Public Design Commission of the City of New York
Art Commission of the City of New York
Art Commission of the City of New York
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Submission Guidelines – Landscape Architecture

Master plans, other large-scale or complex landscape projects and all landscape projects that are subject to the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) are submitted for conceptual review and approval by the committee early in the design process when drawings are at the pre-schematic level. For private projects on public property that are subject to ULURP, conceptual review occurs when the ULURP application is submitted to the Department of City Planning. If a master plan is reviewed and approved at the conceptual stage, individual phases are only submitted for conceptual review if they are large-scale and/or complex.

All landscape projects, including small-scale parks and playgrounds, are submitted for preliminary review and approval by the Design Commission at the end of the schematic design phase. If any significant design changes are made in design development subsequent to preliminary approval, the project must be submitted for committee review and approval prior to proceeding to final drawings. Final review and approval is based on the submission of contract drawings. Please note that, if a project is submitted for preliminary and final approval simultaneously, the submission must comply with all requirements for both levels of review, not just final review.

Before preparing a submission, please review the Design Commission's General Information on Artificial Turf, on Distinctive Sidewalks, on Planters, and Distinctive Lighting.

Conceptual Review (For large-scale or complex projects only)

  1. A brief statement that describes the project scope (no more than one page for each):

    a. Design intention and planning principles (Please include diagrams.)
    b. Community/neighborhood context
    c. Sustainability objectives
    d. Estimated project cost
  2. A minimum of eight (8) loose 8” x 10” color photographs of the site and surrounding area.1
  3. Pre-schematic design documents at 5% completion of total design at the minimum scales indicated below.2

    a. Location plan
    Scale: neighborhood and borough
    b. Existing and proposed site plans with contour lines
    Scale: 1” = 10’ for projects <1 acre
    Scale: 1” = 20’ for 1 to 5 acres
    Scale: 1” = 40’ for >5 acres
    c. Section-elevations
    Scale: 1” = 10’ for projects <1 acre
    Scale: 1” = 20’ for 1 to 5 acres
    Scale: 1” = 40’ for >5 acres

A massing or study model is encouraged.3

Preliminary Review (All projects)

  1. Two copies of the Application Form signed by the Commissioner or designated City agency representative.
  2. A brief statement that describes the project scope (no more than one page for each):

    a. Design intention and planning principles (Please include diagrams.)
    b. Community/neighborhood context
    c. Sustainability objectives

    For large-scale or complex projects that were submitted for conceptual review, a comprehensive list of any design revisions since conceptual review and a narrative description of modifications to the brief statement.
  3. A minimum of eight (8) loose 8” x 10”color photographs of the site and surrounding area, unless previously submitted for Conceptual Review.1
  4. 100% schematic design documents (approximately 20% completion of total design) at the minimum scales indicated below.2

    a. Location plan
    Scale: neighborhood and borough
    b. Existing and proposed site plans with contour lines
    Scale: 1” = 10’ for projects <1 acre
    Scale: 1” = 20’ for 1 to 5 acres
    Scale: 1” = 40’ for >5 acres
    c. Section-elevations
    Scale: 1” = 10’ for projects <1 acre
    Scale: 1” = 20’ for 1 to 5 acres
    Scale: 1” = 40’ for >5 acres
    d. Plant material layout and preliminary plant list
  5. One (1) or more renderings that clearly depict the design in its context.
  6. A preliminary materials list, samples of non-standard materials, and images/catalogue cuts of proposed equipment, lighting, fencing, paving and furnishings.
  7. Designs of structures, including shade structures, shelters and comfort stations, if relevant (see Architecture Submission Guidelines).
  8. A massing or study model for projects with complex topography or built features.3
  9. Written confirmation of community board review. (Agencies are encouraged to submit the community board’s resolution.)

Preliminary approval is conditioned upon submission of the project for final review and approval within two years.

Please note that, if any significant design changes are made in design development subsequent to preliminary approval, the project must be submitted for committee review and approval prior to proceeding to final drawings.

When there have been no substantive changes beyond those required by the Commission and the project is submitted for final approval within one year of preliminary approval, a second hearing may not be required. In such cases, the Commission may vote to give final approval without affording an additional opportunity for public comment.

Download the Application Form 

Final Review (All projects)

  1. Two copies of the Application Form signed by the Commissioner or designated City agency representative.
  2. A comprehensive list of any design revisions made since preliminary approval. (As noted above, if any significant design changes are made in design development subsequent to preliminary approval, the project should have been submitted for committee review and approval prior to proceeding to final drawings.)
  3. Construction drawings at 90% completion.2

    For all projects that require a permit from the Department of Buildings, please note that all construction drawings must conform to the Department of Building’s requirements for its B-SCAN system (see B-SCAN Requirements).
  4. A complete list of materials, colors and finishes.
  5. Material samples, including type, color and finish.4
  6. An updated model is encouraged for projects with complex topography or built features.3
  7. Written confirmation of community board review of any design revisions since preliminary approval, as needed.

Final Approval is conditioned upon commencement of work within two years of the final approval date and the submission of comprehensive photographic documentation of the completed project consisting of 8" x 10" color archival-quality photographs for the Design Commission's archive of the City's built environment.
Download the Application Form 

1 All photos must be clearly labeled on the back. Polaroids or color photocopies will not be accepted. If using a digital camera, photographs must be printed on photo-quality paper.

2Drawings must be submitted in the following formats: 

a. Two complete sets of unmounted drawings, properly collated and stapled, must be submitted. All drawings must indicate scale. Plans must include a north arrow, and elevations must indicate façade orientation. Drawings should not exceed 36" as the longest dimension to comply with Department of Buildings requirements. Half-size drawings are preferable as long as they are legible. Any reduced drawings must include a graphic scale.
b. Critical drawings, including renderings, must be mounted on one (1) or more 30" x 40" boards for presentation (see Presentation Guidelines) and/or included in a PowerPoint presentation. All PowerPoint presentations must utilize .jpg images only that have been resized before being inserted in the presentation, so the completed presentation is limited to 30 MB. Additionally, PowerPoint presentations must be formatted for Windows XP or an earlier version with no automatic slide advances, and submitted on a CD and as duplicate print-outs at a legible size, properly collated and stapled.
c. For conceptual and preliminary review, PDFs of drawings must also be provided on a disc. 

3 A minimum of eight (8) loose 8” x 10” color photographs, including close-ups, of the model is required. Photographs must show the model from different viewpoints and be clearly labeled on the back. 

4 One (1) or more 8” x 10” color photographs of each non-standard material sample are required. All photos must be clearly labeled on the back. 

5 Please do not use plastic binding or sleeves.



General Information on Artificial Turf

The Commission is supportive of the use of artificial turf on sports fields and large multipurpose fields provided that:

  • The installation maximizes stormwater capture and detention;
  • 3 ½" to 4" caliper shade trees are planted around the perimeter of the field;
  • Misting stations are provided at sports fields;
  • Infill, where used, is specified in a light color; and
  • The artificial turf is recycled at the end of its useful life. 


The Commission discourages the use of artificial turf in playgrounds/children's areas, especially when it is used as a default in an over-programmed site that does not allow for adequate space or proper siting of viable natural turf.