Key Features of AIA C205™–2024, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services for Regional or Urban Planning

By AIA Contract Documents

June 28, 2024

Whether it’s urban redevelopment, public infrastructure, or mixed-use development, the expertise of a regional or urban planner is crucial for achieving successful outcomes that benefit both present and future generations. AIA Contract Documents provides a tool for project participants to engage such consultants through AIA C205™–2024, the Standard Form of Consultant’s Services for Regional or Urban Planning. C205™–2024 is a scope of services document intended to be incorporated into an owner-consultant agreement.

C205-2024 contemplates four phases through which the consultant will provide their services:

  1. Inventory, Research, and Data Gathering
  2. Analysis, Assessment, and Recommendation
  3. Plan Concepts
  4. Plan Finalization

The document provides a laundry list of services that the consultant can provide in each phase. The table of services is intended to function as a menu, wherein the owner and consultant can meet and discuss what services should be provided. In the first phase, the consultant may conduct a visioning and goals session to determine the goals and aspirations for the project. From there, the consultant may consider various existing elements of the project site such as adjacent uses, the context of the area, any cultural factors, regulatory requirements and environmental factors.

In the next phase, the consultant will likely consider many of the same elements, now planning their incorporation into the project itself. This will allow the consultant to make analyze and make recommendations regarding their impact on the owner’s objectives.  The third phase is where the rubber “meets the road” and the parties may opt for the creation of conceptual plans and any associated reports. The owner may choose for continued community outreach at this stage of the process, including the presentation of various alternative designs.

The final phase involves plan finalization, where the consultant develops detailed plans comprising conceptual drawings, written reports, and visual representations as needed. These plans undergo review and approval by governing agencies or community boards, incorporating any earlier community feedback.

The role of regional and urban planning consultants in construction projects cannot be overstated. Their expertise in urban design, community engagement, environmental sustainability, and regulatory compliance ensures that developments are not only functional and aesthetically pleasing but also socially inclusive and environmentally responsible. As cities and communities continue to evolve, the guidance of these consultants remains indispensable in creating vibrant, resilient, and livable spaces for generations to come. Their proactive approach to planning and development sets the foundation for sustainable growth and enhances the quality of life for all stakeholders involved.

AIA Contract Documents has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors.