Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning

Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Cornelius Nurwosoo, PhD

Abstract

Form-based codes are evaluated with criteria often requiring additional clarification. To better identify form-based code evaluation criteria, this thesis identifies the major intentions of form-based codes from the literature and focuses on the first intention, quality of life. The form-based code literature relates quality of life to three principles with underlying parameters: neighborhood with a center and edge, proximity to daily needs, and walkability. Neighborhood refers to the identification of walkable districts of about .25 mile radius with a clear center and edge. Proximity to daily needs requires diversity of uses in proximity to residential uses so that residents travel short distances to address daily needs. Walkability is a more complex principle with numerous impacting parameters effective only when working in tandem with each other. A selection of six case studies from award-wining form-based codes test the presence of the three quality of life principles in form-based code practice and the findings are discussed. All six case studies incorporated the three quality of life principles with some differences in all form-based planning process phases. Neighborhood is used as equivalent to a .25 mile pedestrian shed. The value of the concept of neighborhood edge in from-based codes remains unclear, however, since few case studies included it and needs to be explored further. Neighborhood with a center and edge therefore can be rephrased to a .25 mile pedestrian shed with a center. The .25 mile pedestrian shed alone is a fundamental parameter in all 3 quality of life principles and all case studies incorporated this parameter. Proximity to daily needs parameters as identified are also incorporated in all case studies. Walkability parameters that require building adaptations to walkable environments were present in all case studies. Walkability parameters, however, addressing standards for sidewalks and streets, were uncommon in some studies and, as a result, application of walkability parameters varied across case studies. Therefore, satisfying the quality of life form-based code intention, the 3 principles of pedestrian shed with a center, proximity to daily needs, and walkability can be used as part of the set of criteria to assess form-based codes. All 3 principles point to the direction of sustainability in an effort to create cities that are efficient to manage and highly appropriate for daily human function.

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