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.

Note: This course does not count towards SFU's Urban Design Certificate Program.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Neal LaMontagne
Oliver Hartleben
$299.25 37 Register
Online - Neal LaMontagne
Oliver Hartleben
$299.25 40 -

Course schedule: Classes run online from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

What will you learn?

In this course, you'll learn 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 will you learn?

You will learn concepts and skills through the following activities:

  • Lecture
  • Case studies
  • In-class exercises

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

Textbooks and learning materials

We will provide custom course materials.

Hardware and software requirements

You will need a computer that is connected to the internet so that you can access Canvas, our online course management system. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas by accessing Canvas guides here. We recommend you use Google Chrome or Firefox.

Also, you will need to enable your computer’s audio and microphone to participate in live sessions offered via videoconference.

You can find more information on our About Online Learning page. 

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