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The ABCs of FBCs (Form-Based Codes) APA-IL Chicago Metro Section



February 19, 2009

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Introduction to Form-Based Codes

Mahender Vasandani President, M Square l Urban Design


What I Will Cover:

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A. Our Planning Legacy B. The Power of Place C. What Are Form-Based Codes? D. Key Components of FBCs E. Advantages of FBCs F. Why Form-Based Codes Now? G. Q & A

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A. Our Planning Legacy

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Comprehensive Plans & Conventional Zoning

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A. Our Planning Legacy

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“Place-less,” “Form-less,” “Auto-Orientation”

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A. Our Planning Legacy…We Are Still Doing It!

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“Place-less,” “Form-less,” “Auto-Orientation”

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A. Our Planning Legacy

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“Place-less,” “Form-less,” “Auto-Orientation”

    

Revenue-based Land-Use Planning Primary Focus: Single Site/One Project Transportation and Traffic Impacts! Rarely Concerned with Urban Form Post-planning Design Reviews

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A. Our Planning Legacy

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“Post-planning Design Reviews�

Most Architects Are Challenged by Good Design! 7


A. Our Planning Legacy

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“Post-planning Design Reviews�

Good, Authentic, Architecture is Important, and So is Sense of Place! 8


A. Our Planning Legacy

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“Post-planning Design Reviews�

Sometimes we get lucky! There are a few architects who design well!

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A. Our Planning Legacy

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The Sum of Our Planning Experiences!

    

Our focus has been on “functional,” two-dimensional planning We have been too auto-oriented Our roadway systems still struggle to serve us well We have isolated land uses We have either forgotten or never learnt how to create “places”

But, it may not be too late for us… 10


B. The Power of Place

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A Point of Departure: Learning from Precedents!

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B. The Power of Place

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A Point of Departure: Learning from Precedents!

“Urban Architecture” One Definition: Hausmmann’s! 12


B. The Power of Place

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A Point of Departure: Learning from Precedents!

Specific Area Urban Design Plans Integrating Urban Form with Discrete, Cohesive Architecture 13


B. The Power of Place

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A Point of Departure: Learning from Precedents!

Specific Area Urban Design Plans Integrating Urban Form with Discrete, Cohesive Architecture 14


B. The Power of Place

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What Do We Learn?

 High quality livable places do not relate to density or FAR ratios  Livable and high quality places result from well-thought urban design plans that consider urban form, discrete architecture, integrated open spaces/gathering places, and transportation/ access all at once 15


C. What Are Form-Based Codes?

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 Now That We Understand Urban Form, Community Character, Power of Place, Livability…Viability, Sustainability  Goal: Attain Desired Urban Form  “FBC’s Are A Zoning Tool to Help Implement an Urban Vision” --- My definition!

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C. What Are Form-Based Codes?

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1. Relatively New Regulation Tool in Illinois 2. Based on A Community Vision 3. Focus is the Public Realm (Form and Quality of the Outside Built Environment)

4. Place-specific to Retain Existing Character 5. Several Urban Standards 6. Graphic/More Comprehensible 7. Predictable Urban Form and Character 8. Different from Conventional Zoning Regulations • • • •

FBCs more concerned with Urban Form, Less with Use Facilitate mixing of uses Not concerned with F.A.R.s, Densities and Lot Coverages Allow administrative approval of projects

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C. What Are Form-Based Codes?

 Focus on Quality of the Built Environment: Public Realm

Public realm influenced by the architecture of buildings; the proportions of the size of public places to building heights and the amenities in the public places

Project Credit: Dover Kohl & Partners

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C. What Are Form-Based Codes?

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 Focus: Building Scale/Massing/Elements/Types: Character

Project Credit: Dover Kohl & Partners

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C. What Are Form-Based Codes?

 Mixing of Uses in Acceptable Urban Form

• PREDICTABILITY of massing and bulk of future projects • Less public concern about bulk and other impacts • Potential benefit: Streamlined project review process • Good for developers too

Project Credit: Dover Kohl & Partners

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D. Components of Form-Based Codes

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 FBC’s Have to be Based on A Community Vision  Charrette Plan, Image Preference Survey  An Urban Design Plan and Urban Character Vision

21 Project Credit: Dover Kohl & Partners


D. Components of Form-Based Codes

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 An Integrated Approach with Standards for: Thoroughfares, Frontages, Building Types, Public Spaces, Landscaping – All Linked to a Regulating Plan  Typically More Easily Comprehensible and Administered

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D. Components of Form-Based Codes

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 Building Bulk and Frontage Standards

Discrete designs with well-proportioned building elements

Building designs that could stand significant improvements

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D. Components of Form-Based Codes

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 Building Standards + Architectural Design Review

Building meets FBC standards, but‌

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E. Advantages of FBCs

 Conventional/Euclidian

 FBCs

 Based on Abstract Land Use and Zoning Categories

 Based on Adopted Community Vision

 Segregated/Isolated Uses

 Mixed Uses

 Proscribes (What Not Allowed)

 Prescribe (What is Desirable)

 Unpredictable Building Bulk/Form (F.A.R.s and Densities by Lot Size)

 Predictable Building/Urban Form (Bulk Limits regardless of Lot Size )

 Unpredictable Character

 Vision of Built Form Predetermined based on Site Development Capacity Analyses (Max. Heights, Bulk); Retain existing or create new character

 No Sense of Place

 Power of Place 25


F. Why Form-Based Codes Now?

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 An Opportune Time to Learn New Tool Significant Changes: Economic, Demographic and Climate  Can We Sustain Current Development Patterns? Will current patterns be viable in the future?  Could We be Better-off Learning New Tools? As Planners could we Meet the Challenges and Take Better Hold of the Future of Our Communities? 26


F. Why Form-Based Codes Now?

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Already in Suburban Areas Across the Nation‌

Addison Circle, Addison, TX

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F. Why Form-Based Codes Now?

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Already in Suburban Areas Across the Nation‌

Legacy Center, Dallas, TX

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F. Why Form-Based Codes Now?

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Already in Suburban Areas Across the Nation‌

Southlake Town Square, Southlake, TX

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F. Why Form-Based Codes Now?

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Already in Suburban Areas Across the Nation‌

The Glen, Glenview, IL

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F. Why Form-Based Codes Now?

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Anticipating new developments patterns that may mean planning to create more “PLACES” in the future…  FBCs offer a new way for us to plan ahead! 31


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Thank You!

Mahender Vasandani President M Square l Urban Design T: 630.845.1202 E: mgv@msqre.com

/FBCsI_Vasandani  

http://www.ilapa.org/CMS/2009/FBCsI_Vasandani.pdf

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