Form-based codes and guidelines

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.

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.

Common concerns about design review

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

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.

Charter Awards honor wide variety of projects

A form-based code and affordable transit-oriented development tie for Grand Prize in CNU annual design awards.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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