Guidelines and Resources

The Urban Design Studio has crafted design guidelines that have shaped both private and public development in Los Angeles. The links below provide guidance to the design and development community to raise awareness of urban design best practices and expectations for new projects undergoing City review

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Citywide Design Guidelines

As part of Los Angeles’s overall strategy for incorporating environmental considerations into project design, the Citywide Design Guidelines advance the City’s goals for creating pedestrian-first, climate-adapted, and context-sensitive site design.

Citywide Design Guidelines

Updated Application Requirements


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Small Lot Design Standards

To support the construction of small lot projects, the Department has prepared design standards with specific and enforceable rules. These standards cover building orientation, entryways, façade articulation, roofline variation, pedestrian pathways, landscaping, and common open space areas.

Small Lot Design Standards


city planning commission advisories
City Planning Commission Adopted Guidelines

The Above-Grade Parking Advisory provides design guidance on minimizing the visibility of project parking.

Above-Grade Parking Advisory


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Urban Design Resource Guides

The Resource Guides are the product of the Urban Design Studio’s collaboration with other City agencies to promote green streets with shade, stormwater capture, and connections to nature.

Design Resource 1: Living Streets
A guide for living streets that feature trees, sidewalk plantings, and narrower roadways.

Design Resource 2: Soil Depths
A soil depth guide to ensure trees and shrubs have adequate soil volume and growing space.

Design Resource 3: Tree Well
A guide with recommended tree well dimensions for different sidewalk areas.

Design Resource 4: Urban Parkways
A guide for urban parkways with recommended dimensions for sidewalk plantings.


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Additional Resources for Pedestrian, Bike, and Transit Friendly Streets:

Complete Streets Design Manual
The Complete Streets Design Guide provides a compilation of design concepts and best practices that promote the major tenets of Complete Streets—safety and accessibility.

Supplemental Street Design Guide
A design guide for street design elements and treatments that improve pedestrian safety.

Mobility Hubs
The Mobility Hubs Pamphlet provides guidance on amenities, activities, and programs that support multi-modal connectivity near transit stations.