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Urban Design Initiative

Implementation Phase

Statewide (Various Cities)

​​The Oregon Department of Transportation Urban Design Initiative seeks to provide more direction and clarity in designing ODOT facilities in various urban and suburban state highway contexts in Oregon.



​Development and implementation of this initiative will be ongoing from June 2016 through June 2020.



The Oregon Department of Transportation Urban Design Initiative seeks to align planning and design work for urban transportation projects, by developing comprehensive design standards and guidance to address the unique needs of urban environments.

This effort considers all modes of transportation including motor vehicles, freight, public transit, pedestrian, bicycle and rail. The Urban Design Initiative also supports the implementation of design manual updates outlined in the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

This initiative seeks to develop urban design guidance that is:

  • Usable -- Providing value during the planning, scoping and project delivery processes;
  • Clear -- Provides staff, stakeholders and customers clear guidance;
  • User-friendly -- Increasing likelihood of achieving high customer acceptance;
  • Easy to maintain -- Allowing emerging issues and best practices to be incorporated promptly;
  • Informative -- To increase understanding of design concepts and applications, including flexibilities and limitations; and
  • Aligned -- Connecting with other related manuals.

The initiative is intentionally structured in two phases:

Phase 1: Define the problem, perform internal and external stakeholder outreach, perform benchmarks with other state DOT's urban design practices, and develop a solution for implementation.

Phase 2: Develop in-depth urban topical research and case studies, update existing urban design guidance to address known gaps, perform small external stakeholder outreach, and provide training.

Implementation Phase: Release blueprint for urban design in December 2019. Workshops and training will be announced in early 2020.


N/A | ​Statewide

Cost and Funding



​​The Urban Design Initiative Phase 2 is complete. The project team met over the course of many months and is pleased to introduce the resulting document, Blueprint for Urban Design.

Inside you'll find the technical directive that permits the immediate use of the guiding principles that allow for flexibility in the design decision-making process and updated guidance and standards that reflect multimodal needs. This companion document supplements and provides enhanced design guidance to the existing Highway Design Manual and other ODOT manuals, until their updates are completed.

Blueprint for Urban Design, volume 1

Blueprint for Urban Design, volume 2

Design Concurrence Document

Additional Information

​Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement will ensure a transparent and inclusive process that considers input. Internal outreach began March 2017, and external outreach began in June 2017. Our team surveyed select internal and external ODOT customers who we believe are the primary users of existing urban design standards and guidance. The data that was gathered from this survey guided us as we designed and delivered a final product that meets our customers' needs. For more information, please contact us.

Resources and Related Content

Looking for more urban design content or specific information?

Email the project team or contact the team leads.

Contacts & Media

Pedestrian Traffic on Cornelius Road

Project Contact

Team Lead
Rich Crossler-Laird

Last Updated

9/19/2023 2:13 PM

Project Number


Project Documents

Related documents to this project
UrbanDesign-Update_2019-10.pdfProject Update, October 2019
UrbanDesign-Update_2018-03.pdfProject Update, March 2018