header image

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

French – English simultaneous interpretation available

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 – 11:30 AM Urban Form Basics: Streets/Street Space 

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

11:30 AM – 12:15 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.

12:15 – 1:00PM Lunch on Your Own/ Informal Discussion with Instructors
1:00 – 1:30 PM Urban Form Basics: The Urban Block 

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

1:30 – 2:15 PM Small-Scale 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.
2:15 – 3:00 PM Large-Scale Urban Design Examples: Neighborhoods Comprising a City 

Topics covered: 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: Creating a Vision and Illustrative Plan 

Topics covered:  This is the first of a two-part exercise that explores the fundamental process of form-based coding.  Instructions will work with class participants translate a community vision into form-based regulations. Class participants will learn how to create a vision and extract the necessary information to decide what to regulate and the degree of change needed to achieve the outcomes embodied in the community vision.

In this exercise, participants will create a Vision/Illustrative Plan for a set of urban blocks. The resulting plan will be the basis for Exercise Two, which will create a regulatory framework that will achieve the vision.

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 Exercise One Instructor Comments
9:30 – 10:30 AM FBCs : Creativity and Constraints 

Topics covered:  What a code controls and doesn’t control, creativity in the “street wall,” and how it depends on the code you write — an FBC is not a design guideline.  FBCs and an architect’s license for creativity, when push comes to shove.

10:30 – 10:45 AM Break
10:45 – 12:00 PM Local Perspective on Form-Based Coding

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

12:00 – 12:45 PM Lunch on Your Own / Informal Discussion with Instructors
12:45 – 1:45 PM Regulating: Theory and Practice 

Topics Covered:  How the neighborhoods and their subcomponents (streets, buildings and blocks) are assembled to create a coding map, today and in the future.

1:45 – 3:30 PM Exercise Two: Create / Choose Regulations 

Topics covered:  Synthesizing and coding the fundamental elements that form the character of the streets.  This will include a discussion of street space and building form and function in three dimensions.

3:30 – 3:45 PM Break
3:45 – 4:15 PM Exercise Two Instructor Comments — All Instructors
4:15 – 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.  Sea-level rise.  Energy policy, tactical urbanism 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 a partner at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company and Director of its Washington D.C. office since 2007.  She is a licensed architect and town planner with 20 years of professional practice. Her 17 years at DPZ have brought her extensive national and international experience in sustainable development ranging from regional plans to new community and redevelopment plans and regulations, to building designs including affordable housing. Fluent in several languages, she has designed and managed projects across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, including new communities ranging in size from 50 to 2,000 acres, brownfield redevelopment, agricultural urbanism, and form-based zoning codes, among them Miami 21. Her experience includes managing complex public projects and teams, leading charrettes, and guiding approvals processes.  She speaks widely on issues related to smart growth and creating affordable, sustainable, and walkable communities.

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)

Register now!

Discounts available for group registrations.

Contact FBCI for more information.

Thanks to our co-sponsors!