What is Urban Design?
Urban Design is the process of shaping the physical setting for life in our city. Urban design operates at the intersection of architecture, city planning, transportation and engineering, real estate economics, landscape design, and ecology. The result is a comprehensive approach to every project that ensures quality in the buildings, streets, sidewalks, and spaces in between where we play out our lives.
How can we help?
Please explore our Portfolio to see some of the exciting projects around the city we’ve been working on. Our Design Resource documents contain helpful tips on how to build a better project.
What We Do
The Urban Design team assists in a wide range of development through varied means, including:
- Utilize design fundamentals and human psychology to create better spaces
- Encourage project participation with natural systems whenever possible
- Use place-based thinking to allow systems to support neighborhood identity
- Help locate opportunities for tactical urbanism and public art across the city
Our approach brings together diverse expertise to ensure City projects fulfill community visions. With coordination and cooperation, public vision and development can come together to create seamless, memorable urban places. The Urban Design Team helps owners and project managers realize their project's potential, save time, and save costly redesign fees by helping projects start off on the right track. By aligning new developments with community goals, our team can help you realize your project in a way that:
- Improves the built environment
- Adds value to your new development and existing neighboring developments
- Improves the experience of the project’s residents, employees, customers and/or guests
- Assists property owners in understanding their properties’ potential
Additionally, we have design resources available for you to read at your leisure. Please take a look at our Community Design Handbook, Urban Form Plan, Successful Storefronts, and Living in the City documents for recommended general guidelines to help you achieve a successful project.
The Triple Bottom Line Approach
To holistically consider our place in the world and how our projects can play a regenerative role with nature is one of our main goals. A holistic and inclusive approach should account for community needs in a way that supports and integrates with natural systems. This is how we achieve true sustainability. We practice and encourage thoughtful consideration of the following elements to achieve successful projects:
Successful developments utilize a mixture of elements that contribute to a walkable neighborhood, enrich the streetscape, and support community comfort and safety at all hours. Buildings are designed for the human scale; they engage the street and promote transparency. They also help define a sense of place, respect the neighborhood through appropriate siting and massing, and employ high‐quality and contextually appropriate materials and colors.
Sustainable developments encourage natural resiliency by utilizing local materials where possible and are designed with site-specific strategies that respond to provincial sun, wind, and rain conditions. They minimize energy use and waste. They also encourage alternative modes of transportation including bicycle and public transit use. These developments strive to live symbiotically with nature.
We encourage every business to succeed with an holistic approach to financial profitability. When we create great places and great buildings, people go to those places and buildings. These places become welcome parts of the community and they succeed. By ensuring that developments foster a sense of community in an environmentally sound way, we can help create the conditions for a well-balanced, financially successful project.