Urban Design Guidelines for Development along Traditional Mainstreets

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Amenity: something that contributes to an area's needs, whether social, environmental or cultural

Articulation: architectural detail that gives a building interest and added richness

Boulevard: area between the curb and the sidewalk for: street trees, newspaper boxes, parking meters, light poles, bike rings etc. so that sidewalks are kept free and clear for pedestrians

Built form: buildings and structures

Clear pedestrian travel route: unobstructed 2.0 metre wide sidewalk

Compatible / Compatibility: when the density, form, bulk, height, setbacks, and/or materials of buildings are able to co-exist with their surroundings.

Curb cut: a break in the curb for car access from the street onto a lot

Driveway: a private way across land used for vehicular access from a public street - includes a private right-of-way

Glazing: clear or lightly tinted glass windows

Façade: the principal face of a building (also referred to as the front wall)

Fascia: a plain horizontal band along the facade, often where the building’s sign is placed (Refer Figure 13 & 19)

Frontage Zone: the area in the right-of-way between the building and the sidewalk; can include planting, outdoor patios, etc.

Gateway: a main point of entrance into a district or a neighbourhood and a good location for intensification

Hard landscape: landscape features other than plant materials (e.g. decorative pavers, planter boxes, walks, fences, retaining walls, etc.)

Intensification: higher, bigger and more compact, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development

Lane: a narrow street at the back of buildings, generally used for service and parking

Light pollution: light created from excessive illumination, by unshielded or misaligned light fixtures, and by inefficient lamp sources, with health implications to humans and wildlife

Mews: small pedestrian passageway to link parking to public sidewalks, parks to sidewalks etc.

Nodes: important locations in a city to highlight, feature or intensify, occurring at key intersections and neighbourhood gateways

Overlook: the design of a private amenity space of one unit has the potential, if incorrectly placed, to ‘overlook’ the private amenity space of another

Parking lot: a lot or other place used for the temporary parking of four or more passenger vehicles

Pedestrian scale: a size of a building or space that a pedestrian perceives as not dominating or overpowering

Pedestrian travel route: the unobstructed portion of the sidewalk

Pedestrian walkway: sidewalk on private property

Permeable surface: a surface formed of material that allows infiltration of water to the sub-base

Property line: the legal boundary of a property

Public realm: the streets, lanes, parks and open spaces that are free and available to anyone to use

Right-of-way: a public or private area that allows for passage of people or goods, including, but not limited to, freeways, streets, bicycle paths, alleys, trails and pedestrian walkways

Scale: the size of a building or an architectural feature in relation to its surroundings and to the size of a person

Screening: vegetation, landforms, or structures that serve to reduce the impact of development on nearby properties

Setback: the required distance from a road, property line, or another structure, within which no building can be located

Sidewalk: unobstructed concrete or paved area for pedestrian travel in the public right-of-way

Soft landscape: planting such as trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and annuals

Stacking lane: an on-site queuing lane for motorized vehicles, which is separated from other vehicular traffic and pedestrian circulation by barriers, markings or signs

Streetscape: the overall character and appearance of a street formed by buildings and landscape features that frame the public street. Includes building façades, street trees, plants, lighting, street furniture, paving, etc.

Street frontage: the front of the property facing the street

Street Section: a street cross-section which includes the horizontal line of the street plus the vertical edges of the buildings, on either side, that face it

Streetwall: street edge, along which a line of buildings can occur and defines the limits of the right-of-way.

Urban design: the analysis and design of the city's physical form

Urban form: the pattern of development in an urban area

Figure Credits

Figures Description
Figure 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19: Ottawa, Ontario. City of Ottawa
Figure 10: Toronto, Ontario.
Figure 14: Kingston, Ontario.