New Rochelle, New York struggled for years to stimulate catalytic development in it’s downtown. Now, this New York City suburb is emerging as a walkable, transit-oriented hub for residents to live, work, and play. A form-based code is making all the difference by spurring new development that is predictable, expedited, and responsive to community interests.
This past July, we hosted “Form-Based Codes and Small-Scale Manufacturing,” a joint webinar between Smart Growth America’s Economic Development team and the Form-Based Codes Institute. Speakers discussed how different communities are using form-based codes to support small-scale manufacturing businesses. A recording of the webinar is now available and you can also read a short recap below.
There’s a secret weapon available to communities that want to modernize their zoning codes and help make smarter growth the norm. FBCI’s Codes for Communities is a wide-ranging technical assistance program at Smart Growth America that covers all kinds of zoning reform and guidance on form-based codes. In just two years, the program has had tremendous impact in communities of all sizes across America.
Today, the Form-Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America honors three communities for stepping up to placemaking with the adoption of some of the most exemplary form-based codes in the country. The Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award is awarded by FBCI with the generous support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust.
A century of traditional land-use practices has ingrained inequities deep into communities across America. We’ve produced sprawling, auto-oriented development that has also separated people based on wealth, ethnicity, and race. Form-based zoning is well-positioned to compliment equity-driven public policies, while also enabling walkable, human-scaled development that residents and businesses love.
Looking back at 100-plus submissions for the Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award over the years reveals how the practice of form-based coding has matured and evolved. The quality of submissions has improved since the early years and municipal planning staff are increasingly engaged in drafting codes for their communities. It’s clear that form-based codes are growing in popularity and in many contexts they are being paired with policies to achieve more equitable development.
It’s time to pick the nation’s top form-based code. While this type of zoning is catching on, some form-based codes can miss the mark if they deviate from best practices. That’s where the Form-Based Codes Institute’s standards—and the Driehaus Award—come in.
The Form-Based Codes Institute highlights a great form-based code (or codes) each year with the Richard H. Driehaus Form-Based Code Award to show what’s possible with good zoning. If you know of a form-based code that is promoting great development and accessible streets, nominate it for the 11th annual Driehaus Award.
Conventional land use regulations have contributed to a great divide in our country, producing sprawling places that are marked by a stark separation of both uses and people. But form-based zoning is emerging as a creative tool for cities to remedy the inequities often produced by the conventional system.
After two years of robust education and community engagement, the City of Las Vegas is ready to implement their downtown master plan, using a new a form-based zoning code. The city credits our Form-Based Codes Institute’s comprehensive three-course curriculum for helping to achieve this first-of-a-kind achievement in Nevada, which city officials believe will lead to a compact, vibrant downtown to support future growth.