Model Urban Design Guidelines
All Niagara Region projects

About the project

The Model Urban Design Guidelines promote best practices for urban design features that are characteristic of Niagara. They guidelines are intended to:

  • Establish local urban design policies and guidelines
  • Develop district plans and secondary plans
  • Inform the design of development projects subject to the Planning Act
  • Be a reference for good urban design practices in the absence of local design guidelines

In 2005, Regional Council and all 12 local area municipalities endorsed the Model Urban Design Guidelines. Since that time, Provincial planning policies and urban design in Niagara have changed to focus on complete communities, resiliency and sustainability.

An update to the guidelines is needed to reflect these changes and we're looking for your feedback to ensure the updates address:

  • New community design trends that emphasize community, healthy and resilient places
  • General urban design trends in architectures, landscape architecture, planning and transportation planning
  • New forms of development that can benefit from guidelines
  • Greater emphasis on infilling and mixed uses, and associated built-form, site design and landscape design considerations
  • Greater densities, missing middle forms and tall building
  • More sustainable development guidelines to address climate change
  • Guidelines that focus on new approaches to parking, transportation demand management and active transportation
  • New trends in street design and complete streets
  • Guidelines that can lead to alternative development standards

Urban design benefits

Applying a design led approach with good urban design practices has the potential to create value for communities, individuals, the economy and the environment. The potential benefits include:

  • Better public health
  • Greater social equity
  • Enhanced land values
  • A more vibrant local economy
  • Reduced vehicle emissions
  • More sustainable use of non-renewable resources

Project timeline

November 30, 2023 - completed
Open house

December 2023 to August 2024
Draft updated urban design guidelines

October 2024
Present to Planning and Economic Development Committee


Khaldoon Ahmad MRAIC, MCIP, RPP
Niagara Region
Urban Design Manager
905 9800-6000 ext. 3324
Email Khaldoon Ahmad

Reports and documents

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