Downtown Design Project

Photo of people waiting for a concert at the Round North Plaza.


City staff and the consultant team are making final revisions to the Urban Design Framework. The revisions are informed by feedback received at the public open house, online survey, and the joint work session of the Planning Commission and City Council. The final version will be available for public review on this page in September. The City Council is expected to consider the final document for approval in mid-October.

Following approval of the Urban Design Framework, the Downtown Design Project’s next step is the creating of new development rules to implement the Framework. The Downtown Development Code will be developed through over the winter and spring of 2019, and will be guided by public and stakeholder input. Be sure to sign up for email update for the latest information!

Upcoming meetings include:

  • Late September / Early October : City Council considers approval of the Urban Design Framework

What is in the Urban Design Framework?

Urban Design Principles: The principles provide high-level guidance for how downtown should look, feel and function in the future, including desired outcomes for new development and redevelopment; parks and open space; roads; and infrastructure improvements.

Character Areas: These character areas have been developed based on the special characteristics, identities and experiences of different parts of the downtown area. Understanding the current and future roles and development characteristics of these areas will help guide the creation of development rules that respond to the context. This is important because not every downtown block or street will look or feel the same in the future. The character areas are not zoning districts, but they will inform zoning and other city actions such as streetscape plans.

Connections: Providing safe, comfortable, logical ways to cross Canyon Road, Farmington Road and the railroad are integral to linking different parts of the downtown core. Focusing on a central loop for transportation enhancements, streetscape improvements, and building design can begin to knit together parts of downtown. Also important are connections off that loop to the various activity areas within downtown and the destinations and neighborhoods surrounding downtown

Gateways: Key intersections have been identified to announce arrival into downtown. Gateways can be elements such as public art, streetscape improvements, or emphasized building elements. These features can help cultivate an identity for downtown and will help answer the question of “where is downtown Beaverton?”

Project Description 

A vibrant downtown is a top community priority, and the city is taking the next steps to make downtown a livelier, more welcoming destination. As downtown continues to evolve, the city is developing a comprehensive design strategy to guide future development. This strategy, called an urban design framework, will tap into downtown’s existing identity, as well as the community’s aspirations, to reflect local history, community values, and preferences about how downtown should look and feel. The resulting ideas and designs will determine how shops, housing, restaurants, parks and roads work together to add vibrancy and activity to downtown, making it an even more attractive place to visit.

The urban design framework will take shape in winter and spring of 2018, and will rely heavily on community input to influence downtown design. Neighborhood meetings, virtual open houses, web surveys, and a two-day public design workshop will be held to hear directly from community members. 

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Project Goals 

  • Develop the urban design framework for downtown to define districts and gateways, outline building design and placement, identify opportunities for gathering areas and provide connections for pedestrian and bicyclists to connect everything. 
  • Create opportunities for community members to influence downtown design, including the look and feel of the area.
  • Update development rules to ensure the urban design framework can become a reality.
  • Remove development obstacles. 
  • Develop an action plan to identify quick wins and long term efforts to make downtown as exciting and inviting as ever.