Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Involving the Right Stakeholders

Streets are shaped by many different stakeholders, varying as jurisdictional boundaries are crossed or as political leadership is changed. Find out who is involved in your local context, clarify responsibilities, and ensure that the street design prioritizes sustainable and active mobility choices that put people first.

Multiple levels of national, sub-national, regional, or local governments, technical professionals, the general public, and other constituents each have different interests. Understand and acknowledge each stakeholder’s role—formal or informal—to facilitate a transparent process and help to reduce professional silos. Value diverse input to bring together local perspectives with technical expertise, and offer regular forums for intersectoral dialogue to support the long-term sustainability and retention of best-practice knowledge.

The following list gives a sense of some of the people, groups, and agencies whose various interests and efforts should be aligned to shape vibrant, engaging, safe, and functional streets.

Transportation departments and engineers develop long-term transportation visions and plans, regulate sidewalk, cycle, transit, and travel lane widths, manage traffic controls, regulate street furniture, and often maintain street surfaces. They are typically responsible for final approval of street designs and operations.

Transit authorities and operators control the collective transport facilities and infrastructure within the street.

Street operators manage parking, limit access, and maintain streets, formally or informally.

Parks departments often manage and maintain street trees and landscaping.

Environmental protection agencies often manage the stormwater that runs onto the street through curbside drains, and, at times, are also involved in the planning strategies and design reviews.

Construction and public works agencies manage the implementation of street and public works projects.

Sanitation and waste management agencies organize waste collection and recycling, conduct snow removal, and manage the overall cleanliness of the street.

Building departments often regulate what can project beyond a building or private property line into the public right-of-way.

Utility companies install and maintain utility infrastructure such as electricity or communication.

Consumer affairs organizations often regulate sidewalk cafés, commercial uses, and vendors by issuing licenses and enforcing compliance.

Departments and organizations supporting people with disabilities work to ensure safe and accessible streets for people with limited abilities.

Urban designers, landscape architects, and architects design integral elements of the street and its surrounding context, shaping how interesting and engaging the buildings, streetscape, and public spaces can be.

Planning departments are responsible for long-term land use and growth plans, policies that regulate building heights, setback dimensions, ground-floor uses, curb cut locations, entrances, levels of transparency, and outdoor uses.

Historic preservation organizations can identify and designate city landmarks and protect the character of streets.

Developers and development banks may fund projects that, depending on the scale, include new streets or the transformation of existing streets.

Health professionals can enact policies that encourage active mobility choices and increase physical activity levels.

Advocacy groups and neighborhood associations can be enlisted to support certain street designs or transformations.

Private property owners and tenants formally or informally maintain and manage the use of sidewalks, front yards, and entrance spaces.

Local businesses, vendors, and kiosk owners provide goods and services to street users, and may fund or manage ongoing maintenance through the creation of locally organized groups.

Local media can help promote and communicate the benefits of complete street design to the general public, shifting perceptions and influencing reactions to new projects.

Academic institutions such as planning, architecture, and public health schools, can partner with local governments and communities to assist with research, gathering metrics, visualizing development plans, and providing other resources to support street projects.

Enforcement entities can play a role in shaping user behavior, regulating compliance, providing surveillance, and reducing crime on streets.

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.

Setting a Project Vision

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Setting a Project Vision