The Cincinnati Form-Based Code led by Opticos was awarded the Grand Prize for Best Planning Tool or Process at the Congress for the New Urbanism’s 13th Annual Charter Awards in Buffalo, N.Y., during CNU’s annual Congress, June 4 – 7.“
As the application of Form-Based Codes in major cities becomes more prevalent, it is important to recognize the best examples—the state of the art,” said juror Elizabeth Plater Zyberk.
Cincinnati’s Form-Based Code, one of the largest of its kind in the country, was adopted last year. It was designed to spur neighborhood revitalization in Cincinnati’s urban neighborhoods through pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development, while preserving the city’s historic charm. Cincinnati has lost 40% of its population and the FBC is seen as a tool to encourage private investment.
Opticos led a large team of national and local consultants to complete the Form-Based Code.“[The Cincinnati FBC] reinforces Cincinnati’s historic urban patterns with guidance for appropriate infill and predictable redevelopment building. A rigorous structure of community type, elements, intent, and policy facilitates the choices to be determined by each neighborhood for preservation, evolution or transformation,” Zyberk added.
The Form-Based Code was carefully coordinated with Cincinnati’s comprehensive plan through the integration of walkable urban place types. It is also expected to speed up development by streamlining the permit and approval process.