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Downtown Guideline Exchange

This section of the Downtown Development Center website provides direct links to some of the many excellent guidelines developed throughout North America. These include sign, public art, facade, and film guidelines.

Bicycle Design Guidelines

Seek to establish consistent and appropriate bicycle standards, policies, and practices to serve as a guide for the planning, design, and implementation of bicycle facilities and bikeways.
Chicago, IL
Memphis, TN
National Association of City Transportation Officials
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Brand Style Guidelines

To ensure consistent and appropriate use of city and downtown logos, these documents provide guidance on where and how logos may be used as well as acceptable fonts and colors.
Anderson, SC
Dunwoody, GA
El Dorado, AR
Fond du Lac, WI
Lafayette, LA

Dog Park Rules and Regulations

Seek to provide a safe environment for people and their dogs and to minimize exposure to liability for the city and/or downtown organization.
Knoxville, TN
Long Beach, CA
Phoenix, AZ
San Diego, CA
Guidelines for Establishment and Maintenance of Successful Off-Leash Dog Exercise Areas

Facade Design Guidelines

Promote quality design for new and infill commercial and residential buildings. Guidelines address areas such as awnings and canopies, doorways and windows, material and color selection, and more.
Somerville, MA
East Boston, MA
Zionsville, IN
Norfolk, VA
Palo Alto, CA

Film Guidelines

The film industry can provide both direct and indirect economic benefit to the downtown community. However, filming in the central business district is not without risks to property, business activities, and personal safety. These sample guidelines identify the approval process and the requirements which must be met for filming in three downtowns.
Monrovia, CA
Petaluma, CA
Wilmington, DE

Public Art Guidelines

Provide direction in integrating art within the framework of an individual project and the downtown as a whole.
Fremont, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Nashville, TN
New York, NY
Roseville, CA

Sign Design Guidelines

Provide direction in the way signs should be designed, constructed, and placed in order to meet the city's or the downtown area’s expectations for quality business signage.
Blythe, CA
Davis, CA
Fort Worth, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Pasadena, CA

State of Downtown Reports

These reports can quantify the value of the downtown organization’s work to the economic health of the city, and attract more investment. While an annual report focuses on the state of the organization, the state of downtown report (sometimes called an economic indicator report) goes beyond the internal workings of the organization, focusing on the successes of the entire downtown over the past 12 months, and supporting those claims with data, charts, graphs, and specific examples.
Charlotte Center City Partners
Downtown Denver Partnership
DowntownDC BID

Street/Sidewalk Design Guidelines

Serve as comprehensive resources for promoting higher quality street and sidewalk designs.
Los Angeles, CA
Minneapolis, MN
New York, NY
Portland, OR

Valet Parking Guidelines

With the growth of restaurant and entertainment venues in many downtowns, demand for valet parking has increased. The following outline city policies and regulations.
Fort Worth, TX, Ordinance
Fort Worth, TX, Application

Guidelines in Brief

To make design guidelines more accessible, a brief summary may be the answer.
Brookhaven, NY, Business District Design Manual
Brookhaven, NY, Business District Design Manual — In brief


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Downtown Development Center
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“Our staff very much enjoys Downtown Idea Exchange, We benefit from the experience of other cities who share their success stories in each issue.”
— Brian R. Davis, Director, City of Roseburg Community Development Department

“The Downtown Development Center is one of my most valuable tools. For folks like ourselves with limited resources, we use these publications to light fires that will shine long after the ideas have come to life.”
— Betsy Manuel
Executive Director
Heart of Medford

Downtown Idea Exchange is a great tool and really does bring new networking and sharing opportunities to those of us who work for downtown. Thanks again and keep up the great work.”
— Sherry H. Spring
Executive Director
Downtown Hampton Development Partnership

“I just took over as the new President for Downtown Novato Business Association. I was so impressed with your information on what other towns have done with small grants.”
— Denise Athas
President, Downtown Novato Business Association

“We are long-time subscribers and consider the Idea Exchange very valuable to our work.”
— Sue Dusharme
Programs Director, Downtown Business Association of Escondido