The CITY PATTERN is a theory of aesthetics about how the shape and character of development should happen.

Fundamental Principles for City Pattern

  1. The city's overall visual structure can be strengthened and enhanced by use of large-scale planting on certain streets and open spaces.
  2. Street layouts and building forms which do not emphasize topography reduce the clarity of the city form and image.
    • Tall, slender buildings at the tops of hills and low buildings on the slopes and in valleys accentuate the form of the hills.
    • Contour streets on hills align buildings to create a pattern of strong horizontal bands that conflict with the hill form.
  3. Clearly visible open spaces act as orientation points, and convey information about the presence of recreation space to motorists and pedestrians.
  4. Where large parks occur at tops of hills, low-rise buildings surrounding them will preserve views from the park and maintain visibility of the park from the other areas of the city.
  5. Street spaces impart a unifying rhythm to the pattern and image of the city.
  6. Landscaped pathways can visually and functionally link larger open spaces to neighborhoods.
  7. The pattern of major streets can be made more visible and apparent to users of the street system if the landscaping and lighting of major streets is different from that of local streets.
  8. Large-scale or extensive planting on major roadways that define areas of the city can enhance the importance of the roadways as both thoroughfares and visual boundaries.
  9. Special lighting fixtures and quality of light can enhance the identity of districts, distinctive areas, and important shopping streets.
  10. Views from roadways that reveal major destinations or that provide overlooks of important routes and areas of the city assist the traveler in orientation.
  11. Arterial routes can be clarified by screening unattractive or distracting elements with landscaping when such elements cannot be removed.
  12. Open spaces with direct views down streets have a greater sense of spaciousness and can be seen more easily from a distance.
  13. Hilltop roads and open spaces provide panoramic views if adjacent buildings are far enough below the viewpoint.
  14. Highly visible open space presents a refreshing contrast to extensive urban development.
  15. Strong and organized development adjacent to parks creates an effective contrast and makes 


Policies for City Pattern

  1. Recognize and protect major views in the city, with particular attention to those of open space and water.
  2. Recognize, protect and reinforce the existing street pattern, especially as it is related to topography.
  3. Recognize that buildings, when seen together, produce a total effect that characterizes the city and its districts.
  4. Protect and promote large-scale landscaping and open space that define districts and topography.
  5. Emphasize the special nature of each district through distinctive landscaping and other features.
  6. Make centers of activity more prominent through design of street features and by other means.
  7. Recognize the natural boundaries of districts and promote connections between districts.
  8. Increase the visibility of major destination areas and other points of orientation.
  9. Increase the clarity of routes for travelers.
  10. Indicate the purposes of streets by means of a citywide plan for street landscaping.
  11. Indicate the purposes of streets by means of a citywide plan for street lighting.