Author(s)Mercier, Rachel Havens
Coding Authenti City
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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This thesis analyzes the impact of form-based codes, focusing on two research questions: (1) What is the underlying motivation for adopting a form-based code? (2) What motivations have the most significant impact on development outcomes? This thesis answers these two questions through an evaluation of form-based code literature and an analysis of three recent form-based codes case studies: SmartCode for Taos, New Mexico, Downtown Specific Plan for Ventura, and SmartCode for Leander, Texas. For each case study, this thesis reviews the historical context of each community, the political process that brought about the form-based code, and the components of the coding document. After considering all three case studies, this thesis formulates conclusions about a range of motivations underlying the use of form-based codes as well as which motivations will have the most significant impact on how form-based codes will shape the built environment. Form-based coding is a relatively new regulatory tool, and has recently been standardized through the creation of the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI) in 2005. Using the FBCI's criteria for a form-based code, this thesis evaluates the components of each case study's coding document. Insight into each coding document is supplemented by personal interviews, site visits and background materials that paint a holistic picture of what each community is striving to achieve through a form-based code. The range of motivations for a form-based reached within the conclusion of this thesis include: 1. Preservation of Community Character 2. Creation of Community Character 3. Economic Development 4. Affordable Housing 5. Control of Sprawl.(cont.) This list does not represent a complete range of motivations for all form-based codes, but rather the motivations uncovered from the cases reviewed in this thesis. Based on these motivations, the author makes a conclusion that Preservation of Community Character has the most significant impact on the built environment. This conclusion is based on literature on city form theory that suggests history provides security through the built form and thus is significant to the psychological and physical nourishment of its inhabitants. This psychological stability is more powerful than any other motivation and will have a lasting impact on how the city evolves into the future.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (p. 123-125).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.