Design Guidelines and Recommendations


Downtowns Studio

Design Guidelines & Recommendations

Design Guidelines

Downtowns are always in a state of flux - with buildings changing constantly to suit the needs of their tenants and owners. Through partnering with municipalities and stakeholders, we're able to develop guidelines reflecting a clear, unified design language that reinforces each community's identity. These guidelines are typically incorporated into local zoning and code ordinances, with compliance helping to leverage grant funding. Through the use of design guidelines, communities are able to set a baseline standard of quality for future development, and help shape the course of change.

Our guidelines cover a wide array of topics, from facade and streetscape elements -- such as signage, paint schemes, window replacements, materials, and sidewalk use. We've even translated our guides to Spanish and Polish to be as inclusive to communities as possible. Take a look at some example pages below:

Facade & Streetscape
Design Recommendations

The most compelling way to inspire good design and sustainable growth is to show people what it will look like in their own communities. In conjunction with our guidelines, we can prepare illustrations for both streetscape and facade enhancements that coincide with broader development goals, and individual owners’ needs. These recommendations act as preliminary marketing material for projects, helping them attain grant funding, communicate design intent to the public, and garner community support and buy-in from owners while helping them visualize the possibilities.

We've provided facade and streetscape recommendations to numerous downtowns and communities across New York State. Have a look below at a few examples of our recommendations: