The Project for Code Reform

Coding solutions that enable great places

  • South Main | Buena Vista, Colorado
    An inspiring town extension. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Village of Providence | Huntsville, Alabama
    Expanding options for a car-oriented suburban area. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Ponce City Market | Atlanta
    A unique building becomes a hub for historic neighborhoods. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Storrs Center | Mansfield, CT
    A mixed-use center for town and gown. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • UCLA Weyburn | Los Angeles, CA
    From parking lot to urban tour-de-force. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Mercado District | Tucson, Arizona
    A timeless place from the ground up. #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

Why aren’t more cities implementing placemaking strategies, which are proven to expand economic activity, increase mobility, protect the environment, and create more equitable places?

In many cases, its because a municipality’s zoning codes and ordinances make it illegal to create the type of vibrant communities that support jobs, foster economic development, and are attractive places for people to live, work, and play that residents and local leaders are seeking.

The challenge before the placemaking movement now is how to bring coding innovations and changes to the 42,000 units of local government with zoning authority. To date, a limited number of cities have updated their codes, creating inequities between cities and towns with—and without—resources to update their zoning codes to create the foundation for diverse, vibrant places.

CNU’s Project for Code Reform seeks to streamline the code reform process by providing local governments place-specific incremental coding changes that address the most problematic barriers first, build political will, and ultimately create more walkable, prosperous, and equitable places. And to do it in a way that meets planners, mayors, and planning commissioners where they are: politically, financially, and administratively. The Project's incremental approach allows jurisdictions to set their own pace for code changes, allowing them to prioritize their coding efforts, respond to the community’s vision and needs, and allows for greater community learning and understanding.

For more information about the Project or to schedule a coding workshop in your state or city, please contact Kristen Dunphey at kdunphey@cnu.org