Designing and Drafting Design Guidelines

Good urban design—from the building to the site to the neighbourhood—benefits from strong, clear and well-crafted design guidance, and many planners and urban designers are tasked to draft design guidelines.

This course will guide you through the challenge of drafting design guidelines in varied contexts—from the elements of urban design performance to structure and the drafting process. This course will also help you make a meaningful contribution to advancing the quality of your local built environment and the development approval process.


Location: Vancouver
Duration: 1 day
Tuition: $378

Upcoming Offerings

Start Date
Seats Available
Start DateThu, Apr 25, 2024
  • Thu, Apr 25, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time (class/lecture)
Seats Available11
Start DateThu, Nov 14, 2024
  • Thu, Nov 14, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time (class/lecture)
Seats Available30

What you will learn

After completing this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Identify and work with key attributes and qualities of urban design performance
  • Outline an effective process and work program for drafting guidelines
  • Understand the role of design guidelines within a broader framework of urban design governance to ensure effective implementation and administration
  • Effectively employ illustration and different forms of graphic representation to communicate design intent
  • Discuss the pros and cons of prescriptive versus performance standards and guidelines
  • Draft effective (clear, understandable, contextual and creative) design guidelines

How you will learn and be evaluated

  • Lecture
  • Case studies
  • In-class exercises

You will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis on:

  • Attendance. You need to attend at least 75% of classes to pass the course.

Who should take this course?

  • Planners, architects, landscape architects and urban designers interested in or responsible for developing (or improving) design guidelines as part of a municipal regulatory strategy or large-scale masterplan
  • Anyone interested in advancing urban design quality and in learning how to write and develop urban design guidelines that are understandable, flexible and effective

Learning Materials

No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online.

Professional development credits

AIBC CES participants, PIBC members and BCSLA members may self-report for continuing education learning unit consideration.