Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents
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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

How to Use the Guide

The Global Street Design Guide is intended for a diverse audience interested in different aspects of street design. Use this page to help understand what is included, navigate the information provided, and prioritize the portions that can be most helpful.

Inspire Change

  • Reveal what is possible: Review, pick, choose, and adapt the tools and strategies that best apply to your context.
  • Question: Ask why a current street is the way it is, and identify how the demonstrated street transformations could apply to your city.
  • Advocate: Promote a shift in policies, updated practices, and financial support that favors sustainable street designs.

Guide Change

  • Set and align agendas: Set citywide and regional agendas to promote and prioritize safe and sustainable streets. Align with related planning, health, development, safety, and sustainability policies, and practices.
  • Create guidelines, policies, tools, and practices: Borrow the structure of this book and adapt it to make a local street design guide. Create a minimum quality standard providing a reference point for future projects.
  • Adopt and endorse: Use the guide as formal guidance in your local context.
  • Set goals and targets: Identify specific strategies to be prioritized citywide such as length of improved sidewalks, growth in cycle network, increase in dedicated transit lanes, number of new trees, or safety statistics.
  • Inform policies: Support the implementation of performance driven transportation, safety, and environmental policies.
  • Implement projects: Realize visions of future street designs with technical detail.

Measure and Communicate Change

  • Test: Apply design tools to create temporary or interim projects that demonstrate new possibilities.
  • Build evidence: Document and evaluate street projects before and after implementation. Contribute to a collective global body of evidence by keeping us informed of your progress.
  • Train and educate: Train professionals, educate practitioners, and run community workshops on the design and implementation of streets.
  • Communicate priorities: Provide a clear sense of direction to the stakeholders who shape streets and support the case for design changes.

About Streets

Chapters 1-3

Understand why streets matter, learn about the processes involved in shaping and implementing great street projects, envision what is possible, and identify what to measure in order to build community and political support for future projects.

Street Design Guidance

Chapters 4-9

Recognize the importance of considering context and culture in the design of streets for place. Identify the different groups of people using the street and use the design strategies presented to meet their needs. Use the Management and Operations chapter to assist in managing streets in space and time, and the Design Controls chapter to actively set the parameters for great street designs in the future.

Street Transformations

Chapters 10-11

Identify possible reconfigurations of a variety of street and intersection types, and learn from the case studies of how other cities have  transformed their streets.

Designing Streets for People

Use the icon tabs in chapter 6 to find the design guidance for specific users. Identify these users across the guide using these icons and their respective colors.


Street elements and design guidance are called out by way of highlighting the design feature using a yellow color.

Before and After Transformations

All street and intersection transformations in Section C are designed as spreads with a before and after 3D model on the left page and right page respectively.

Dimension Conversion

See Conversion Chart to find a complete set of conversions for key dimensions under various units of measurement used in the guide such as:

  • Distance (1 m = 3.3 ft)
  • Speed (1 km/h = 0.62 m/h)

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.