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Streetscape Policy and Urban Design Guidelines

(Downtown/Canal District)

Over the past decade, cities throughout the Commonwealth have adopted streetscape and design standards to promote continuity and accessibility in their downtown neighborhoods. In an effort to raise the standards of architectural quality and make the Downtown and Canal District more accessible and enjoyable for residents, workers, and visitors, the Executive Office of Economic Development has created two documents:

  • City of Worcester Streetscape Policy
  • City of Worcester Urban Design Guidelines.   

The documents set forth carefully crafted recommendations to be used by the City, private developers, and property owners as a manual for the design of the public realm. The recommendations address the design of outdoor space including sidewalks, street trees, and street furniture as well as urban design principles such as building height, facade composition, and signage.

These standards will be used to steer future strategic development within our core neighborhoods in a consistent, thoughtful, and professional manner. They will also serve to protect neighborhood character, enhance coordination among City departments, and promote economic development. Further, the use of these widely accepted design principles will add value to projects and increase the return on investment.

The Streetscape Policy and City of Worcester Urban Design Guidelines are a fundamental part of the City of Worcester’s overall strategy to revitalize the urban core and make the Downtown and Canal District exciting destinations for business, culture, and tourism.