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FBC 201: Placemaking with Form-Based Codes Montreal

Photo by Pedro Szekely on Flickr

Photo by Pedro Szekely on Flickr


FBC 201: Placemaking With Form-Based Codes
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Tuesday – Wednesday, October 2-3, 2018

Centre Nutrilait
411 Avenue Letourneux
Montréal, QC H1V 2L7

Map & Directions

Eligible for 16 AICP CM credits & OUQ credits.

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 features to conceptualize the urban 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 a plan for an illustrative area.  Instructors and panelists discuss unexpected design challenges, and explore design possibilities for greenfield sites, redevelopment areas, built-out communities and regional plans.

Click the tabs above to see lodging options, agenda and instructors.

NOTE:  The one-day class: ABCs of Form-Based Codes — or FBC 101 on-line — is prerequisite for this class.

FBC 201 is part of FBCI’s three-course series. It combines with FBC 101 (ABCs of Form-Based Codes) and FBC 301 (Formulating, Adopting, and Administering a Code) to complete a thorough instruction in the discipline of form-based coding. FBCI awards a certificate to all those completing the three-course series.


Hôtel Le Dauphin Montréal Centre-Ville
1025, rue de Bleury
Montréal, QC. H2Z 1M7
Phone: (Toll-free) 1-888-784-3888

Hotel Bonaventure Montreal
900 de la Gauchetiere W.
Montreal, QC H5A 1E4
Phone: (Toll-free) 1-800-267-2575

Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Centre-Ville Hotel
380 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, QC, H3A 0B1
Phone: 1-514-840-0010

Le St-Martin Downtown Montreal
980 Boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1M5
Phone: (Toll-free) 1-877-843-3003

Le Square Phillips Hôtel & Suites
1193, Place Phillips
Montréal, QC H3B 3C9
Phone: (Toll-free) 1-866-393-1193


The following preliminary agenda is subject to change.

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

DAY ONE  — Tuesday, October 2, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 AM Light Breakfast and Registration
8:30 – 9:15 AM Welcome / Course Highlights / Introductory Discussion

Topics covered:  An introduction to the Form-Based Codes Institute.  Understanding the role of the regulatory framework in determining urban form; how form-based coding creates compact, walkable urban communities.  Why form matters.  Participants’ objectives and desired takeaways.  Coding issues in your community.

9:15-10:15 AM Urban Form Basics: Streets 

Topics covered:  How to create a planning framework for place-making.  The network, context, street types, and elements of the street cross-section. Overcoming barriers to healthy streets. Resources for creating great streets.

10:15-10:30 AM Break
10:30 – 11:15 AM Urban Form Basics: The Urban Block 

Topics covered: How urban blocks define the physical structure of the places we inhabit.

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM Urban Form Basics: Private Building Principles and Building Types 

Topics covered: The role of buildings to form and protect private open spaces and frame public space; the palette of building types that make up a city.

12:00 – 12:45PM Box Lunch Provided/ Informal Discussion with Instructors
12:45 – 1:30 PM Urban Form Basics: The Urban Neighborhood 

Topics covered: The role of the physical neighborhood in healthy communities; the basic building block of towns and cities: neighborhood center, interior and edge; and mix of uses and the hierarchy, function and location for types of streets needed.

1:30 – 3:00 PM Urban Design Examples: Street/Block/Building Scale
Topics covered: Illustrating the urban form basics of private building principles, building types, street space configuration and street trees. Examples of how neighborhood centers, interiors and edges may be knit together successfully to create a city.
3:00 – 3:15 PM Break
3:15 – 5:15 PM Exercise One: Learning How to Look: Understanding Community Character and Context

Attendees will participate in a two-part exercise that explores the fundamental process of form-based coding. Class participants will learn how to analyze the fundamental character features of the study area and decide what to regulate.

In Part One of the exercise, participants will tour part of the in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Neighborhoodwith local planners and form-based codes experts, take notes and discuss the features that should be reflected in the revised code.

5:15 – 5:45 PM Questions and Answers

DAY TWO — Wednesday, October 3, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 AM Light Breakfast
8:30 – 9:30 AM Discussion: Community Characteristics of the Study Area

Participants will share their notes and insights from the walking tour and reach consensus on the vision of the community.

9:30 – 10:00 AM FBCs : Creativity and Constraints 

Topics covered: What a code controls and doesn’t control; creativity in the “street wall;” FBCs and design guidelines; architectural creativity under a form-based code.  (other topics TBD)

10:00 – 10:15 AM Break
10:15 – 11:30 AM Quebec Perspective on Form-Based Coding

Topics covered: How can FBCs work in the context of Canadian laws and practice?  What are the good examples?  A panel of local experts will discuss zoning law and practices in Quebec and how principles of form-based codes can be and are realized in the local context.

11:30 – 12:00 PM Regulating: Theory and Practice

Topics Covered:  Review and discuss examples of how standards for streets, buildings, blocks and open spaces are integrated into a neighborhood regulating plan.

12:00 – 1:00 PM Box Lunch Provided/ Informal Discussion with Instructors
1:00 – 3:00 PM Exercise Two: Selecting and Combining the Regulations 

Topics covered:  Selecting and synthesizing the fundamental character elements of the study area.  Using these elements to define the form of streets, blocks, buildings and open space in three dimensions.

3:00 – 3:15 PM Break
3:15 – 4:00 PM Exercise Two: Instructor Comments
4:00 – 5:00 PM Roundtable Discussion

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

5:00 PM End of Course


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

Geoffrey Ferrell is one of the originators of the modern practice of Form-Based Codes. His work ranges from site-specific urban designs to zoning-toolkits to replace Euclidean zones – development regulations that emphasize clarity for end-users. His experience with adopted municipal form-based codes goes back to 1991 with the Metropolitan Dade County Traditional Neighborhood Ordinance, and his experience includes the master plan & form-based code for the redevelopment of the Columbia Pike Corridor in Arlington, Virginia. His firm’s Form-Based Codes for the Farmers Branch, Texas, Station Area and Heart of Peoria Form-Districts in Peoria, Illinois, received the Richard Driehaus Form-Based Code Award in 2007 and 2010, respectively. Ferrell Madden’s work is featured in the books Form-Based Codes, The New Urbanism, and Retrofitting Suburbia.

Marta Goldsmith is Director of the Form-Based Codes Institute where she oversees FBCI’s technical
assistance, class offerings, award program and other activities. Prior to joining Smart Growth America, Ms. Goldsmith was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at LRG, Inc. a public affairs and nonprofit management firm. Ms. Goldsmith has served as Senior Adviser to the Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, GSA and as Chief Operating Officer of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a global NGO that advises cities in emerging economies on sustainable transport and urban development projects.

Marina Khoury is an expert in sustainable urban redevelopment, regional planning, transit-oriented developments, new towns and resorts, affordable housing and form-based codes. As a partner at DPZ Partners, she has been Director of its Washington D.C. area office since 2007 where she has been acting Town Architect for Kentlands, one of the first New Urbanist community in the U.S. A licensed architect and fluent in several languages, Khoury has worked on the design and implementation of projects in the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East including ground-breaking new codes around the world that mandate resilient urbanism. She speaks globally widely on issues related to Smart Growth and affordable, sustainable, and walkable communities. Marina is one of 20 members on the Expert Committee of Global Forum on Human Settlements (UNEP-GFHS) International Green Model City (IGMC) Initiative, under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  Marina is also active in Washington area civic groups, including the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), where she served as a Board member of the CNU-DC chapter from 2007-2012. She currently serves on the following Boards: Chair of the Executive Board of Smart Growth America’s Form-Based Code Institute (FBCI), and Board Member the Center for Applied Transect Study (CATS). She is a member of the New Urban Guild and a LEED Accredited professional.  Most recently, Marina spoke at the United Nations in New York, for the 10thanniversary of the Global Forum for Human Settlements.

Steve Potvin holds a bachelor’s degree in urban planning (including international training) and a master’s degree in urban studies. He has been working in the fields of urban planning and architecture since 2002.

Mr. Potvin boasts significant experience in the municipal sector, having served as director of urban planning for the City of Saguenay (borough of Chicoutimi) and, more recently, as head of the urban planning department for the City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

Steve Potvin also specializes in the field of architectural heritage. In fact, he has completed a master’s thesis on infill residential construction in the traditional urban fabric of the Plateau Mont-Royal borough. From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Potvin worked as a research assistant for Mr. Luc Noppen, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage. In recent years, Mr. Potvin has focused his efforts on adapting the principles of the Form-Based Code to the Quebec land-planning context.

Chris Zimmerman

Christopher Zimmerman is Vice President for Economic Development at Smart Growth America, and Director of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. In this capacity he provides technical assistance to local governments, regional agencies, and states, and conducts research on the interrelationships between land use, transportation, and development policies. He particularly focuses on the economic and fiscal impact of these policies on localities and regions.

To see all FBCI instructors, please visit our website, www.formbasedcodes.org

Registration Fees


Early Bird                 $695 CAD / $528 USD
Regular                     $845 CAD / $642 USD


Early Bird                 $615 CAD / $467 USD
Regular                     $740 CAD / $562 USD

*Exchange rate as of 7/5/18: $1.00 CAD = $0.76 USD (estimate)

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Discounts available for group registrations.

Contact FBCI for more information.

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