Sunday, September 6, 2009

Form Based Codes Webinar

Walnut Station illustrative plan view (image courtesy of the City of Eugene)

The City of Eugene’s Planning and Development Department invites AIA-SWO members to attend a webinar on the topic of how form-based codes can transform cities and towns. Produced by the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI), this 100-minute session provides an introduction to form-based codes, why they may be better suited to desired development outcomes compared to traditional land use codes, and how they are developed and used.

Specific topics to be covered in the webinar include:
  • Why use form-based codes?
  • The rise of conventional zoning and the decline of urbanism
  • How form-based codes differ from conventional zoning
  • Where form-based codes are typically used
  • The process for preparing a form-based code
  • Components of a typical form-based code
  • Legal issues of form-based codes

The webinar will be held at the City of Eugene Public Library (Bascom/Tykeson room) on September 9th from 4:00 - 6:00 pm.

Illustration of Millrace multi-use path (image courtesy of the City of Eugene)

The webinar will be of particular interest to members of AIA-SWO because the City has officially asked our chapter to evaluate the form-based code being developed for the Walnut Station Mixed Use Center.(1) The City’s goal is to define an ideal urban form for Walnut Station that reflects our community’s vision for a vibrant, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood. At the same time, the City recognizes that the form-based code must respect property owners’ development rights and help them realize the area’s development potential.

AIA-SWO’s plan is to conduct a design charrette that will task participants with challenging the limits of the proposed form-based code.(2) Ultimately, the goal is to build upon the work of the City’s consultants(3) and provide useful feedback as the City moves forward with rolling out the Walnut Station development plan. Look forward for more details about the Walnut Station charrette from AIA-SWO later this year or early in 2010.

For more information about the webinar, contact Lydia McKinney, the City of Eugene’s Metro and Community Planner at (541) 682-5485.

(1) The Walnut Station area along Franklin Boulevard is the epicenter of a planning initiative by the City to stimulate redevelopment as a key mixed-use center for Eugene. It is also congruent with a segment of the “Franklin Corridor” that was a focus of our chapter’s highly successful 2007 AIA150 Blueprint for America: Bridging Communities workshops.

(2) This charrette was originally scheduled to occur in November of this year. It is now more likely to take place in February 2010.

(3) Urbsworks and SERA Architects, both of Portland, have been working with the City on Phase One (visioning) and Phase Two (implementation), respectively, to develop the Walnut Station Mixed Use Center development plan. Phase Two concludes with the preparation of the draft plan.

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