2/23/12

Why Zoning Needs Radical Revision Now


Brave New Codes - Zoning, Planning, Urban Development - Architect Magazine:

"The conventional method of zoning, known as Euclidean zoning, determines what sort of development can be located in specific areas based on type of use. So houses end up near other houses, factories near other factories. But that division of land uses can make it difficult or even illegal to build developments that mix different but compatible uses, like an apartment building with ground-floor retail. The separation of uses written into Euclidean zoning codes made sense to the lawyers who wrote them, but they have the effect of creating bland and inefficient places, Plater-Zyberk says. As a response, she and other New Urbanists developed an alternative, the form-based code.Instead of focusing only on the separation of types of land uses, form-based codes are organized around the physical form that a development should take. Under the guidance of a regulating plan, form-based codes emphasize connectivity between buildings, their facades, and the public realm, and how those connections play out across variously scaled streets and blocks."

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