Coding for Communities: A Pragmatic Guide to Zoning Reform



Cities and towns across America are running into obstacles to their placemaking and revitalization strategies. Often a municipality’s zoning codes and ordinances make it illegal to create the type of vibrant communities that support jobs, foster economic development and are attractive places for people to live, work and play.

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Every unit of local government could benefit from changes to their code, if only these were scaled and adaptable to their resources and capacity.

The Smart Growth Network and Congress for the New Urbanism hosted a webinar on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, highlighting CNU’s Project for Code Reform, which seeks to streamline the code reform process by providing local governments with place-specific incremental coding changes that address the most problematic barriers first, build political will, and ultimately create more walkable, prosperous, and equitable places.

Panelists included Lynn Richards, President and CEO of CNU, and Susan Henderson, Principal at PlaceMakers, LLC. This lively discussion covered how incremental code reform can meet planners, mayors, and planning commissioners where they are: politically, financially and administratively.

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