City Design Library

The urban design database is a free tool for urban designers, planners, engineers and architects (and anyone else who is interested) who want to quickly find real-world examples of urban streets, spaces, housing projects, street grids and junctions.

We don’t claim that every design in the database is outstanding, although there are many good examples.

The purpose of this database is to show how other designers have approached a specific location, corridor width or size, and to provide examples and inspiration for how a new street or place could be.

Screenshot of the urban design database

How do you search?

Simply type a query at the top and press enter to search.

You can search according to numerical criteria, or tags, or location or a combination of these. For example, you can type:

  • ‘Streets about 12m wide’
  • ‘Urban spaces about 16000sqm’
  • ‘Housing projects with about 50 dwellings’
  • ‘Housing projects next to water’
  • ‘Circular urban spaces in Italy’
  • ‘Streets with trees and trams’
  • ‘Roundabouts in Milton Keynes’

You can search for urban spaces which are rectangular, square, circular, semi-circular, triangular, octagonal, elliptical, pentagonal, trapezoidal or irregular. For example you can type:

  • ‘Urban spaces next to water’

The database will recognize the following tags: ‘cafes’, ‘trees’, ‘bus lane’, ‘cycle lane’, ‘waterside’, ‘railway’, ‘trams’, ‘retail’ and ‘fountain’. For example you search for:

  • ‘Urban spaces with trams trees and a fountain’
  • ‘Streets with cycle lane and trees next to water’

You can just search for a city or country e.g. ‘London’ and it will give you a list of all features available in the database for that place.

You can also search for an architect or designer, or just some text which may appear in the description for a street or other feature.

We always welcome feedback and suggestions for new features and how we could improve this tool. Please get in touch at and we hope you find it useful.