• A code transforms a commercial strip corridor

    “Thanks to skilled designers, a clear, implementable code, and a truly capable client, this plan is getting built, and well.”
    First built over 200 years ago as a toll road connecting Washington DC to greater Virginia, Columbia Pike now serves as a direct route to the Pentagon and other capital landmarks. Until recently, this Arlington, Virginia, thoroughfare was an aging commercial strip stifled by outdated zoning...Read more
  • We need code reform: How do we get there?

    Focusing attention on downtown, areas facing heavy development pressure, and neighborhood centers can help.
    We know that traditional zoning and development codes can be harmful to building strong, prosperous communities. In Michigan, we have major statewide initiatives to support locals in wrestling their regulations around to something that does what they want: Redevelopment Ready Communities helps...Read more
  • A sidewalk to connect our fractured nation

    It's easy to divide the country into those who have sidewalks, and vote one way, and those who do not, and vote another way. Yet sidewalks, and all they symbolize, are gaining political recognition.
    Nate Silver, the celebrated election prognosticator, Tweeted during the 2012 presidential race: "Heuristic: if a place has sidewalks, it votes Democratic. Otherwise, it votes Republican." Nate Silver is an astute analyst, and his observation mostly rings true in 2016. The presence of sidewalks is a...Read more
  • In praise of the existing building code

    These are buildings with tremendous intrinsic value that have been standing and functioning for over a hundred years, but are technically unusable according to current building codes.
    We are very big fans of the International Existing Building Code. This is a very special code that allows for flexibility in renovating and reusing existing buildings. One major challenge with any new code is that existing buildings often don’t meet new requirements. Retrofitting existing buildings...Read more