How Form-Based Ideas Could Transform Community Planning

Let's discuss how community planning could be fundamentally reorganized to improve both efficiency and placemaking.
March 2, 2015, 1pm PST | newurban
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Arina P Habich

"The placemaking movement has incorporated key urbanism principles into policy and practice," writes James Tischler. "This shift has transformed practice by recognizing the vital importance of development regulations and demonstrating that form-based codes can be used to assure that desirable change occurs. Recognition of local or regional 'place' outcomes, and how to achieve them with form-based codes, has moved into the planning/design mainstream." 

The post goes on to list the current challenges "in achieving consistently good and predictable outcomes." Here are a few examples, as quoted from the article: 

Time—public master plans take a long time to create and are often seen as shelf items and zoning ordinances are often not updated until several years after the plan is prepared or updated;

Money— many, if not most, municipalities do not have the necessary financial resources to prepare a high quality master plan and zoning ordinance, let alone one that focuses on form and character elements previously ignored. Existing staff may have little knowledge, experience, or interest in tackling such a task; Staff, time, and personnel resources are inadequate;

Public involvement—depending on one’s role, there seems to be either too many public meetings, or not enough opportunity for public input, or both and because the time frame is so long, the public gets "worn out" long before adoption and when implementation begins.

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Published on Monday, March 2, 2015 in Better Cities & Towns
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