New U.N. Form-Based Code Guidelines: Like 'Agenda 21 Times 2'

There are few political third rails in the world of planning like Agenda 21, a nonbinding United Nations resolution often found at the center of planning controversies in the United States.

1 minute read

April 1, 2016, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

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Dendodge / Wikimedia Commons

President of the United Nations General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft announced new United Nations Form-Based Code Guidelines today, as part of the recently ratified COP 21 climate agreement.

Lykketoft described the new Form-Based Codes as "Agenda 21 times 2" and said it would "scare people into mixing uses and adding density."

Form-based codes are a relatively new invention of development regulation, relying on issues of form rather than land use as organizing principles.

What could go wrong with adding a new-fangled and complex regulatory scheme to an already controversial international policy directive? A lot, actually, and the United Nations is counting on it.

Lykketoft responded to questions about the potential controversy that would surround the Form-Based Code Guidelines by insisting that Agenda 21 is not a U.N. plot to overthrow the sovereignty of the United States. "It's actually just a U.N. plot to annoy planners," said a noticeably smug Lykketoft before dropping the mic and getting on a private jet with Kanye West.

Friday, April 1, 2016 in Planetizen April 1st Edition

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