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FBC 201: Placemaking with Form-Based Codes – Anderson, IN October 29-30

Downtown Anderson (Image: Mike Leakey via Flickr)


FBC 201: Placemaking with Form-Based Codes

Tuesday, October 29 & Wednesday, October 30

Anderson Museum of Fine Art
32 West 10th Street
Anderson, IN 46016

Click HERE for a list of lodging, dining, and parking recommendations.

Eligible for 16 AICP CM

This two-day course provides an in-depth understanding of how to guide good urban form through a regulatory framework. Participants learn to create form-based codes by drawing upon an area’s best urban elements to conceptualize the elements that shape public space and community character. Instructors delve into the basics of urban form, combining lecture and case studies with “hands-on” participatory exercises in the essential tasks of coding.

The course uses presentations and interactive discussions to enhance participants’ knowledge of urban design at the scale of the building and building types, the street and street types, the block and the neighborhood. Participants work together to apply theory and practice as they create a vision and regulatory elements of plan for an illustrative area.  Instructors and panelists discuss unexpected design challenges, and explore design possibilities for greenfield sites, redevelopment areas, already built-out communities and regional plans.

Click the tabs above to see agenda and instructors.


Click HERE for a full list of lodging and dining recommendations.

Fairfield Inn & Suites

2400 E 64th Street

Anderson, IN 46013

Hampton Inn

2312 Hampton Drive

Anderson, IN 46013

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

6720 S Scatterfield Road

Anderson, IN 46013


The following is a preliminary agenda.

A final agenda will be ready one week before the start of the class.

8:00-8:30 AM                         Light Breakfast and Registration

8:30-9:00 AM                         Welcome / Course Highlights / Introductory Discussion

Topics covered:  An introduction to FBCI and the course; participants’ objectives and desired takeaways; coding issues in your community.

9:00-10:00 AM                       Urban Form Basics: Streets & Other Urban Places

Topics covered:  Street-Space, the core concept of form-based coding and the fundamental contrast with conventional zoning.  Also, the network, context, and types of streets; the elements of street cross-sections; overcoming barriers to complete streets; and resources for creating great streets.

10:00-10:15 AM                     Break

10:15-11:00 AM                     Urban Form Basics: Private Building Principles & Types

Topics covered: The role of buildings to form the public realm and frame and protect the private realm; the palette of building types that make up a city and how they work.

11:00 AM-11:45 AM               Urban Form Basics: The Urban Block
Topics covered: The structure of the urban block and how it organizes public space vs. private space, (buildings, streets, rear service). How urban blocks define the physical structure of the places we inhabit

11:45-12:45 PM                       Lunch Provided by MCCOG                   

12:45-1:30 PM                          Small-Scale Urban Design Examples: Streets, Blocks, & Building Scale

Topics covered: Built examples of projects at the scale of street, block, building.

1:30-2:15 PM                            Urban Form Basics: The Urban Neighborhood

Topics covered: The role of neighborhoods in healthy communities; the neighborhood as the basic building block of towns and cities; and the mix of uses and hierarchy, function and location of appropriate streets.

2:15-3:00 PM                           Large-Scale Urban Design Examples

Topics covered: Examples of larger scale projects and how the design principles in form-based codes are applied to real projects.  Q&A.

3:00-3:15 PM                           Break

3:15-5:15 PM                           Exercise: Part One – Creating a Vision Plan

Topics covered: This two-part exercise explores the fundamental process of form-based coding—that of creating regulations based on a community vision.  Instructors will work with class participants to translate a community vision into form-based regulations.  Class participants will learn how to extract the necessary information from a vision plan, deciding what to regulate in order to implement the community vision. 

In this first part of the exercise, participants will create a Vision Plan for a set of urban blocks. The resulting plan will be the basis for Exercise Two, which will create a regulatory framework to implement the vision.

5:15 PM                                     End of Day One


8:00-8:30 AM                         Light Breakfast

8:30-9:00 AM                         Instructor led Discussion on Exercise Part One

Topics covered: Participants will share their notes and insights from the exercise.

9:00-10:00 AM                       FBCs : Creativity and Constraints

Topics covered:  What a code constrains and what it doesn’t; creativity in the “street wall;” FBCs and design guidelines; architectural creativity under a form-based code.  Mistakes made, lessons learned.

10:00-10:15 AM                     Break

10:15 AM – 12:15 PM           Exercise: Part Two – Selecting and Writing Regulations

Topics covered:  In this second part of the exercise participants explore the fundamental process of form-based coding—creating regulations, which are based on a community vision.  Participants will extract the necessary information from the vision plan created in Part One, deciding what and to what degree, to regulate.

12:15-1:30 PM                         Lunch Provided by MCCOG

1:30-2:15 PM                           Instructor Comments on Exercise Part Two

2:15-3:15 PM                           Virginia Perspective on Form-Based Coding                     

Topics covered: Form-based codes have gained positive momentum in Virginia as a legitimate alternative to Euclidian zoning. Regional examples of form-based codes will be shared and discussed.

3:15-3:30 PM                           Break

3:30-4:15 PM                           Roundtable Discussion

Topics covered:  Broad theme of sustainability. How form-based codes are used to promote walkable, mixed-use urbanism. Energy policy, resiliency and return on investment for local governments. Local questions and concerns.  “Parking Lot” issues identified throughout the class. Looking ahead to FBC 301.

4:15 PM                                     End of Course


FBCI draws upon national experts, including urban designers and planners with broad experience in all aspects of form-based coding.

Susan HendersonSusan Henderson is a founding Principal of PlaceMakers, LLC. She is Director of Coding and Design and oversees PlaceMakers’ design services, including Planning and Zoning. Susan graduated from Ball State University in 1985 with degrees in Architecture and Environmental Design and a minor in Honors Studies. She moved to Austin, TX to begin her career in architecture and planning. In 1996 Susan began to work with Mouzon & Associates in Huntsville, Alabama. A passion for vernacular architecture within the realm of walkable urbanism led her to co-found PlaceMakers, LLC as a vehicle to pursue this interest. For the last 13 years, the firm has led local governments and private developers in the pursuit of livable, equitable, sustainable communities.An active member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Susan is a participant in the CNU’s Charter Councils and Project for Code Reform. She serves on the Form-Based Codes Institute’s Steering Committee and is a founding board member of the Transect Codes Council. Susan is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is a LEED-AP.

Leslie OberholtzerLeslie Oberholtzer is a principal and Director of Planning at CodaMetrics, a boutique planning lab in Chicago, Illinois.  With over 25 years experience in urban design and smart growth planning, she works to promote sustainable development through the availability of alternative transportation and housing choices, the development of valuable places, and the preservation of community traditions.  In addition to being a registered landscape architect and a certified planner, she is National Charrette Institute (NCI) certified and a LEED Associated Professional.  Over the past 12 years, Leslie has developed over twenty-five neighborhood and full city codes for communities across the country. Recently, her work has focused on the research and development of form-based codes for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) nodes, corridors, and neighborhoods. Sustainability is at the core of the work Leslie produces not only through a focus on walkable and transit-served places, but also through the development of alternative energy, conservation area, and tree preservation ordinances. She also currently serves on the Location and Planning Technical Advisory Group for the US Green Building Council and the Star Community Index Technical Advisory Group, both cutting edge tools for sustainability at all scales of community.
Tony Perez has over 25 years of public and private sector experience with a focus on organizing and writing specific plans and master plans. In the past 12 years, Tony has prepared or co-authored over thirty form-based codes. His recent work in California includes the Fremont Center City Code, the Fresno Downtown Code, the Vallejo Citywide Code, and the Tehachapi Citywide Code. He also worked on Santa Ana’s Transit Zoning Code, which won the 2012 Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award. Prior to entering the private sector in 2000, Tony served as city planner for several California cities, in roles that included redevelopment staff for three main street revitalization projects. Tony is fluent in urban design and architecture, enabling him to extract information and direction out of a community vision and to ask important questions of designers and stakeholders in the process. Tony is Director of Form-Based Coding at Opticos Design, Inc.
To see all FBCI instructors, please visit our website, www.formbasedcodes.org

Registration Fees

MCCOG Members: Please insert discount code at check out

Public Sector Early Bird (before 10/18): $450

Public Sector Regular (after 10/18): $500

Private Sector Early Bird (before 10/18): $500

Private Sector Regular (after 10/18): $575

We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. 

Register now!


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