Reintroducing Industry to the City

Industrial uses have long been banished to the edges -- but recently savvy cities are seeing the value of making them walkable again.

On the 30th anniversary of form-based codes, something interesting is happening, writes Hazel Borys. Cities which have been coding for character are starting to recognize the true value of land, and the ROI of their infrastructure investments. In doing so, they're reintroducing industry to walkable formats. And the market is rewarding them.

Borys writes:

"All sorts of large format uses ended up in something we still call "Special Districts." Not because they're special, but because they aren't inherently walkable, and don't really fit in the rural-to-urban shape sorter we call the Transect. These typically auto-oriented Special Districts (SDs) generally include uses such as industrial, big box retail, medical centers, and airports."

"However, in the cities, such as El Paso, Texas, that have started seeing the value capture inherent in using the SmartCode, they're loathe to let something even as usually unwalkable as an airport give up the extra value of mixed use."

Thanks to Steve Mouzon

Full Story: Special Districts Getting All Mixed Up

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