Urban Design Project Review

The Urban Design Studio plays an important role in the Los Angeles City Planning Department, helping to elevate the quality of design for private development projects and enhance their relationship to the public realm. Typically, the Studio offers planners and applicants project-specific recommendations, organized around the three design approaches:

  • Pedestrian-first design
  • 360° design
  • Climate-adapted design

Early input directly from the Studio to the design/development team at project review meetings is highly encouraged. The Studio’s feedback focuses on ways a project can be improved to be consistent with the City’s adopted Citywide Design Guidelines and design resource guides.

The Studio also provides feedback directly to the Department’s project planners who manage case processing. Additionally, through the Studio’s long-standing partnership with LA’s American Institute of Architects chapter (AIA/LA), area design professionals provide input on larger projects, enhancing the Studio’s guidance to project planners.

Applicants for larger-scale projects are encouraged to request a meeting with the Studio’s staff. Please note that the Studio will not review projects in neighborhoods that have their own design review board or a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) Board.

Design Review

Project applicants are encouraged to request a meeting with the studio at the time of submission. Before scheduling an appointment, review the Department’s Plot Plan, Elevation, and Landscape Plan Instructions in the Forms section of the website.