Urban Design Studio

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Federal Bldg

111 S. Orange Avenue, Room 100A
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-365-2200 ext. 3650

What is the Urban Design Studio? 

The City Commission established the Urban Design Studio (UDS) to work with Citizens and Stakeholders to create a City-wide Form-Based Code to replace the City's current Zoning Code.

  What is a Form Based Code?

A Form-based code (FBC) fosters predictable building patterns and high-quality public spaces by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code. The zone districts or Transects are regulations, not mere guidelines, adopted into city or county law.  Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and public spaces such as parks, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in form-based codes are presented in words, clearly drawn diagrams, metrics and other graphics.   

Form-based codes are a modern response to the challenges of urban sprawl, deterioration of historic neighborhoods, and the need for safe and efficient multi-modal transportation options for pedestrians and cyclists. Working together with City Staff the code will also incorporate specific elements within the public realm including sidewalks, bicycle lanes, transit, on-street parking, and street trees.

  Form-Based Code Draft Articles

 How do I Participate in the Process?

The Urban Design Studio has been set up to be an accessible and interactive department within the City. The City's Form-based Code Initiative is a 4 year process that will conclude in the fall of 2017. Many public events have been held and there will be many more public participation events scheduled, citywide.  Please contact us if you would like to receive notices of upcoming events, would like to visit the studio, or to make arrangements for the designers to speak to a group or organization.   We will also be participating in a number of ongoing Community Events to lend our assistance for neighborhood revitalization.

 Open Studio

The Urban Design Studio holds Open Studio Hours at our Offices in the Federal Building. Open Studio gives stakeholders and members of the public the opportunity to casually drop in, see our ongoing work, ask questions and provide feedback.  The next Open Studio is scheduled for Friday, May 12, 2017 from 1:30 - 4:30 PM.

Upcoming Events
 (To be Announced)

  Past Events

City of Sarasota Urban Design Studio & SCAT:  Joint Public Feedback Sessions

On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, the City of Sarasota: Urban Design Studio (UDS) held multiple public feedback sessions to discuss the subarea plan exhibits that will be incorporated into the code. These exhibits are referred to as "The Regulating Plan and Special Requirement Plans," and ensure that new construction and infrastructure projects produce and reproduce harmonious places within the City.

At the event, residents filled out a questionnaire about parks, connectivity and walkability within their neighborhoods. Please click here to view the information disseminated at the event.

Additionally, we invite those who were unable to attend to participate in a quick 5 minute survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UrbanDesignStudio 

 Alta Vista Neighborhood Association Meeting
January 28, 2016

 Arlington Park Neighborhood Association Meeting
January 19, 2016

 Joint City Commission/Planning Board Workshop
December 1, 2015

 Joint City Commission/Planning Board Workshop
November 10, 2015

 Sign & Shopfront Workshop
On Thursday, August 27th and Friday, August 28th, 2015 The City of Sarasota held a sign and shopfront workshop to review and discuss permitted and potential new signs and standards for each district and general signage requirements citywide.  During the event, residents and business owners participated in a visual preference survey of current signs.  Additionally, the Urban Design Studio invited residents who could not attend the event to participate by competing an online survey.  Below are the results from each: 

    Transportation Mobility Plan

Topics of discussion included Transportation Mobility Plans, Roundabouts, Complete Streets,Traffic Studies, Infrastructure Improvements, Land Use and Transportation Planning, and Traffic and Multimodal Transportation Solutions. To view the entire presentation please use the following link:


 City Commission Workshop
June 10, 2015
 Form Based Code Open House Presentations
June 27, 2015 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Eastside Presentation
Thursday, May 28, 2015
  West of Trail Presentation
Thursday, April 23, 2015

Click Here to View PowerPoint Presentation

  Plymouth Harbor Community Meeting
Thursday, April 16, 2015

 Island Presentation
Saturday, March 21, 2015

Avondale, Bay Point Park, Hudson Bayou, South Poinsettia Park Planning Event
 Saturday, January 17, 2015

     Newtown Catalyst Plan
Saturday October 18, 2014

Bayou Oaks Annual Meeting
October 14, 2014 

Planning Board/UDS Workshop
August 20, 2014 


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