Milwaukee Health Department Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates: The City of Milwaukee Health Department is monitoring the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. Questions about the coronavirus? Call 2-1-1 for assistance.

Urban Design Resources

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this page is a work in progress and should be viewed stricly as informative.
These Urban Design web pages are intended to provide urban design principles with details, standards,  illustrations, and examples that promote high quality, context sensitive, sustainable, market-competitive, and traditional neighborhood designs. The information includes elements that are required by zoning, and other information that highlights best practices.  They seek to sustain, restore and enhance the livability, character, and stability of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods.

What is meant by Urban Design?

For the purposes of this section, “urban design” includes both physical aspects of a property that shape the environment as well as integral planning policies that result in physical elements or qualities on a property or building site.


Principles of Urban Design

This section details the policy, consisting of 4 basic planning principles, that are a part of the City Wide Policy Plan ( Land Use Chapter, page 52), adopted March 2010.  (These principle were originally developed and adopted in 1998.)


Urban Design at the Neighborhood Scale

Some urban design issues need to reference a context larger than the specific site.  This is important at corner sites and sites at major intersections, those sites at terminating vistas, and at gateway locations.  Area Plans include key sites and Catalytic Projects. The larger street network, public spaces and other circulation connections to the larger surroundings also may be a part of the best urban design solution. In addition, the City's Zoning Code regulates the use of land to provide for the orderly growth and development of the City (see district intent).


Urban Design Components

This section includes links to components such as façade design, building materials, landscaping, signage and many other components that make up a property or a proposal. Here you will find more detailed explanations of the principles, diagrams, photo examples, adaptations to existing conditions, and various helpful links.


Urban Design Building/Development Types

This section includes links to guidelines for various development proposals by type of development, such as commercial prototypes, residential infill buildings, industrial property guidelines and other specialized types of uses.  While this section predominantly highlights new construction solutions, retaining, renovating, restoring and/or retrofitting existing buildings often offers great solutions to high quality urban design for existing or new uses, while sustainably maintaining existing neighborhood fabric.


Urban Design and Zoning

While sites should strive for best practices in urban design, they are required to meet zoning standards.

The Milwaukee Zoning Code and related approved standards such as River, Interim Study, and Floodplain Overlays and Development Incentive and Neighborhood Conservation Zones should be reviewed to ensure properties and proposals are compliant with zoning.
Please follow this link for Milwaukee Zoning Code information.


For More Information

For information on permits and zoning letters please contact the Department of Neighborhood Services

Please wait while we gather your results.
This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System