Smart Growth America is the new home for expertise in form-based codes

Announcing a new partnership with the Form-Based Codes Institute

The Boards of Directors of the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI) and Smart Growth America are pleased to announce a new strategic partnership between the two organizations that will expand Smart Growth America’s expertise on the smart growth strategies that can improve lives by improving communities.

What are form-based codes?

Simply put, form-based codes are municipal zoning codes that shape development by defining characteristics of building form, streets, and open space as opposed to relying on use as an organizing principle. Or, put another way, they’re a tool for defining the kind of place you want to create, rather than what happens inside the building. They allow a community to implement their vision for what kind of place they want to be and create a more predictable environment for development.

While a form-based code isn’t necessary in every community or a silver bullet for the challenges of building a truly great place, they can be a vital mechanism for making those plans a reality.

“Form-based codes often serve as the regulatory framework for smart growth in communities across the country,” Scot Spencer, Smart Growth America’s board chair and Associate Director of Advocacy and Influence at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, noted in the official press release announcing the merger.

This new partnership will expand Smart Growth America’s knowledge and offerings, helping the organization provide more practical expertise to local communities that are eager for a new way of doing business and building walkable, connected, vibrant neighborhoods and places.

FBCI joins Smart Growth America’s roster of programs and Marta Goldsmith, FBCI Executive Director, has joined the SGA staff and will continue in her role as director of the program.

Is your community’s code one of the best?

We’re also pleased to announce the tenth annual award for achievement in the writing and implementation of form-based codes. Thanks to the generosity of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust, FBCI and Smart Growth America will recognize exemplary form-based codes that have been adopted by localities.

A form-based zoning code fosters predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form—rather than separation of uses—as the organizing principle for the code.

Submissions are due on March 16th, 2018. Details can be found on the FBCI website, including the application form and instructions, previous winners, the 2018 Awards Jury, and eligibility requirements.

Form-Based Codes