Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Institutionalizing Change

Policies reflecting desirable future conditions—and not documenting past trends—should drive decisions about street design.

Policies and Strategies

Individual street transformations can demonstrate results and build momentum toward broader change. Each project must work toward embedding this new approach to street design into local codes, training curricula, and political campaigns.

Policies reflecting desirable future conditions—and not documenting past trends—should drive decisions about street design. When the evaluation of a pilot or completed project demonstrates positive outcomes in various categories, it should be utilized to update policies, remove impediments to best practices, inform new local design guidelines, and alter existing transportation or engineering models. The following tools and policies can be updated to incentivize and require sustainable street design practices.

Local, Regional, and National Policies
Ensure the study, evaluation, and applicability of local, regional, and national policies. Use street redesign projects to inform policies at all these scales based on the authorities and different jurisdictions responsible for the street right-of-way. Remove impediments from all sources in order to promote successful design measures through institutional support.

Mobility Plans
Ensure all mobility plans include design guidance, minimum standards, and performance metrics to promote walking, cycling, and transit use.

Transportation Investment Policies and Strategies
Shape or adjust mandates to require a percentage of every street project budget be put toward active and sustainable transportation.

Street Design Guidelines
Develop local guidance on minimum quality standards and dimensions for best-practice streets.

Zoning codes
Allow, incentivize, and require the implementation of best practices. Align areas of growth with transit corridors; reduce or eliminate minimum parking standards; and update pedestrian ramps regulations. Provide requirements and incentives for ground floor uses and transparency levels to activate the street environment.

Master Plans
Provide guidance and requirements for street design for new neighborhoods and other large-scale developments.

Sustainability Plans
Ensure street design and sustainable mobility are part of sustainability plans.


Ongoing education, training, and site visits for professionals working in the transportation, planning, and engineering fields are important to ensure that best practices, new language, innovative approaches, and lessons learned find their way into the everyday practice of shaping streets in each place.

Academic Training
Coordinate with local academic institutions to ensure that the professionals of tomorrow are equipped to grapple with the complex needs of urban streets. Structure educational curricula to look at global best practices while studying the local contexts.

Ongoing Professional Development
Work with local professionals and organizations to extend the resources available for ongoing professional training through educational trips, workshops, and sessions. These collaborations can help inform professionals and educate them on strategies that should be advocated for at public council meetings, civil society sessions, and community meetings.

Public Education Campaigns
Support public education on the design and use of great streets through campaigns, community engagement, and enforcement. It is important that the local community knows what to expect from street redesigns and operational changes, why it is important, and how the outcomes will benefit them. Community support is critical to the success of any project. When new transportation systems or services are introduced, or new street designs are implemented, provide street users with information about expected changes and safety measures.

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.