Form-Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America



FBCI is eager to share resources that advance the practice of Form-Based Coding.
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FBCI Codes for Communities

The Form-Based Codes Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of form-based codes to create walkable, mixed-use, socially-integrated communities. The Institute accomplishes its mission through robust education and training, influential research and visible outreach. FBCI Codes for Communities draws on the experience and talents of FBCI leaders to provide a selected Host City with a state-of-the-art form-based code, while also creating a benchmark model for other communities to follow.

Library of Codes

A library like no other, the FBCI Library of Codes is a curated, searchable, online collection of the best form-based codes from a variety of communities across the United States and abroad.

Sample RFQ

The Sample RFQ is a template provided to help local governments and private developers seeking bona fide expert help to create an excellent Form-Based Code find someone who has proven expertise.

Articles & Books

FBCI regularly collects high-quality Articles and Books on all aspects of form-based codes. Many of these resources have been written by members of the FBCI Board of Directors and are available for free.


FBCI supports the work of Partner Organizations advancing the practice of form-based codes. Learn more about these organizations and how they can help you create and implement form-based codes.

Getting Started

Are you a form-based codes novice or looking to strengthen your understanding of FBC fundamentals? Visit Form-Based Codes Defined, a page focused on identifying the main elements that are found in form-based codes.

Standards of Practice for Form-Based Codes

How does one determine if a development regulation is a form-based code and a well-crafted one? On the Standards of Practice for Form-Based Codes page you will find a checklist of factors you can use to examine the quality of form-based codes.

Videos & Slideshows

What Are Form-Based Codes?

What are they and why are they important? This self-guided slideshow gives a basic overview and introduction to form-based codes. The images depict how development governed by form-based codes differs from development governed by traditional zoning. 10-12 minutes.

Form-Based Codes 101

FBCI’s instructors are featured in a new course track on the planning website Planetizen. This short excerpt shows them discussing important aspects of form-based codes.

Form-Based Codes For Communities

A short first-hand account of how form-based codes can benefit your community. Roxanne Qualls served as Mayor of the City of Cincinnati from 1993-1999 and as a member of City Council from 1991-1999 and from 2007-2013. When she returned to City Council in 2007, she focused on initiatives like form-based codes that have been fundamental to building a strong Cincinnati and have resulted in enhanced quality of life, a globally-competitive local economy, and smart management of city resources.

Creating Urban Form:
Conventional and Form-Based codes

This in-depth overview by Bill Spikowski on form-based codes and the history of city zoning positions form-based codes in the greater context of urban development patterns over the past few centuries. A veteran advisor to local governments and a pioneer in the development of form-based codes, Spikowski also presents several case studies on form-based code implementation, and gives an overview of helpful resources.

Visualizing Better Rules

Watch how public spaces can transform with the help of form-based codes. This video presents a series of before and after images of public spaces, with the first image of each series being the final after view. After the first image of each series, the actual image is displayed, followed by various overlays that show step-by-step how form-based codes could be used to transform the space.