Project Background

Smart Codes provides an overview of the structure of land-development regulations and is a guide to the development of model smart growth ordinances, including models that may be adapted by local governments.

The model codes are ordinances and regulations that advance smart growth objectives in towns, cities, and counties. Smart growth regulations encourage a mix of uses, the preservation of open spaces and environmentally sensitive areas, a range of housing types and transportation options, and predictable development review processes.

Because smart growth regulations lead to more transportation options and more compact, mixed use development, they inevitably have public health implications; they encourage walking, bicycling, and human interaction, with the potential to support more active, socially engaged lifestyles that result in better physical and mental health.

Project Details

The model ordinances and commentary developed as part of this project are of vital use to planners, smart growth advocates, and others who want to know how their community can amend its ordinances to advance smart growth.

The model codes go well beyond promoting the concepts of smart growth — they move into the fundamental repair of the regulatory system. They go to the heart of what needs to be done operationally in the United States if we are serious about smart growth.

Smart Codes: Model Land-Development Regulations

PAS 556

Local policymakers, such as mayors, city council members, and planning commissioners, can use this report to familiarize themselves with the contents of land-development regulations; alternative ways to update such regulations; methods to incorporate smart growth objectives; and particular types of smart growth ordinances. Professional planners can use this report to assist policymakers in understanding both land-development regulation and the formulation of ordinances meeting smart growth objectives.