Form-based codes

News and resources relating to form-based codes, the SmartCode, and other urban-oriented regulations.

Related News

'Deadwood City' no more, thanks to new code

With the help of a form-based code (FBC), Redwood City, California, has become the new Silicon Valley hot spot.

Mon, Oct 27th 2014 1:06pm
This area protected by form-based codes

A cartoon by Dhiru Thadani points out the potential of form-based codes to preserve open space, which is sometimes overlooked. 

Thu, Oct 16th 2014 1:17pm
Form-based code adopted to redevelop business campus

The Hartford, a Fortune 500 insurance and investment firm based in Hartford, Connecticut, is using form-based coding to spur redevelopment of its 173-acre former business campus.

Thu, Oct 9th 2014 4:14pm
Top 10 Misconceptions about form-based codes

Several common assumptions about new urban codes fail to stand up to scrutiny.

Tue, Sep 23rd 2014 9:28am
Major transit-oriented project advances in Atlanta suburb

A form-based code is approved for the City of Doraville’s town center and former GM factory.

Thu, Sep 4th 2014 11:16am
Cincinnati Form-Based Code Earns Top Award at CNU22

The Cincinnati Form-Based Code led by Opticos was awarded the Grand Prize for Best Planning Tool or Process at the Congress for the New Urbanism’s 13th Annual Charter Awards in Buffalo, N.Y., held during CNU’s annual Congress, June 4 – 7. Cincinnati’s Form-Based Code, one of the largest of its kind in the country, was adopted last year.

Mon, Aug 18th 2014 9:40pm
Mission accomplished? Not yet

I agree that many consumers demand more walkable development, both in cities and in suburbs. But even in relatively prosperous, safe cities, the political obstacles to meeting this demand are enormous.

Wed, Aug 6th 2014 9:41am
Streetcar is approved for Columbia Pike

Columbia Pike in Arlington, Virginia, one of the more successful commercial strip redevelopment areas spurred by a form-based code, will get a streetcar.

Mon, Jul 21st 2014 12:57pm
Bookshelf reveals community dysfunction

In Leawood, Kansas, the front-yard book kiosk of 9-year-old resident Spencer Collins was cited as an illegal accessory structure.

Wed, Jul 16th 2014 1:42pm
Common concerns about design review

Design review is not without its dangers. Here are some of the problems to be avoided:

Mon, Jun 23rd 2014 8:59am
Finding the right path through design review

Municipalities—searching for ways to better shape development — must tailor their approach to the community’s size and professional resources.

Fri, Jun 20th 2014 10:49am
Bad call: Wide streets in the name of fire safety

Fire officials often push for wider streets so that their biggest trucks can move more swiftly — but the wider streets lead to more deaths and injuries. They do this, supposedly, in the name of safety.

Wed, May 21st 2014 3:09pm
Quick, high-quality results for Mesa’s downtown form-based code

The City of Mesa, AZ, hired Opticos to create a Master Plan and Form-Based Code that would remove existing barriers to revitalizing the city’s downtown. The code was adopted in June 2012, and the first project to be developed with the code was completed in November of last year.

For more, visit:

Mon, May 12th 2014 9:43pm
FBC 301: Completing, adopting and administering a code May 22-23

During this 2-day course, participants learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of a form-based code. They gain an in-depth look at the mechanics, advantages and disadvantages of mandatory, parallel and floating-zone form-based codes.

Mon, May 12th 2014 8:33pm
Social striving propels the drive-only suburban machine

Coalitions and strategic politics — and shifting cultural values — can deliver the structural change needed to allow American urbanism to flower again, according to Benjamin Ross, author of Dead End.

Wed, Apr 30th 2014 9:08am
The health of cities depends on place-based development more than big projects

Cities take a physical form that either supports or is stressful to people outside of a moving vehicle or building. Rybczynski, in his critique of New Urbanism, forgets that lesson.

Sun, Apr 27th 2014 12:18pm
Making multifamily truly urban

The multifamily industry is building more in walkable locations, but developers still need instruction on the manners of placemaking. Here are some hints.

Tue, Apr 15th 2014 8:35am
Multifamily: from 'train wreck' to urban

In a comprehensive piece called "What's New in New Urbanism," Multi-Housing News reports that new urban ideas have "swept the industry over the past 20 years."

Sun, Apr 13th 2014 9:45pm
The plan that made a drab suburb cool

This video from urbanists Dover, Kohl & Partners offers instructions on the transformation of an inner suburb that was languishing. 

Mon, Mar 17th 2014 5:17pm
A new coalition for urban place

Who benefits the most from synergistic growth, where the parts of the built environment are brought together to create a strong community and sense of place? Part 2 in a 3-part series.

Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 10:49am
Housing shortage or urbanism shortage?

For a number of very good reasons, there aren't enough walkable urban places to meet demand. Part 3 of a series on housing affordability.

Tue, Feb 18th 2014 4:39pm
Comprehensive plans – helping or hurting?

Easy steps can be taken to provide more vision and effectiveness for a municipal road map to the future.

Tue, Jan 28th 2014 11:11pm
Form-Based Codes Institute names Russell executive director

The Form-Based Codes Institute, the national think tank that provides professional training in drafting and implementing form-based codes, has appointed Joel Russell as its new executive director.

Mon, Jan 6th 2014 3:39pm
Raise value, avert risk, focus on form

The current commodity driven system is prone to boom and bust cycles. Form-based planning facilitates the holistic development of enduring, diverse neighborhoods.

Thu, Jan 2nd 2014 12:08pm
Strategies for project review under a form-based code

While many cities and towns have determined that they need not have additional project review for development that conforms with the code, others are establishing or streamlining project review systems.

Wed, Nov 20th 2013 11:19am

Adopted SmartCodes


Click here for larger SmartCode maps.

Resources

Research

Zoning matters for urban crime, study suggests

A study of 205 blocks in high-crime areas of Los Angeles suggests that increasing residential zoning in blocks that are otherwise zoned for commercial can reduce crime. The study, published in the February issue of University of Pennsylvania Law Review, finds that city blocks zoned exclusively for residential uses, as well as those zoned for residential and commercial (mixed) uses have less crime than blocks that are zoned solely for commercial use. The research shows that single-use commercially zoned blocks have expected crime rates that are about 45 percent higher than blocks with residential uses mixed in.

Mon, Feb 25th 2013 8:39am
Nashville values, development rise with form-based code

City sees significant economic effect in the wake of zoning reform.

Sat, Dec 1st 2012 12:15pm
Places that pay: Benefits of placemaking

Many reports quantify the value of the sorts of livable, walkable places that a form-based code generates. Here is a selection of studies that help make the case for walkability.

Thu, Sep 13th 2012 9:07am