In case anyone in the planning world hasn’t heard yet, Miami recently approved Miami 21, making it the largest city in the world to approve a form-based code. Read about it on the Miami Herald, the Congress for the New Urbanism, Planetizen, and Streetsblog. After four years of debate, editing, and over 100 neighborhood meetings, the commissioners voted 4-1 to pass this plan which will encourage walkability, mixed use, concealed parking, and an appropriate scale of development. Mayor Manny Diaz said that this plan will finally allow Miami to be classified with New York, Chicago and Paris as great cities of the world. “I’m going to tell you that history will judge us right,” he said. The code is based on the SmartCode template, adapted to have a variety of higher-intensity transect zones for the many skyscrapers of Miami. This vote is the culmination of years of work from Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk of the University of Miami and Duany Plater-Zyberk, as well as city staff and others. Miami leads a growing trend of large cities adopting form-based code, with Denver close on its heels. Miami will be a living laboratory to test the effects of form-based code on large cities. This is the greatest victory yet for form-based codes and arguably one of the greatest for the New Urbanism movement as a whole.
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