Wednesday, October 11, 2017
1:00 – 2:30 pm
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Panel Discussion: The Why and How of Form-Based Codes
In this opening panel, representatives from a cross-section of land use and development disciplines — city planning, elected officials, real estate development, urban design, architecture – will discuss how form-based codes have evolved over the years to create good urbanism from in all kinds of places from rust-belt downtowns to upscale resort communities.
2:45 – 4:00 pm
Breakout Sessions – Policy
Historic Preservation and FBCs
Many communities that place a high value on historic preservation have been leery of FBCs while others have embraced them for the benefits and protections they can offer. In this session, participants will learn how FBCs can help achieve preservation goals and where this has happened.
Community Engagement – Getting Decision-Makers and Citizens on Board
Local planning staffs often cite the challenge of engaging decision-makers and citizens as their most significant obstacle to adopting an FBC. In this session, city staff and local elected officials will discuss how they raise awareness and help citizens understand the benefits of form-based coding for their community.
FBCs and Economic Development
Place-making is essential for successful economic development and form-based codes concern much more than mere aesthetics. In fact, form-based coding enables communities to harnesses the power of a neighborhood-based economy and a sustainable region. In this session, speakers will describe how communities leverage near term market forces to build economic value, without sacrificing flexibility and creativity over time.
4:00 – 5:30 pm
Thursday, October 12, 2017
8:00 – 8:30 am
8:30 – 9:15 am
Plenary Session: Urban Form and Healthy Communities
Urban form has a significant and direct impact on the health of a community. In fact, according to the CDC, your zip code is a greater indicator of your overall health and life expectancy than your genetic code. The ability to walk to work, stores and friends’ homes, the availability of green spaces to relax and recreate, and the safety and security of your surroundings all drive your health and wellness. In this session, experts in the field will discuss how form-based codes can help to enhance the physical and social health of communities.
9:30 – 10:30 pm
Breakouts Sessions – Places
Downtown and Neighborhood Revitalization with FBCs
Downtowns and neighborhoods targeted for revitalization were almost invariably once vital, mixed-use, walkable urban landscapes, which local leaders seek to restore, even when new uses differ greatly from the original ones. FBCs can support redevelopment by ensuring community engagement, expediting the approval process, providing developers reassurance that the surrounding area will be compatible and setting mixed-use, walkable urban standards. Examples of how an FBC has spurred successful urban revitalization in several jurisdictions around the country will be discussed.
Retrofitting the Suburbs
For fifty years, most residential and commercial development in the U.S. occurred in the suburbs. More recently, many historic downtowns have seen a renaissance in development and investment. As a result, some suburban areas will need to be repurposed and substantially redesigned. Come learn how FBCs are being used to move this process forward.
Form-Based Codes in Rural and Small Communities
FBCs are not just for cities and their inner ring suburbs. Often rural areas and small towns – from Daufuskie Island, SC to Bellevue, KY to Thompson Station, TN – will adopt an FBC in channel growth or maintain an historic or small town character. In this session, presenters will discuss how FBCs can be used to make these areas more walkable, transit-friendly and vital.
10:45 am – 1:00 pm
Tour of Columbia Pike Form-Based Coding District
Columbia Pike – a 3.5-mile urban corridor immediately across the Potomac River from downtown Washington, DC – had seen little development over 30 years; so county leaders initiated a revitalization effort to bring economic development to the corridor through the creation of a form-based code to foster transit- and pedestrian-oriented infill redevelopment. The project also included a public participation urban design charrette and master plan. The code is an optional (or parallel) code, with all of the underlying zoning remaining in place, but includes incentives such as expedited review and approvals, to encourage its use. Forum participants will tour the corridor, led by those who wrote and designed the code and led the county through its adoption and implementation.
1:00 – 1:45 pm
Lunch Break (On Your Own)
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Breakout Sessions: Practice
Maintaining Inclusiveness with Form-Based Codes
Form-Based Codes have a reputation for fostering gentrification. In fact, they can be used to safeguard the physical characterand diversity of a community. Often planning for and drafting an FBC can provide an excellent opportunity to address affordability and spur the equitable redevelopment of urban neighborhoods, when married with other policies that ensure a diversity of incomes, ethnicities and uses. Come learn how FBCs have helped to foster a more inclusive community in neighborhoods across the country, especially at a time when gentrification is an urgent issue.
How to Hire and Work with a Consultant
At some point in writing, adopting and implementing a form-based code, almost all localities seek out planning, zoning and/or design consultants. Consultants offer support with civic engagement, code drafting, designing, implementing and updating. But how do staff know when to bring in a consultant, how divide the work and what to expect? In this session, consultants and public sector representatives will provide insights and answer questions about how to get the most out of your investment.
Project Review under FBCs
Many communities have implemented a FBC that requires simple review of projects by a town planner or code enforcement official. But other communities are deciding that, while it makes sense to use a FBC to prescribe some characteristics – e.g. size, bulk, height, lot placement, fenestration, and pedestrian amenities – review of individual projects may still be needed. In this session, speakers will discuss how project reviews are used in concert with an FBC and what they might add to the character of the community, beyond what an FBC offers.
3:15 – 4:30 pm
Invite attendees to suggest topics ahead of time and select from among those listed here and the ones suggested (up to 10 topics). Tables will have a designated leader and note taker to capture ideas. Examples of Peer-to-Peer
- Teaching FBCs in Universities
- How to Measure the Effects of FBCs
- Amending and Updating FBC
- New Zoning Software
- Other Topics TBD