Conventional land use regulations focus on separating land uses not shaping the urban form to create special places to live, work and play. The result are often sprawl, segregation of populations by income and ethnicity and the loss of appealing public spaces.  Car-oriented planning has eroded community life and inhibited the use of public transit, biking and walking.

Communities of all sizes want a better future. They seek a new kind of development regulation that can create great places, preserve historic neighborhoods and transform suburban commercial strips into places people love.

The FBCI Forum: Connecting Policy, Place & Practice, hosted by the Form-Based Codes Institute, will bring together experts, practitioners and advocates from across the land use and development disciplines to learn how they can use form-based zoning codes to create walkable, mixed-use, equitable communities.

Who Should Attend?

  • Local government planners and other city staff engaged in planning and development regulation
  • Planning and zoning commissioners, city councilors and other policy makers
  • Urban designers, architects, planning consultants and coders
  • Real estate developers and land use attorneys
  • Citizen planners, community-building advocates and those interested in learning about and sharing best practices

Why Should I Attend?

  • Learn how form-based codes create the framework for building great communities
  • Hear success stories from local government decision-makers and staff who have experience with form-based codes
  • Identify new ways to promote and understand form-based coding in your community
  • Exchange lessons learned and best practices with other professionals and advocates in the field


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You can receive APA credits for attending. If you are interested in receiving AIA credits, please contact Carrie Schmaus at cshmaus@formbasedcodes.org.

Click on the session title to learn more.

1:00 – 2:30 pm — Plenary Session/Welcome/Panel Discussion - Salon B

Plenary Session

Welcome and Opening Remarks 

Panel Discussion: The Why and How of Form-Based Codes
Using the Columbia Pike Corridor in Arlington County as an example, a cross-section of land use and development professionals will discuss how form-based codes have evolved over the years to create good urbanism.

  • Moderator:
    • Lisa Wise, Lisa Wise Consulting
  • Panelists:
    • Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America
    • Geoffrey Ferrell, Ferrell Madden
    • Victor Dover, Dover, Kohl and Partners
    • Inta Malis, (former) Planning Commissioner, Arlington County, VA
    • Nina Janopaul, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing

2:45 – 4:00 pm — Breakout Sessions: Policy

Community Engagement – Getting Decision-Makers and Citizens on Board – Salon A

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.

  • Moderator:
    • Nancy Stroud, Lewis, Stroud & Deutsch, LLP
  • Speakers:
    • Milton Herd, Herd Planning
    • Ana Gelabert, Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Gelabert-Sanchez & Associates
    • The Honorable Kathy Galvin, City Council, Charlottesville, Virginia
    • Jennifer Hurley, Hurley-Franks and Associates

FBCs and Economic Development – Salon C
Place-making is essential for successful economic development and form-based codes address much more than aesthetics. In fact, form-based codes enable 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.

  • Moderator: 
    • Brandon Palanker, 3BL Strategies and GP Development
  • Speakers: 
    • Scott Polikov, Gateway Planning
    • Jim Tischler, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

4:00 – 5:30 pm — Networking Reception

8:00 – 8:30 am — Continental Breakfast - Ballroom Foyer

8:30 – 9:15 am — Plenary Session: Urban Form and Healthy Communities - Salon B

Urban form has a significant and direct impact on the health of a community.  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, our keynote speaker will discuss how form-based codes can help to enhance the physical and social health of communities.

  • Moderator:
    • Marina Khoury, DPZ Partners
  • Speaker:
    • Geoff Anderson, Smart Growth America

9:30 – 10:30 pm — Breakout Sessions: Place

Downtown and Neighborhood Revitalization with FBCs – Salon A
Downtowns and neighborhoods targeted for revitalization were once vital, mixed-use, walkable urban landscapes, which local leaders seek to restore, often with new uses quite different 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.

  • Moderator:
    • Marta Goldsmith, Form-Based Codes Institute
  • Speakers:
    • Roger Eastman, Lisa Wise Consulting
    • George Proakis, City of Somerville, MA
    • Brandon Palanker, 3BL Strategies and GP Development

Form-Based Codes in Rural and Small Communities – Salon C
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 to channel growth or maintain an historic, small town character.  In this session, presenters will discuss how FBCs have been used to make these areas more walkable, transit-friendly and vital.

  • Moderator: 
    • Susan Henderson, PlaceMakers
  • Speakers:
    • Andrew Blake, City of Ranson, WV

10:45 am – 1:00 pm — Tour of Columbia Pike Form-Based Coding District

Columbia Pike – a 3.5-mile suburban corridor just across the Potomac River from downtown Washington, DC – had seen little development over 30 years; 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 code is an optional (or parallel) code, with all of the underlying zoning remaining in place, and includes incentives such as expedited review and approvals to encourage its use.  Forum participants will tour the corridor, led by those who designed the code and guided the county through its adoption and implementation. The bus will depart from the hotel at 10:45.

1:00 – 2:00 pm — Lunch Break (On Your Own)

2:00 – 3:00 pm — Breakout Sessions: Practice

Project Review under FBCs – Salon A
Many communities have implemented an FBC that allows for review of projects by a town planner or code enforcement official. Other communities are deciding that, while it makes sense to use a FBC to prescribe some characteristics, review of individual projects may be needed in some cases. In this session, speakers will discuss how projects are reviewed in concert with an FBC and how reviews add to the character of the community, beyond what an FBC offers.

  • Moderator:
    • Leslie Oberholtzer, CodaMetrics
  • Speakers:
    • Catherine Hartley, City of Bradenton, FL
    • Laura Voltman, City of Ft. Worth, TX
    • Andrew Collins, City of Nashville, TN
    • George Proakis, City of Somerville, MA

Maintaining Inclusiveness with Form-Based Codes – Salon C
Form-Based Codes have a reputation for fostering gentrification.  They can be used to safeguard the physical character and diversity of a community. Creating an FBC can provide an excellent opportunity to address affordability and spur the equitable redevelopment of urban neighborhoods, especially when married with other policies that ensure a diversity of incomes, ethnicity and uses.  Speakers will discuss how FBCs have helped foster a more inclusive community in neighborhoods across the country, especially at a time when gentrification is an urgent issue.

  • Moderator:
    • The Honorable Kathy Galvin, City of Charlottesville
  • Speakers:
    • Anita Morrison, Partners for Economic Solutions
    • Anaiah Johnson, City of Austin, TX
    • Thor Nelson, City of Washington, DC

3:00 – 4: pm — Historic Preservation and FBCs - Salon C

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.

  • Moderator:
    • Carol Wyant, Pathfinder Consulting
  • Panelists:
    • Mary Madden, Ferrell-Madden
    • Joseph Kohl, Dover, Kohl and Partners
    • Vinyak Bharne, Moule & Polyzoides

4:00 — Forum Concludes

Vinayak Bharne, Director of Design, Moule & Polyzoides

Andrew Blake, City Attorney, City of Ranson, WV

Andrew Collins, Planner, City of Nashville, Tennsessee

Victor Dover, Founding Principal, Dover, Kohl & Partners

Geoff Ferrell, Principal, Ferrell Madden

Kathy Galvin, City Councilor, City of Charlottesville, VA

Ana Gelabert- Sanchez, Design Critic, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Principal, Gelabert-Sanchez & Associates

Kathleen Galvin, Councilor, City of Charlottesville, Virginia

Catherine Hartley, Director, Department of Planning and Community Development, Bradenton, Florida

Susan Henderson, Principal, PlaceMakers, LLC

Milton Herd, Founder and Owner, Herd Planning & Design

Jennifer Hurley, Principal, Hurley, Franks & Associates

Nina Janopaul, President/CEO, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing

Anaiah Johnson, Planner III, City of Austin Development Services Department

Marina Khoury, Partner, DPZ Partners, LLC

Joe Kohl, Founding Principal, Dover, Kohl & Partners

Mary Madden, Principal, Ferrell Madden

Inta Malis, Former Chair, Arlington County Planning Commission (former)

Anita Morrison, Principal, Partners for Economic Solutions

Jay Narayana, Principal, Livable Plans and Codes

Thor Nelson, Senior Urban Designer, DC Office of Planning, Design Division

Leslie Oberholtzer, Principal, CodaMetrics

Brandon Palanker, Founder and President, 3BL Strategies; Principal, GP Development

Scott Polikov, Founder, Gateway Planning

George Proakis, Director of Planning, City of Somerville

Jim Tischler, Director of Community Development, Michigan State Housing Development Authority

Laura Voltmann, Senior Planner, Urban Design Commission, City of Fort Worth, Texas

Lisa Wise, President, Lisa Wise Consulting

Carol Wyant, President, Pathfinder Consulting

Chris Zimmerman, Vice President for Economic Development and Director of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, Smart Growth America



Located just across the river from the nation’s capital in Rosslyn, Va., (1325 Wilson Blvd.), and conveniently situated near public transportation, parks and form-based code communities, the Hyatt Centric Arlington is the ideal location for the FBCI Forum. To book a room for the conference, please email Ray Bracken at rbracken@lrginc.com with the dates of your stay.



Directions, including public transportation, parking and proximity to local airports, to the Hyatt Centric Arlington can be found at the link below.



Registration is closed. Please visit the registration desk Wednesday, Oct. 11th, for on site registration.

Government/nonprofit: $550
Private Sector: $700
Student Rate (with student ID): $50


The FBCI Forum is the perfect opportunity for organizations to raise awareness and create new partnerships as a Forum Sponsor. FBCI will work with each organization to customize sponsorship benefits to meet its needs.  Sponsorship opportunities range from $1,000 – $15,000, allowing each sponsor the chance to gain recognition, develop new networks, and engage with thought-leaders in the planning and land use community.

Click the button below to download a copy of the sponsorship packet. Contact Carrie Schmaus using the form or email cschmaus@formbasedcodes.org to learn more!