Form-Based Codes (FBCs)

Description: Form-Based Codes (FBCs) can either replace or supplement standard text-based zoning, subdivision and other local regulations and are a method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form. These codes are regulatory documents that prescribe a fundamentally different vision of how development should occur. Focused more on the form of development rather than the use, FBCs use a larger neighborhood perspective to determine the mass of buildings, their design elements, connection between sites, and their relationship to the public realm. FBCs are particularly well-suited to New England communities for maintaining and building upon the character of villages, downtowns and town centers. FBCs may provide the best innovative tools and regulatory techniques available to address these goals. This module of the Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit provides an overview of form-based codes, bylaw examples, case studies and a slideshow.

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Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

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