The Omaha Streetscape Handbook

Omaha Streetscape

Streets should be welcoming to drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and users of mass transit.

Streets are more than devices for moving cars from spot to spot. They’re public spaces, and their design says a lot about the image their city projects.

A new handbook sponsored by Omaha by Design seeks to improve the appearance of Omaha’s streets and create an environment that’s welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists as well as drivers and users of mass transit.

The Omaha Streetscape Handbook is the work of a diverse task force of representatives from Omaha by Design; the city’s parks, planning and public works departments; the American Society of Landscape Architects; the American Institute of Architects; the American Society of Civil Engineers; the American Planning Association; the Omaha Public Power District and the Nebraska Department of Roads. RDG Planning and Design served as the project consultant.

The handbook evolved from a series of recommendations outlined in Omaha’s Urban Design Element, a planning tool that establishes the city’s long-range policies, goals and standards to guide its physical development. It’s based on the execution of six principles:

  • implementing sustainable practices
  • developing complete streets
  • using cohesive design elements
  • promoting safety and security
  • coordinating maintenance with design and implementation
  • protecting and enhancing historic character

The publication also includes an album of well-designed streetscapes, along with their performance standards and design considerations, and a chapter on the application of streetscape design to Omaha’s Areas of Civic Importance as outlined in the Urban Design Element.

Omaha by Design sponsors annual reviews of the handbook to evaluate its progress and implementation. It is designed to be used in conjunction with a number of existing tools, including the city’s green streets master plan and guidelines established by the Public Art Commission.

The Omaha Streetscape Handbook was made possible by grants from the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation and the Fund for Omaha. For more information, call 402.934.7055 or email