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Downtown Urban Design & Architectural Guidelines

The Downtown Urban Design and Architectural Guidelines are currently being updated...more.

Where is the full policy located?Pyramid_DowntownDesign

What is it?

The Guidelines list recommendations for site development, building form, architectural, and landscape character to assure that new development contributes to Downtown urban design goals and is compatible with the character of existing Downtown districts.

City Council approved - 1986 rev. 2004

Thumbnail_DowntownWhere does it apply?

The Downtown Urban Design and Architectural Guidelines apply to that area designated as Downtown Scottsdale. Generally, the area bounded by Chaparral Road to the north, Earl Drive to the south, Miller Road to the east, and 68th Street to the west.

Who needs to use it?

Development Review Board, City staff, and applicants involved in new development, infill, or revitalization projects located in the Downtown area.

Why was it developed?

Downtown Scottsdale has many virtues that attract residents, shoppers, and visitors who find it different from, and more desirable than, other places in the metropolitan area. The primary purpose of these Guidelines is to influence the general character of new projects so Downtown will preserve its present qualities as it develops.
The Guidelines place an emphasis on the management of design and redesign of the built environment with the understanding that Downtown Scottsdale's small town atmosphere and pedestrian scale remain its strongest features.

Key Points:

  1. Protect the existing unique character of mature downtown districts and promote continuity of character in newer ones.
  2. Strengthen pedestrian character and create new pedestrian linkages.
  3. Create a compact downtown with an intensified and diverse mix of activities.
  4. Create a high level of expectation in the quality of downtown architecture.
  5. Create a distinct downtown landscape character.
  6. Continue and expand the tradition of downtown covered walkways.
  7. Create coherent and consistent street spaces.
  8. Improve access to convenient downtown parking.
  9. In compact development areas (Type 1), preserve the existing pedestrian-scale and strengthen the fine-grain building character.
  10. In intermediate development areas (Type 2), develop with careful handling of the architectural form to reduce the apparent size and bulk of larger buildings in these areas.

References and related documents:

Download printable Downtown Design Guidelines Policy Card  (pdf/360kb/1p)