Oct 012012

Development in Downtown Woodstock has been guided by a form-based code for nearly a decade.
Copyright 2012 Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates

Most of the development and building codes today were originally created to improve public health. During the 19th and early 20th century, they were used to address infectious diseases and other health risks associated with pollution and poor working or living conditions. While they were effective at addressing the health concerns of the time, many of today’s codes are contributing to the public health challenge of the 21st century: obesity and its impact on chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. At its heart, the New Urbanism movement is about making communities more walkable, more bikeable, and ultimately healthier. If we are to create communities that are no longer auto-oriented, but rather, encourage physical activity, then we must tackle the complex challenge of code reform.

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