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.
Smart growth zoning
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.
Zoning codes are the unseen, yet decisive guiding force that can either help or hinder the creation of great, walkable, people-scaled places. This primer from the Form-Based Codes Institute gives you the basics on form-based codes: what they are, where they work, and how they can help create and sustain great places.
A detail from Pima County’s Cultural Resources map. Image from the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.
Pima County, Arizona, has made a concerted effort in recent years to improve how it uses land and maintains its infrastructure.
The County already is already working to improve the area’s zoning codes, and the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, which works to balance development with preserving open space, has been touted as “one of the best and most comprehensive habitat conservation plans in the country.”