
the park” and to frame the park through the creation of built form edge. Community Parks, community
centres, and libraries should be co-located and share parking in order to reduce the land required for
surface parking lots.
J.4
Neighbourhood Parks
Neighbourhood Parks should have frontage on a collector or local street, and where possible, at the
terminus of T-intersection streets and open crescents, to create an attractive public realm and enhance
safety through casual surveillance. Neighbourhood Parks may be directly connected to school sites
to encourage mutual use of outdoor facilities. Development should be designed to front onto the
Neighbourhood Park wherever possible. Where residential side or rear yards abut a Neighbourhood
Park, fencing and landscaping should be provided to demarcate the public and private realm. On-street
parking along public streets is encouraged adjacent to the park.
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Figure 50: This Vista Block provides a lookout over the Greenway System and includes plantings and a
paved seating area.
J.5
Urban Squares
Urban Squares should be open to the public and accessible at all times, without physical barriers or gates.
To ensure usage and presence, the square should be fronted by animated uses with a consistent building
setback and a high level of transparency. These would be high pedestrian areas such as restaurants and
cafés, preferably with some outdoor seating areas. Consider extending the paving treatment onto the
street to give the space further prominence. This additional area would delineate an extended space that
could be occasionally used for large-scale events, such as a farmers market or festival.
J.6
Vista Blocks
Incorporate Vista Blocks (an example of which is shown in Figure 50) along the edges of your city’s
Greenway System, stormwater management facilities, parks, and urban open spaces to provide views to
these features. Provide amenities within Vista Blocks (e.g. resting spots, pedestrian walkways, lookout
sites) as appropriate. Locate Vista Blocks along publicly accessible lands, to ensure maximum visibility
and public accessibility to the feature being framed. Incorporate design elements that are unique to their
location within the neighbourhood, and which are coordinated with other structural elements. Large
groupings of native shrub, grass, and wildflower species are encouraged to create visual interest, frame
the view, and minimise maintenance requirements.
J.7
Nature Parks and Trails
Provide direct connections between cycling routes along streets and trails within your city’s Greenway
System. Trail design should reflect the function and nature of the type of open space it occupies. Trail
widths should allow for two-way cyclist or pedestrian passage (e.g. multi-use trail designs). Nature
trails should include multiple access points, and be accessible and visible from the public street or other
public areas. Where appropriate, provide access points every 250 m for safety and maintenance purposes.
Design access points to be barrier free. Include adequate amenities such as seating, trash receptacles,
187
lighting, and signage. Use low-impact materials that are porous and stable. Lighting levels on trails should
be individually determined, particularly where lighting may disturb adjacent residences and natural
habitats.
188
K
Effective Lighting
The following section is derived from the City of Toronto’s Best Practices for Effective Lighting, June
2017. Poor lighting has multiple negative impacts on human physical and mental health, and contributes
to light pollution.
K.1
Lighting for Safety and Security
The goal of security lighting is to discourage criminal activity by creating an environment where such
activity may be readily and accurately observed. Poorly designed security lighting actually has the opposite effect: the glare of an unshielded lamp blinds an observer and affects dark adaptation, making it
difficult to see into shadows. Security lighting is a major source of glare and overlighting. It’s not evident
that increased lighting decreases crime. Studies have shown that criminal activity and vandalism actually
increase with increased lighting. Most burglaries occur during daylight hours.
Our city becomes safer when more people use public spaces at night. Well-designed public lighting
creates an inviting environment for the use of public spaces. To create an attractive streetscape, priority
should be given to uniformity of lighting that is used in conjunction with security cameras.
Avoid poorly placed lights that create blind-spots for potential observers and miss critical areas. Ensure
potential problem areas are well lit: pathways, stairs, entrances/exits, parking areas, ATMs, phone kiosks,
mailboxes, bus stops, children’s play areas, recreation areas, pools, laundry rooms, storage areas, dumpster
and recycling areas, etc. Avoid overly bright security lighting that creates blinding glare and/or deep
shadows, hindering the view for potential observers. Eyes adapt to night lighting and have difficulty
adjusting to severe lighting disparities. Place lighting along pathways and other pedestrian-use areas
at proper heights for lighting the faces of the people in the space (and to identify the faces of potential
attackers). Only light areas where needed, i.e. parking spaces versus parking aisles.
K.2
External Lighting Fixtures
Eliminate direct upward light, which is projected directly upward by inefficient lighting fixtures. Preferred
fixtures direct light downward to the surface where it’s needed. They minimise uplight which causes
skyglow and glare to an observer. Examples are shown in Figure 51. Do not use lighting fixtures that
shine light horizontally or upwards; light should only be directed downwards.
Ensure that all lighting is shielded and pointed so that it shines downward onto the ground rather than
into a person’s eyes. All lighting should be facing downward on building façades. Shield street facing
lighting so that establishments and the sidewalks can be seen by passers-by. Where external lighting of
a building is necessary, use downlight to highlight architectural features. Pathways can be illuminated
by passive fluorescent pads, parking lots should rely on car headlights for lighting, and signage and
buildings should be illuminated only when absolutely necessary. The intrusion of light from nearby
streets, businesses and residences should be strictly controlled.
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(a) Effective external lighting.
(b) Ineffective external lighting.
Figure 51: Differences between effective and ineffective external lighting. Lamps that emit light horizontally and/or upwards should be avoided.
Full cut-off street lighting is designed to direct the light where it’s needed – to the roadway and sidewalk
surfaces. This minimises the waste light that causes sky glow and lessens glare by shielding the viewer
from a direct view of the light source. On low-speed residential streets, it may be sufficient to provide
lighting for sidewalks and rely on car headlights for lighting the roadway. On low-speed residential streets,
it may be sufficient to provide lighting for sidewalks and rely on car headlights for lighting the roadway.
Street lighting shouldn’t be used to illuminate adjacent surfaces such as residential lawns and walkways.
In order to avoid light trespass onto adjacent properties, the pole height for parking lot lights should be
no higher than the buildings or trees around the perimeter of the parking lot. The luminaries may require
shielding to control light spill. Parking lot lighting shouldn’t be used to promote a business or illuminate
a building façade.
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L
Green Parking Lot Design
The following section is derived from the City of Toronto’s Design Guidelines for “Greening” Surface
Parking Lots, January 2013.
L.1
Location and Layout
L.1.1
General Requirements
a. Locate surface parking behind or beside buildings, away from primary street frontages and street
corners. Parking shouldn’t be located between the front façade line of buildings and a street edge.
b. Where possible, to reduce potential vehicle and pedestrian conflicts related to cars moving in/out of
parking spaces, avoid locating parking along major drive aisles, street access driveways, or in front of
building entrances and service areas.
c. Position parking rows perpendicular to the main building entrance(s) to assist safe pedestrian movement toward the building.
d. Divide larger parking areas both visually and functionally into smaller parking courts. Limit the length
of parking rows to a maximum of 60 m (20–23 contiguous spaces). Longer rows should include
landscaped breaks, such as islands, with shade trees.
e. Use landscaped islands and medians for separation. Exceptions might include parking lots on
small/narrow sites, or disabled parking and short-term loading spaces where proximity to building entrances is important.
f. Integrate bicycle parking, shopping cart corrals, ticket or payment kiosks, signage, public art, and
other applicable site elements into the design and layout of the parking lot.
L.1.2
Site Grading
a. Ensure that any grade changes at the edge of surface parking lots provide a subtle transition to surrounding areas. Avoid significant changes in grade (greater than 4 % slope) between the public sidewalk
and pedestrian access and circulation routes. Ensure universally accessible routes are provided across
any grade changes.
b. Limit the maximum grades on landscaped areas to 33 % (3:1) or less to ensure that grassed slopes
can be maintained.
c. Limit the use of retaining walls, particularly along street frontages, parks, ravines, and other areas of
the public realm. Where retaining walls cannot be avoided, minimise the overall height or provide
low terraces, use durable, attractive materials, and incorporate intensive soft landscaping.
d. Slope surfaces to direct stormwater toward landscaping, bio-retention areas or other water collection/treatment areas as identified on the site.
191
L.1.3
Lighting
a. Select distinct luminaries with a coordinated appearance to light pedestrian pathways, parking spaces,
drive aisles, building and site entrances, and other relevant parking lot features. Consider lighting
elements for their aesthetic and design value, not simply their lighting function.
b. Provide pedestrian-scaled lighting along pedestrian routes, such as bollards or lower-scale pole fixtures.
Coordinate the location of lighting with pedestrian clearways, tree planting, and other landscaping.
c. Install lighting that is appropriately scaled to its purpose, i.e. avoid “over lighting”. Direct light
downward (no upward or horizontal light rays) and avoid light overspill on adjacent properties,
streets, and open spaces.
L.2
Vehicle Access and Circulation
a. Limit the number and width of curb cuts for street access driveways to minimise interruption to the
public sidewalk, streetscape, and perimeter landscaping.
b. Provide access to surface parking lots from secondary streets or laneways whenever possible. Share
driveway access between adjacent sites where feasible.
c. Define street access driveways and internal vehicle routes with curbed landscaped areas, tree planting,
and lighting. Ensure unobstructed motorist and pedestrian sightlines, and provide clearly marked
crossings at all intersections between vehicle routes and pedestrian pathways.
d. Size vehicle circulation routes according to use. Avoid over-sized driveways, drive aisles, and turning
radii. Provide continuous circulation throughout the site. Avoid dead-end driveways and turn around
spaces.
L.3
Pedestrian Access and Circulation
a. Establish a direct and continuous pedestrian network within and adjacent to parking lots to connect
building entrances, parking spaces, public sidewalks, transit stops, and other pedestrian destinations.
In larger parking lots or where parking lots serve more than one building or destination, provide
designated pedestrian pathways for safe travel through the parking lot.
b. Provide at least one pedestrian route between the main building entrance and a public sidewalk that
is uninterrupted by surface parking and driveways.
c. Provide pedestrian pathways along street access driveways. Where pedestrian routes cross street
access driveways and other major drive aisles, clearly mark crossings and provide unobstructed sight
distance for both pedestrians and vehicles.
d. All pedestrian routes within a parking lot should include:
i. A barrier-free pathway, with a minimum clear width of 1.7 m (wider pathways are encouraged
and may be required depending on parking lot use);
192
ii. Shade trees (or a shade structure) along one or both sides of the pathway;
iii. Pedestrian-scale lighting to illuminate and define the route; and
iv. A clear division from vehicular areas, with a change in grade and surface material, and with soft
landscaping.
L.4
Landscaping
L.4.1
General Requirements
a. Consolidate soft landscaped areas, particularly in larger parking lots, to enhance tree and plant material
growing conditions.
b. Select plant material suitable to the growing environment of the parking lot. Avoid monocultures as
they can be susceptible to disease. Incorporate a variety of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs
for year-round interest, texture, shape, and seasonal colour.
c. Trees should be planted at least 1.5 m from curbs, sidewalks, driveways, and other hard surfaces to
buffer from stress caused by salt, snow piling, vehicle overhang, and compacted soils. All other plant
material, except sod or groundcover, should be set back a minimum of 0.6 m from any curb edge to
protect from vehicle overhang and mechanical damage.
d. Where landscaping might impact motorist/pedestrian sight distance, prune trees and keep shrubs
below 0.85 m in height so that the lowest branches will be at least 2 m above ground level. Limit
any other landscape features that might cause obstructions to a maximum height of 1 m. Ensure
overhanging branches of trees or shrubs adjacent to pedestrian pathways maintain a clear headspace
of at least 2 m.
L.4.2
Streetscape and Perimeter Landscaping
a. Provide a landscaped area at least 3 m in width between surface parking and all property lines.
b. For parking lot edges adjacent to streets, parks, or other public open spaces, provide at least one row
of shade trees, spaced evenly at 5 m to 6 m intervals (or as appropriate to the selected species) for the
length of the parking lot edge. Also provide screening, consisting of continuous planting, alone or in
combination with a low decorative fence/wall or a landscaped berm. Keep shrubs, fences, or walls
to a maximum height of 1 m. To support pedestrian safety and security, ensure screening does not
completely obstruct views into and out of the parking lot. Set back screening at least 1 m from the
edge of public sidewalks and 0.6 m from parking lot curbs. Screening shouldn’t encroach into the
public street right-of-way.
c. For parking lot edges not adjacent to the public realm, provide soft landscaping with a variety of
deciduous, palm, and coniferous trees and plantings.
d. Where possible, include landscaping and a pedestrian walkway between parking lots and building
edges.
193
L.4.3
Internal Landscaping
a. Incorporate soft landscaped areas and trees within the parking lot to define major vehicle and pedestrian routes, provide shade, and break up the expanse of paved areas. Soft landscaped areas include
islands, medians, bio-retention areas, and other consolidated planting areas.
b. Define internal landscaped areas with a continuous 15 cm curb to prevent damage from vehicles and
snow clearance, to separate planting areas from pedestrian pathways, and to prevent soil and other
landscape material from spreading over adjacent surfaces.
c. Provide internal shade trees at a minimum ratio of one tree planted for every five parking spaces
supplied. Distribute internal shade tree planting such that no parking space is more than 30 m from a
tree. On small or narrow sites, shade trees provided in non-street facing perimeter planting areas can
be counted toward the internal tree requirement, provided that the maximum distance from a parking
space (30 m) is met.
d. Include landscaped islands at the beginning and end of each parking row, and to break up longer rows
or highlight special features. Plant at least 1 high-branching deciduous shade tree (2 preferred) in each
island. Include understory planting such as shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and groundcover.
e. Provide continuous landscaped medians every 3 (or fewer) banks of parking. A “bank” of parking
consists of 2 parking rows and a drive aisle. Medians should have a landscaped area at least 3 m in
width and combine with shade tree planting requirements, pedestrian pathways, and/or stormwater
management as appropriate.
f. Shade structures may replace shade tree planting only after the minimum interior tree requirement is
satisfied, or when sufficient soil volume and planting conditions cannot be achieved for proper tree
growth.
L.4.4
Stormwater Management
Manage rainwater and snowmelt on-site with designs that encourage infiltration, evapotranspiration,
and water re-use:
a. Create bio-retention areas, such as swales, vegetated islands and overflow ponds.
b. Include catchbasin restrictors and oil/grit separators as appropriate.
c. Plant trees (if applicable) above grade from ponding areas and clear of stormwater flow.
d. Provide cuts in curbs for water inlets / flow.
L.5
Surfaces
a. Install decorative paving or a change in paving material/colour to emphasise edges, pedestrian routes
and crossings, entrances, loading areas, and other special features within the parking lot.
194
b. Limit the use of dark, impervious surfaces within the parking lot. Use light-coloured materials, such
as concrete, white asphalt, green asphalt, or light-coloured pavers, in the hardscape to reduce surface
temperatures and contribution to the urban heat island effect.
c. Permeable and porous pavements provide an opportunity to retain rainwater and snowmelt onsite. Install permeable/porous pavement, such as open-jointed pavers, porous concrete/asphalt,
or turf/gravel grids, as appropriate to parking lot use and conditions. Permeable paving should be
installed in all overflow parking areas and is encouraged for use in snow storage areas and hardscapes
surrounding trees. Consider turf grids/grassy pavers for areas of low traffic or infrequent use.
L.6
Example Diagrams
The next few pages provide some example diagrams of parking lots that meet all of these requirements.
Note that these are only intended to help and guide; any parking lots you make should meet the intent of
the guidelines with site-specific design solutions.
195
design gUideLines FOR ‘gReening’ sURFACe PARKing LOTs
5.0 Diagrams
5.1 SiTE PLaN DiaGraMS
The following concept diagrams summarize and
apply various guidelines contained within section 4.0.
The diagrams are for illustration and discussion
purposes only. Designers of surface parking lots should
meet the intent of the guidelines with site-specific
design solutions.
5.1.1 Small Corner Site
b.
g.
k.
e.
j. service area
primary street
a.
g.
f.
k.
i.
e.
building
h.
f.
b.
e.
d.
c.
secondary street
LEGEND
a. parking behind/beside building, away from street corner
b. parking spaces behind façade line of building
c. parking lot access from secondary street
d. clearly marked pedestrian crossing
e. direct/connected pedestrian route
f. minimum 3m wide landscaped area with shade trees and low plantings (screening)
g. minimum 3m wide landscaped area with shade trees (bio-retention opportunity)
h. high-quality privacy fencing and plantings buffer less compatible use
i. snow storage/bio-retention area
j. rolled curb and change in paving to mark “no parking” zone
k. permeable surface (when feasible)
196
TORONTO CITY PLANNING URBAN DESIGN
January 2013– 23
design gUideLines FOR ‘gReening’ sURFACe PARKing LOTs
5.1.2 Long Narrow Site
primary street
k.
service
area
k.
c.
g.
j.
n.
h.
building
d.
e. i.
j.
e.
d.
m.
d.
a.
f.
l.
c.
m.
f.
e.
b.
primary street
LEGEND
a. parking beside building, away from street corner
b. parking lot access with minimum disruption to streetscape
c. main drive aisle clear of parking spaces
d. clearly marked pedestrian crossing
e. direct/connected pedestrian route
f. minimum 3m wide landscaped area (shade trees, plantings, decorative screening) coordinated with streetscape
g. minimum 3m wide landscaped median with shade trees (bio-retention opportunity)
h. designated internal pedestrian pathway with shade trees
i. sheltered bicycle parking near main entrance
j. parking row (20-23 continuous spaces maximum) with landscaped breaks
k. bio-retention area
l. consolidated landscape area (snow storage/bio-retention opportunity)
m. coordinated lighting scheme
n. permeable surface (when feasible)
197
24
TORONTO CITY PLANNING URBAN DESIGN
design gUideLines FOR ‘gReening’ sURFACe PARKing LOTs
5.1.3 Large Site with Multiple Buildings
l.
building
e.
c.
i.
f.
b.
d.
secondary street
e.
f.
o.
n.
g.
d.
j.
c.
i.
o.
b.
b.
f.
a.
d.
e.
building
k. e.
m.
n.
building
i.
g.
d.
o.
c.
k.
h.
j.
building
c.
f.
m.
a.
d.
n.
c.
m.
n.
building
b.
e.
c.
f.
primary street
LEGEND
a. parking concealed behind street-fronting buildings and landscaped open space
b. parking lot access driveway shared between multiple destinations
c. main drive aisle clear of parking spaces
d. large parking area divided into smaller parking courts
e. direct and continuous pedestrian network
f. clearly marked pedestrian crossing
g. designated internal pedestrian pathway with shade trees
h. minimum 3m wide landscaped median with shade trees (bio-retention opportunity)
i. minimum 3m wide landscaped area with shade trees and low plantings for screening
j. parking row (20-23 continuous spaces maximum) with landscaped breaks
k. end of row island with shade trees (minimum 30m3 soil volume)
l. consolidated landscape area (bio-retention opportunity)
m. coordinated lighting scheme
n. bio-retention area/rain garden
o. permeable surface (when feasible)
198
TORONTO CITY PLANNING URBAN DESIGN
January 2013– 25
design gUideLines FOR ‘gReening’ sURFACe PARKing LOTs
5.2 aDDiTiONaL DiaGraMS
The following diagrams represent further options
to consider when designing various parking lot
features.
Diagram 9
The diagrams are for illustration and discussion
purposes only. Design variations and site-specific
solutions that meet the intent of the Guidelines
are strongly encouraged.
0.15m
0.2m
1.5m MIN
5.0m to 6.0m
0.2m
two parking rows typical
(less vehicle turning space as required)
0.5m MIN turning radius adjacent to parking space
poured in place curb
shade tree
3.4m MIN
1.5m MIN
VARIES
1 parking space
typical
0.2m
planting area (30m³ MIN soil volume at 0.9m MIN depth)
shopping cart corral (opportunity for solar power generation
and rainwater harvesting)
0.5m MIN radius adjacent to shopping cart corral
understory planting (see Appendix B)
3.0m MIN
1.5m MIN
0.2m
lighting (clear of tree planting)
Design concept for mid-row landscaped islands and shopping cart corral
(See 4.1.4 Other Site Elements and 4.4.3 internal Landscaping)
199
26
TORONTO CITY PLANNING URBAN DESIGN
design gUideLines FOR ‘gReening’ sURFACe PARKing LOTs
Diagram 4
opportunity for solar power generation
and rainwater harvesting
0.15m
2.1m typical 0.2m
(1.7m MIN clear)
0.6m MIN
VARIES
pedestrian pathway (covered and well-lit)
shade canopy
poured in place curb
Diagram
Design concept for pedestrian pathway
with3shade structure
(See 4.3 Pedestrian access and Circulation)
0.15m
VARIES
2.1m typical
(1.7m MIN clear)
0.6m MIN
3.0m MIN
0.2m 1.5m MIN
VARIES
(8.5m MIN recommended)
pedestrian-scale lighting
VARIES
3.0m MIN
shade tree (spaced evenly 5.0m-6.0m on centre)
continuous planting area
(0.9m MIN soil depth)
pedestrian pathway
poured in place curb
Design concept for pedestrian pathway with double row of shade trees
(See 4.3 Pedestrian access and Circulation)
200
TORONTO CITY PLANNING URBAN DESIGN
January 2013– 27
Diagram 7
design gUideLines FOR ‘gReening’ sURFACe PARKing LOTs
bio-swale
VARIES
(3.0m typical)
0.15m
curb inlet slope to swale
water filtration/storage area (depth VARIES)
perforated subdrain (as required)
0.6m MIN
0.2m 1.5m MIN
VARIES
(8.5m typical)
bio-swale planting (see Appendix B)
bio-swale
(ponding area)
tree (planted clear of stormwater flow
and ponding area)
poured in place curb
curb inlet (stormwater flow)
perforated subdrain (as required)
overflow catchbasin (as required)
Design concept for bio-retention swale with double row of trees (See 4.5 Stormwater Management)
201
28
TORONTO CITY PLANNING URBAN DESIGN
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