Smart growth—building places that are healthy, resilient, and prosperous—requires tackling an almost impossibly long list of complicated issues. But Smart Growth America has the diverse experience required to move the needle.
The notion of the suburbs is nestled deeply in the collective imagination in America, but as we wrote recently, “the suburbs of today aren’t necessarily the suburbs of yesteryear.” In a future that is increasingly urban, where suburbs are rapidly changing, what changes should they consider to stay prosperous and resilient?
This November, we hosted “From vision to implementation: Using an NCI charrette to create a vision for a form-based code,” a joint webinar between the Form-Based Codes Institute and the National Charrette Institute. Speakers shared their experiences using NCI charrette workshops to develop form-based codes in Norman, OK and Arlington County, VA.
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.