Adopted April 24, 2009, the award-winning DOWNTOWN DESIGN GUIDE established development design standards in an 1800-acre area in Downtown Los Angeles. These standards will be applied by both the Community Redevelopment Agency and City Planning Department staff during project evaluation.
The Design Guide encourages Downtown Los Angeles to develop as a more sustainable community. To achieve this goal, good choices must be made at all levels of planning and design - from and use and development decisions to building massing and materials choices - with an emphasis on Walkability and the making of great streets, districts and neighborhoods. The focus of the Design Guide is on the relationship of the buildings to the street, including sidewalk treatment, the character of the building as it adjoins the sidewalk and connections to transit. The successful treatment of these key features, coupled with particular attention to the details of a project in the first 30-40 vertical feet, form the basis for providing high quality development at a human scale. DOWNTOWN DESIGN GUIDE, p. 4
The Downtown Design Guide is to be applied in conjunction with NEW STREET STANDARDS (pdf file) that emphasize alternatives to the automobile and wider sidewalks. The new street standards are also available by development site address through the City Engineer's website, NavigateLA!. In their action on April 24, the City Council also adopted an amendment to the Central City Community Plan, URBAN DESIGN CHAPTER.
Taken together, these innovative efforts
comprise a fundamental shift in city planning for Downtown Los Angeles.
Urban Design Team:
Urban Design Studio
Community Redevelopment Agency
Department of Transportation
Bureau of Engineering
PRIMARY: Pat L. Smith, AICP, ASLA
Rincon Consultants, Environmental
Michael Meyer/Iteris, Traffic Study
With special thanks to the Downtown Neighborhood Council
You can download the entire document or by chapter. Sections of the Downtown Design Guide are available for download in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format (left). The Acrobat Reader plugin is available as a free download from http://www.adobe.com.