The Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI)— a program of Smart Growth America—is pleased to announce the 2022 FBCI Form-Based Codes Award, which recognizes exemplary form-based codes that advance the practice of form-based zoning in both composition and implementation. In its 16th year, FBCI’s Form-Based Codes Award seeks to highlight best practices in zoning reform to promote: … Continued
In partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Smart Growth America (SGA) is eager to begin a new research project that will analyze the fiscal impacts of climate-informed zoning policy in Norfolk, Virginia, a community already experiencing the damaging impacts of climate change, including flooding. Alongside a comprehensive scan of peer cities’ climate-informed zoning approaches, SGA will consider how those approaches and land use policy can affect housing affordability, fiscal budgets, and equitable development objectives as well as highlight best practices to help coastal communities better prepare for future flooding and other climate change hazards.
In the final session of Commonwealth Communities: Smart Growth Strategies for Our Emergent Future, expert speakers ranging from local municipal leaders to professional researchers discussed how to incorporate equity into zoning law. The history of zoning in the U.S. is fraught with racism and disparate impacts on communities of color and low-income communities. We have … Continued
Following up on our previous overview of the American Jobs Plan, we explore some specific provisions related to land use and development intended to address national insufficiencies in affordable housing and related infrastructure, and also make some recommendations to improve it. Within the expansive American Jobs Plan, there are four land use and development proposals … Continued
How does a city make sure it’s ready for investment? A question weighing on many municipal minds is how to organize planning, economic development strategies, and zoning regulations to make it clear to residents, developers, and investors that this is the right place to be. Further, how does a community encourage investment without sacrificing the characteristics that make it an attractive community to its residents?
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.
With all of the attention showered on “Crystal City” (Arlington, VA adjacent to DC) and Long Island City (Queens, New York City) after being selected as Amazon’s second/third headquarters, what are the lessons to learn for the 236 other disappointed communities, and what strategies could improve their future prospects?
Chris Duerksen (left) and Roger Millar (right) lead Alcoa, TN’s technical assistance workshop on smart growth zoning for small cities.
The aluminum industry brought jobs and new residents to Alcoa, TN over the last 100 years. Now the city is working to evolve and remain vibrant for 100 years to come. An update to the city’s development and zoning codes is one way they’re making that happen.
To get that project off the ground, the City of Alcoa and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) welcomed Smart Growth America and Clarion Associates for a technical assistance workshop on September 1 and 2, 2015. Roger Millar, Smart Growth America’s Vice President of Technical Assistance, and Chris Duerksen, Clarion’s Senior Counsel, met Alcoa leaders and community members to talk about smart growth zoning codes for small cities. The workshop was designed to show how zoning code changes can help create vibrant town centers within small cities, as well as how more compact, walkable development can boost the local economy and reduce public expenses.
Downtown Memphis from across the Mississippi River. Photo by Joel, via Flickr.
Like many large southern cities, Memphis, TN’s growth over the past few decades has been characterized largely by sprawl and a focus on automobile travel. Josh Whitehead, Planning Director for Memphis and unincorporated Shelby County, is working to promote development downtown through the use of the city’s new Unified Development Code (UDC), which gives more flexibility to developers in order to facilitate infill growth.
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.”