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.
Charlotte is booming. Since 2003, upwards of 12,000 new housing units have opened along the LYNX Blue line. But when planners went back to look at the development over the last decade, they weren’t entirely satisfied with the results. So the city decided to create new TOD zoning that would better reflect the needs and context of different stations as we hear on this month’s episode of Building Better Communities with Transit.
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.
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.
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.
This month on the podcast Building Better Communities with Transit we’re chatting with Susan Henderson of PlaceMakers about the use and benefits of form-based codes. We talk about the focus of these codes (the public realm where people gather and interact with each other), how they are used to support transit, and how a code can affect the streets around them.
If you’re curious about how form-based codes guide development to support smart growth principles, watch the recent webinar hosted by the Form-Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America.
Ten years ago, Hawaii set ambitious goals to reduce their dependence on imported oil and create a clean energy future by 2045. To meet those goals, Hawaii must pair electrifying their vehicle fleet and increased renewable energy with smarter land use.
The sun sets over Tollgate Rock in Green River, WY. Photo by Jonathan Percy, via Flickr.
When a small town has big plans for changing its development patterns, how does it put them into action? From fixing restrictive codes to working with the real estate community—what the first steps to smart growth?
On August 27 and 28, 2014, officials and residents from Green River, WY met with representatives from Smart Growth America for an expert-led workshop focused on implementing the ambitious vision inside the new Green River Comprehensive Master Plan. Provided as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program, the two-day event was designed to provide the City with tools to modernize its development codes so that they encourage the types of growth outlined in the plan’s vision.
The Green River Comprehensive Master Plan was adopted in January 2013 after a year-long public input process. The plan lays out the community’s long-term vision and serves as a blueprint for future growth and investment within the city and surrounding areas. For the implementation process, Green River leaders sought technical assistance from Smart Growth America, hoping to bring the city’s development codes into better alignment with the master plan’s principles. The resulting two-day workshop helped Green River identify high-priority code fixes to promote infill development and redevelopment, preserve and revitalize existing neighborhoods, and promote orderly development in suitable outlying areas.