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Goals & Principles

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The Bainbridge Island community values authenticity and design that is specific to Bainbridge. Generic approaches to design for sites, streets, buildings, and other elements are inconsistent with the island character and values.

 

DESIGN FOR BAINBRIDGE

Bainbridge Island’s architecture is diverse, spanning a range of eras and architectural styles, but its urban fabric maintains a defining character and continuity within its varied buildings, streets and neighborhoods. Good design is the thoughtful composition of buildings, landscape and public spaces that creates a meaningful relationship to a building’s surroundings and contributes to the public realm and neighborhood fabric. These standards define the responsibility of new development as respecting neighborhood context, responding sensitively to the surrounding built and natural environment, and contributing to the community. 

 

DESIGN FOR SUSTAINABILITY & CLIMATE RESILIENCE

Bainbridge residents cherish the Island’s natural environment and are committed to protecting and restoring the ecological and hydrological functions of its natural lands and water bodies. Sustainable design and green building practices help reduce the burden of development on natural systems, and help ensure Bainbridge Island is climate resilient.  Concentrating growth in the Island’s urban center through the zoning code and around shared infrastructure conserves natural habitat, ecological functions, open space and areas designed for recreational use. Specific elements of site design, building design, construction, and operation, such as efficient use of energy and water, integration of renewable energy, and use of sustainable and ethical materials can mitigate the environmental toll of new development and address local climate vulnerabilities.

 

DESIGN FOR A WALKABLE, BIKEABLE & CONNECTED COMMUNITY

Part of a safe, healthy and sustainable community is a walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly built environment that encourages active transportation. Walkable, bike- and transit-friendly development that development that reduces reliance on cars can help improve air quality and help residents live healthier more active lives.  New development should support alternative travel modes and contribute to the individual’s connection to place.  Thoughtful design can further both these goals enhancing the public realm that ties together the city’s buildings, which in turn improves the quality of the walkable and bikeable experience.

 

DESIGN FOR HEALTH, EQUITY & INCLUSION

Healthy housing development and expansion of educational and civic institutions support diverse and inclusive growth, and help build thriving neighborhood centers.  Design can have an effect not only on the community’s look and feel, but also on housing affordability for people of different means, and the comfort of people from different backgrounds. Building an accessible community that supports transit and that creates and creates a quality pedestrian experience can help grow employment locally, improve quality of life, and lay the foundation for a more diverse community. 

 

DESIGN TO FOSTER CULTURE AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING

The contributions of Bainbridge Island’s residents through the arts, agriculture, and active organizations are a piece of what defines the City. Bainbridge Island’s rich history, and dynamic cultural life are supported by the City’s buildings, parks, and public spaces.  They represent the community’s experiences and foster a robust public life in Bainbridge Island’s downtown, in distinct neighborhoods, and in the Island's rural areas. New development should contribute to and create spaces that are accessible and reflect local culture and identity.

 

DESIGN FOR CONNECTIONS TO THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

Bainbridge Island’s natural environment is not simply a scenic backdrop for its built environment — the two are intimately connected. New development should draw inspiration from and preserve natural areas, responding to natural features like slopes, streams, heritage trees, and wetlands in ways that minimize disturbance and leave ecological functions intact.