The lake-belt city, Buffalo, which has magnificent architectural heritage but has lost more than half of its population, is in the process of clearing away six decades of zoning bureacracy to move to a more sustainable and streamlined Green Code, expected to be up for adoption in 2013. Better! Cities & Towns explains this project in detail in the December 2012 issue. The city took a “tabula rasa” approach to the zoning, rewriting it from scratch. The Byzantine layers of the current code are based on old planning ideology, city planner Chris Hawley explains. Concepts like form-based codes, the Transect, the current thinking on parking regulations, and ideas dealing with sustainability are relatively new. “You can’t turn a typewriter into an iPhone,” he says of the city’s 1953 zoning ordinance, advising: “If it is broken, don’t fix it, throw it away.”
A mixed-use zone as depicted in Buffalo's Green Code, in the planning process
A sketch for a neighborhood green in Buffalo's Green Code
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