A Primer on the Zoning Code Avant Garde

Anthony Flint discusses how "Silicon Valley-level innovative thinking" is making zoning more exciting than, well, anyone ever thought zoning codes could be.

"The problem," according to Anthony Flint, "is that most zoning hasn’t changed with the times, for nearly a century now. It’s like having traffic rules and manufacturer regulations based on the Model T."

After describing the history of zoning from the separation of uses through recent innovations like form-based codes, Flint introduces performance-based codes, of which an early example comes from the San Francisco Bay Area:

"Some of the most out-of-the-box thinking is coming from (where else?) the Bay Area, with the adoption of 'performance-based zoning.' In the city of Fremont, the city council chose a new path for a nearly 900-acre parcel anchored by a future BART station, set for massive redevelopment. Planners started with a set of goals—a certain number of jobs, a certain number of homes including affordable homes, and critically, strict standards for a low carbon footprint. However developers achieve all that is their business."

The performance-based approach is also being tested in Atlanta.  

Full Story: Braving the New World of Performance-Based Zoning

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