New Urban News Article with tables, 12/1/2007 Jamestown, Rhode Island, and Hamden, Connecticut, could be the first two New England communities to adopt the SmartCode. New urbanist teams conducted charrettes in both towns this fall, with the aim of adapting the form-based code to strikingly different local concerns.
The Mississippi Renewal Forum provided one of the first opportunities to introduce an entire region to the SmartCode and the idea of Transect-based and form-based coding. In the weeks since the Forum ended, a number of officials along the Gulf Coast have shown strong interest in having their communities implement codes recommended by new urbanist planning teams.
As form-based coding continues to increase in popularity, the term “hybrid code” is being used more often. Hybrid codes involve the meshing of conventional zoning codes with graphic urban design standards that typically address setbacks, parking placement, building bulk, materials, and architectural features. Such a hybrid is not a form-based code (FBC) and likely will not produce the physical outcome desired. While urban design standards within a conventional coding framework are beneficial, they are not enough, and are not a viable alternative to FBCs.
New Urban News Article with tables and sidebar, 4/1/2008 First comprehensive book-length guide is published as local officials laud new codes’ effects. Since 2001, when Carol Wyant at Pathfinder Consulting in Chicago coined the term “form-based code,” this relatively new tool for shaping development has found a receptive audience in communities nationwide.
New Urban News Article with images, 7/1/2004 Adoption of form-based codes in Petaluma, California, and Arlington County, Virginia, is quickly paying off with new buildings that line the sidewalks and streets. In Petaluma, which enacted a version of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company’s SmartCode in July 2003, a retail and housing development called Basin Street Landing is nearing completion. It occupies former parking lots in part of the 400-acre area regulated by the new code (see July-August 2003 New Urban News). Laura Hall of Fisher & Hall Urban Design, which tailored the SmartCode to the 56,000-population community, says over $100 million in development has been approved since the code’s adoption, including Basin Street Landing, which contains 20,000 square feet of office and restaurant space on the ground floor and 43 apartments above.
New Urban News Article with images, 1/1/2009 A suburban Texas municipality approves one of the largest applications of the SmartCode and is work-ing on a city-wide form-based code. “Boomburbs,” as described by author Robert Lang, are suburban municipalities topping 100,000 people that have seen double-digit growth for at least three decades in a row. Most boomburbs were rural outposts in 1950, and although you may have not heard of many of them, they have accommodated a disproportionate share of the nation’s growth in the last half-century.