The Codes

Title Author Datesort icon Place Description
Ibn Abu Zaid's code Ibn Abu Zaid 10th century Tunisia Ibn Abu Zaid's codes from the 10th century include complete details of construction and building codes, and matters related to cities.
Ibn al-Imam treatise Ibn al-Imam 10th century Mediterannean The treatise of Ibn al-Imam (died 996 A.D.) is an early code from Islamic culture in Spain, dating from the late 10th century.
The Zahringer Foundations The Zahringer Family 1122 Germany 1. market thoroughfare must be 75-100 ft. wide and run the length of town gates 2. absence of other interior open spaces 3. the homestead was the planning module 4. creation of property taxation units 5. grid iron development with harmonic proportions (2:3 and 3:5) 6. public buildings kept separate from the main street 7. fortresses at corners and side walls 8. introduction of a sewage system
Reggimento of the Commune 1206, 1287 Italy - Bologna Ring of trenches ordered to protect homes and churches in the suburbs in 1206. Walls ordered to protect the suburbs in 1287.
Dominican Rules on Architecture Preachers at Bologna 1220 Italy - Bologna “Let our brothers have moderate and humble houses so that they should neither burden themselves with expenses, not that others—secular or religious—should be scandalized by our sumptuous buildings.”
Constitutional Amendment to the Dominican Rules on Architecture Dominican Order 1228-1300 Europe (Based off of General Chapter Meeting in Paris, but edited and approved in many places over several years) “Let our brothers have moderate and humble houses in such a manner that the walls of houses without a loft should not exceed 12 pedes in height and with a loft 20, the church 30. Neither should it be vaulted in stone, except perhaps over the choir and sacristy. If anyone contravenes in anyway, he will be subject to punishment corresponding to the more grievous fault.”
Statutes of 1249, 1250 Bologna 1249, 1250 Italy - Bologna Property owners must maintain porticos at a height of 7ft. from the ground so that a man may ride a horse underneath it. Prohibits excavation, or digging in order to achieve this height and imposes a fine for violations. The latter law was enacted to free streets of encumbrances and sever later ordinances further regulate height and material.
Towers of Bologna Laws 1256, 1265 Italy - Bologna Regulates against the demolition of towers in order to preserve the character of the city. Also limits the height of towers to 15 ponti (or, 21 m.).
Constitutional Deletion to the Dominican Rules on Architecture 1300 Europe Removed restrictions on vaulting height and materials because of an (1) inability to enforce them, and (2) wood vaulting was more expensive to maintain because of fire hazards. Maintained the restrictions on decoration.
Hexa-biblos (“six books”) Harmenopoulos, Constantine 14th century Greece - Thessaloniki The last code of the old Roman Empire.
Ibn al-Rami code; includes Ibn al-Imam’s lost treatise Ibn al-Rami and Ibn al-Imam 14th century Tunisia "A master builder by the name of Ibn al-Rami wrote a complete treatise on building construction. He used a lot of the material ... from those earlier Arabic manuscripts, including Ibn al-Imam’s manuscript. Plus, he included his own experiences and interpretations from being a master builder" (Hakim, 2002, Byzantine and Islamic Codes from the Mediterranean).
The Laws of the Indies King Phillip II of Spain (and others) 1573 Spanish colonies in America (Indies) These are the codes that concern founding of new towns throughout the Spanish colonies.
An Act for Rebuilding the City of London John Raithby (editor) 1667 England The Rebuilding of London Act 1667 is an Act of the Parliament of England passed in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London. This Act regulated the rebuilding as well as authorising the City of London Corporation to reopen and widen roads.
The Law for Regulating Streets and Water Courses in the Citys and Towns of This Government Legislature of Pennsylvania 1698 United States - Philadelphia, PA This code regulates maintenance of urban infrastructure.
Elizabethan Proclamations Elizabeth I 16th century England - London Some proclamations of Queen Elizabeth I legislated building in London. They addressed issues such as building new structures and subdividing exiting ones, building materials, etc.
Edenton, NC 1722 United States - Edenton, NC
Hillsborough, NC 1754 Unites States- Hillsborough, NC
New Town James Craig 1765-1850 Scotland - Edinburgh A city extension, designed on a basic grid pattern with numerous squares, crescents, and terminal vistas, built on high ground on the opposite side of a polluted loch, which was drained and developed as a large public garden. Specifies building materials and building heights and roof pitches.
Commentaries on the Laws of England William Blackstone 1768 England An influential 18th century treatise on the common law of England.
Building Act of London William Meymott 1774 England - London A comprehensive set of building regulations covering the whole built-up area that forced conformity on artisan builders.
Code for Washington George Washington 1791 United States - Washington, D.C. These are building codes which regulate the relationship of the building with the street as well as the building form, thus influence the street character.
Plan for Washington, D.C. Pierre Charles L'Enfant 1791 United States - Washington, D.C. This is the city plan designed by architect and engineer L’Enfant regulating the streets and avenues with emphasis on public buildings and areas.
Plan for Laying Out Towns and Townships Granville Sharp 1794 England - London From John Reps: “Sharp (1735-1813) was a native of Durham, England, the grandson of the archbishop of York…In 1783 he broached the idea of founding a colony for freed slaves in Africa, and with his associates launched such a project in 1787. This venture proved more difficult than anticipated, and in 1808 the crown took over its affairs. Doubtless Sharp drew on this experience in working out the details of the proposed community that he described and illustrated in the tract from which this reading comes. In preparing his town plan Sharp may have relied also on information about the town of Savannah, Georgia, for by the time he wrote Sharp had corresponded with Savannah's founder, James Oglethorpe, who may have passed on to Sharp his own ideas about town planning.” From
Jacobean Proclamations James I 17th century England - London A proclamation concerning buildings in, and about London.
Report from the Poor Law Commissioners on an Inquiry into the Sanitary Conditions of the
Labouring Population of Great Britain Edwin Chadwick 1842 England This famous report of health conditions of the poor in London helped the passage of the Public Health Act of 1848.
Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847 Parliament 1847 England & Ireland Regulations for: Sewers, House Drains, Paving, New Streets, Naming Streets, Ruinous or Dangerous Buildings, Cleansing Streets, Fire, Ventilation, Lodging Houses, Lighting, Water, Slaughter-houses.
Vienna Building Code - Bauordnung für die k.k. Reichsstadt und Residenzstadt Wien Austro-Hungary Goverment 1859 Austria - Vienna Building code for the city of Vienna, the first in the nineteenth century. Includes codes related to street widths, heights of buildings, size of courts, etc.
Public Health Acts 1875 William Cunningham Glen and Alexander Glen 1875 England - London This act consolidated all acts related to public health in England including regulations for water infrastucture, streets and buildings, public space, and street lighting.
An Essay on Bylaws, with an Appendix Containing Model Bylaws Issued by the Board of Trade, The Education Department, and the Local Government Board William Golden Lumley 1877 England This is a book of model by laws, including regulations pertaining to new streets and buildings.
Metropolitan Commons Act 1878 Parliament 1878 England - London Extends the Commons act to Metropolitan (the London boroughs) Commons.
Commons Act 1879 Parliament 1879 England - London Surplus rents (profits) from recreation grounds can only be applied to improvements of recreation grounds in that neighborhood, maintaining that commons, or purchasing additional land for recreation grounds in that neighborhood.
Settled Land Act 1882 Parliament 1882 Ireland The purpose of this act was to promote development and maintenance of privately owned land (much of which was neglected). The act enumerated several improvements that could be financed with Capital Trust Money including transportation, infrastructure, residential, commons, and waterways.
Housing of the Working Classes Act Parliament 1890 England - London This act consolidated a series of housing acts during a period of social reform in the late 1800s that aimed to decrease density in overcrowded areas. Overcrowding was officially defined as having more than two persons per room and city records of percent overcrowded were kept. The act contained three sections: (1) neighborhood clearance and redevelopment, (1) individual housing inspection and demolition, and (3) new social housing development.
The London Building Acts Fletcher, Banister 1894-1914 England - London The London building acts, including the London building act, 1894; the amendment acts of 1898 and 1905; L.C.C. general power acts, 1908 and 1909; the Cinematograph act, 1909; Town planning act, etc.; a tect-book on the law relating to building in the metropolis, for the use of acrchitects, surveyors, builders, etc. together with the current by-laws, standing orders, and regulations of the London County council, the corporation of the city of London.
Congested Districts Act 1897 Parliament 1897 Scotland Created the Congested Districts Board to administer funds to develop agriculture and industry as well as improve infrastructure such as streets and bridges to facilitate migration out of cities.
Newtown, NC 18th century United States - Wilmington, NC
General Building Law of Saxony Building Police, Saxony 1900 Saxony, Germany General Building Law of Saxony, Quoted in The Improvement of the Dwellings and Surroundings of the People: The Example of Germany, by T.C. Horsfall, 1904.
Hampstead Garden Suburb Act The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust 1906 England - London The act was passed to overcome the restrictions imposed by the bye-laws regulated the neighborhood character by defining widths of roads and drives, relationships of houses with each other, and their distance to roads, etc.
Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907 Governmental documents 1907 Ireland Numerous acts dealing with public health were passed from 1849 to 1874; This one includes regulations on streets and buildings.
Housing and Town Planning in Great Britain, including the Housing, Town Planning Act W. Addington Willis 1910 England This treatise by Willis explains the (British) Housing and Town Planning Act of 1909, along with the Housing of the Working Classes act of 1890 and amendments provided in the Housing of the Working Classes Act of 1903. The text of each of these laws is provided as appendices.
Forest Hills Gardens Sage Foundation Homes Company 1911 United States - Queens, NY This declaration comprises restrictions set for the subdivision developments of Forest Hills in Queens.
Village of Euclid Zoning Ordinance Village of Euclid, Ohio 1922 Euclid, Ohio This is the original zoning code of Euclid, Ohio, which was the basis of the 1926 U.S. Supreme Court case.
Orlando, Florida City Plan Harlan, Bartholomew & Associates 1926 United States - Orlando, FL This is an early plan for Orlando, FL, fairly typical of Bartholomew's work. It includes some ordinances for development.
Shaker Heights Village Standards Van Sweringen Brothers 1928, 2nd ed. United States - Shaker Heights Village, OH Design standards for an exemplary early suburb.
The Neighborhood Unit Clarence Perry 1929 United States - New York These sections present principles and schemes for residential districts with different characters. Perry describes how “the neighborhood unit” should look like for a fulfilling community.
1932 Classification of Buildings Committee on Types of Dwellings of the President Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership 1932 United States This table provides a classification of building forms for single-family, two-family, and multi-family dwellings.
Planning Profitable Neighborhoods Federal Housing Administration 1938 United States These principles were presented as the fundamental principles and standards for developers to make communities more desirable places. They regulate street layouts as well as land uses in neighborhoods.
Planning Neighborhoods for Small Houses Federal Housing Administration 1938 United States This bulletin attempts to set forth planning principles to be followed for neighborhoods that are financially secure and attractive as well as enjoyable and satisfying. Of specific concern are neighborhoods for low priced dwellings.
Successful Subdivisions Federal Housing Administration 1940 United States This bulletin attempts to set forth planning principles for subdivisions for low-cost houses to provide economy and protection against neighborhood blight. These principles are stated to be adjustable to meet various site conditions.
Housing Construction Act of 1950 1950-1960 West Germany Government loans and grants were directed to non-profit housing developers for the purpose of building affordable housing. Rents were set by the state and subsidies were given to developers to make rents economically feasible. Between 1950-1960, about two thirds of all construction was social and low to moderate income housing.
A Pattern Language Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein 1977 United States This is one of the first attempts at a universal code for urbanism. It consists of a vocabulary of 'patterns'. Some are supportive of neighborhood structure.
Performance Zoning Lane Kendig with Susan Connor, Cranston Byrd, and Judy Heyman 1980 United States This is the manual that introduced the concept of performance zoning. It includes a complete model ordinance.
Charte Architecturale de Rochefort 1981 France This manual seeks to guide the character of new development in Rochefort through an analysis of its historical patterns of building.
Responsive Environments Ian Bentley, Alan Alcock, Sue McGlynn, Paul Murrain, Graham Smith 1985 England This is a manual for professional planners and designers. Its chapters offer principles concerning permeability, variety, robustness, visual appropriateness, richness, and personalization.
Seaside Urban Code Duany, A. & Plater-Zyberk, E. 1986 United States - Seaside, FL A code prescribing the placing of buildings for the Town of Seaside, Florida--the first new town to be built successfully in the United States in over fifty years. This code includes setbacks, lots lines, yards, porches and balconies, and parking.
University Park at MIT Urban Design Guidelines N.A. 1987 United States - Cambridge, MA This is a set of urban design guidelines for an area of university campus development.
A City of Gardens Christopher Alexander, Daniel Solomon, Kathryn Clarke, 1988 United States - Pasadena, CA This is a very specific code for a certain urban type. It develops a specific design theme across elements and across zones.
The Growth Management Handbook Samuel Hamill Jr., John Keene, David Kinsey, and Roger Lewis 1989 United States This is a manual for planners writing ordinances. It advocates a 'managed growth' philosophy compatible with the design aspects of neighborhood structure.
A Design Primer for Cities and Towns Anne Mackin and Alex Krieger 1989 United States This is a manual directed at a community audience. It gives information on town planning and design, with suggestions for how communities can get the urbanism they desire.
The Subdivision and Site Plan Handbook David Listokin and Carole Walker 1989 United States - New Jersey This was a model ordinance for the State of New Jersey, republished for a national target audience.
Model Land Development Code for Florida Cities and Counties Center For Governmental Responsibility, U. of Florida & Henigar and Ray Engineering Associates 1989 United States - Florida This is a model development code developed to assist local governments complying with Florida's growth management laws. It includes certain development bonuses within mixed use and urban districts and provides a traditional neighborhood district intended as a floating zone.
The Ahwahnee Principles Local Government Commission et al. 1991 United States These are principles indistinguishable from a checklist. The 23 principles could easily become a code as if structured with activating language. This document advocates the rethinking of our patterns of development. It is supportive of neighborhood structure.
Rural Village Ordinance Loudoun County Planning Department, Milton J. Herd, Director 1991 United States - Loudoun County, VA This is an ordinance for the creation of rural villages along with preservation of outlying rural lands.
Transit-Oriented Development Guidelines Calthorpe Associates 1992 United States - San Diego, CA This is a complete TOD ordinance. Each page has a code element, discussion, and justification. The core area is compatible with neighborhood provisions.
Yountville Design Document Solomon, Inc. 1992 United States - Yountville, CA A document that provides design standards from neighborhood to building level, even prescribing specific sites.
City of Mesa, Zoning Ordinance Pamphlets: Multiple Residence Districts City of Mesa Community Development Department 1993 United States - Mesa, AZ This is a double-sided single page pamphlet explaining uses in three residential zoning districts.
Cordova Town Design Guidelines Looney Ricks Kiss Architects, Inc. 1994 United States - Cordova, TN This is four sheets showing site planning and architectural design guidelines.
Visions for a New American Dream Anton C. Nelessen 1994 United States This is a manual for the planning and design of small communities. It is supportive of neighborhood structure. The book moves from concept to principles to giving a sample ordinance.
Vision/Reality: Strategies for Community Change Calthorpe, 1994 United States This is a HUD manual that provides information to local community partners. It explains neighborhood concepts. It is not a code.
Sustainable Suburb Study Calgary Planning and Building Department Staff 1995 Calgary, Canada This document stops short of being a code, for political reasons intentionally remaining a guideline. It strongly enforces the neighborhood structure.
A Primer on Sustainable Building Dianna Lopez Barnett with William D. Browning 1995 United States This book is a guide for environmentally sustainable design. It includes checklists that can be incorporated into a zoning ordinance.
The Jordan Tract Dover, Kohl & Duany Plater-Zyberk 1995 United States - Mount Pleasant, SC A code for neighborhood development
Building with Nantucket in Mind: Guidelines for Protecting the Historic Architecture and Landscape of Nantucket Island J. Christopher Lang 1995 United States - Nantucket Island, MA A design manual providing guidelines for historic preservation and for traditional building design.
Celebrating Our Heritage, Planning Our Future Belmont Planning Department/Duany Plater-Zyberk 1995 United States - Belmont, CA This ordinance includes a traditional neighborhood district.
Making House Home Todd Rhoades, Design Center for American Urban Landscape 1996 United States This is an accessible manual addressing neighborhood and block level factors of quality residential environments. Provides site evaluation and site design guidelines.
Building Livable Communities: A Policymaker's Guide to Transit-Oriented Development Judy Corbett and Paul Zykofsky 1996 United States This is a manual that provides the rationale, guidelines, implementation tools, checklists, and case studies for transit-oriented development.
Celebration Pattern Book Urban Design Associates 1997 United States This pattern book deals with architectural syntax and the placement of (residential) buildings on lots.
The Connected City Robert Cowan 1997 England This is a pamphlet directed at citizens. It expresses the familiar intent of reforming conventional suburban development practices to make urbanism more livable.
Traditional Village Ordinance Correa, Valle & Valle 1997 United States - Monroe County, FL This is a TND ordinance written for small villages. There is no other model except for neighborhoods here.
Downtown Los Angeles Strategic Plan Moule & Polyzoides, Plater-Zyberk, Solomon, et al. 1997 United States - Los Angeles, CA This is not a code but a strategic plan, but has elements that could easily be transformed into a code. It applies aspects of a neighborhood system on an existing downtown.
Urban Design Guidelines for the Redevelopment of the Naval Training Center Main Base A. Nelessen Associates 1997 United States - Orlando, FL Extensive urban design guidelines for large-scale redevelopment project.
Southeast Orlando Development Plan: Development Guidelines and Standards Calthorpe Associates 1997 United States - Orlando, FL Planning and development guidelines for community development in Southeast Orlando.
People Places: Guidelines for Open Space Clare Cooper Marcus and Carolyn Francis, eds. 1998 United States This is a book on urban open space design. The checklists at the end of each chapter are generally compatible with neighborhood structure.
A Landscape of Choice The Growth Alternatives Alliance 1998 United States - Fresno County, CA A document that offers strategies, principles, and policy recommendations for a growing agricultural region.
Orlando Naval Training Center Planned Development Application Orlando NTC Partners 1998 United States - Orlando, FL This is an application for a master planned redevelopment of a decommissioned naval center.
Downtown Kendall Urban Center District Dover, Kohl & Partners 1999 United States - Miami-Dade County, FL Ordinance for urban center focusing on building massing and frontage requirements for sub-districts.
Onondaga County Settlement Plan Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company 1999 United States - New York A charrette report describing twelve guidelines for a county plan.
The Ten Books on Architecture Vitruvius 1st Century BC Various This chapter describes Vitruvius’ ideas on the siting of new towns.
City of Winter Springs Town Center District Code Dover, Kohl & Partners 2000 United States - Winter Springs, FL This is a code that governs street design, parking, and building relationships to parks and classes of streets as well as signage and architectural elements. Development under the code is subject to design review.
The Neighborhood Model: Building Block for the Development Areas Torti Gallas and Partners, 2000 United States- County of Albermarle, VA This is a county plan that draws on New Urbanist principles. It includes concepts, principles, examples, and guidelines for implementation.
The Ahwahnee Principles for Smart Economic Development Rick Cole, Trish Kelly, and Judy Corbett with Sharon Sprowls 2001 United States Argues for a 'third wave' of economic development, working on holistic community building strategies in order to sustain a community's economic health. It lists fourteen principles, and chapters provide recommendations and case studies for each.
Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook: Model Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change Stuart Meck, FAICP, General Editor 2002 Chicago, Illinois This Legislative Guidebook contains model statutes for planning and the management of change. The statutes are intended as an update to and rethinking of the Standard City Planning and Zoning Enabling Acts drafted by an advisory committee of the U.S. Department of Commerce in the 1920s ("Standard Acts"), and the American Law Institute's A Model Land Development Code (1976), as well as other model statutes.
City Comforts: How to Build an Urban Village David Sucher 2003 United States This is a manual for citizen-participants in the public process of planning.
SmartCode Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company (DPZ) 2003 United States "The SmartCode is a model transect-based development code available for all scales of planning, from the region to the community to the block and building. The code is intended for local calibration to your town or neighborhood. As a form-based code, the SmartCode keeps towns compact and rural lands open, while reforming the destructive sprawl-producing patterns of separated use zoning" (SmartCode Central)
San Francisco Residential Design Guidelines Dept. of City Planning, San Francisco 2003 United States - San Francisco, CA These Guidelines include principles of urban design to maintain neighborhood identity, preserve historic resources, and enhance the City of San Francisco and its residential neighborhoods.
Model Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulation for Village Development Randall Arendt 2004 Produced by Randall Arendt with colleagues at the Natural Lands Trust. The model ordinance appears in an appendix to the APA PAS Report Crossroads, Hamlet, Village, Town: Design Characteristics of Traditional Neighborhoods, Old and New.
New Orleans Homebuilt Housing Act Andres Duany 2006 United States - New Orleans, LA A code proposal by A. Duany to restore New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
City of Chico, Land Use & Development Regulations - TND Zone R. John Anderson and Paul Crawford 2007 This code was written to entitle Meriam Park. It is a section of the Municipal Code that can be used anywhere else in the city.
ABA Model Land Use Procedures Act Joint Task Force of the State and Local Government and Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Sections of the American Bar Association, led by Edward J. Sullivan 2008 United States Adopted by the American Bar Association in August 2008, the Model Land Use Procedures Act provides state, municipal, and tribal governments with a set of ideal procedures designed to facilitate the enactment and enforcement of land use regulations.
Corymbia Woods Concept Master Plan & Design Code Roberts Day 2008 Australia - Queensland Approved by the Ipswich City Council in Queensland, AU, the Corymbia Woods Design Code is a transect based code which unifies the standards for public streetscape and private domain on a single page.
Plato's Laws Plato 360 BC Greece - Athens Laws governing the construction of new cities
Code of Hammurabi Hammurabi, King of Babylon 3rd Millenium, B.C. Babylon This is the best-preserved ancient law code, enacted by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi. It includes laws about the liabilities of builders.
Justinian’s Code Justinian I, Byzantine Emperor 6th century Eastern Roman Empire The Justinian Code (or Corpus Juris Civilis) is a compilation of Roman law published during the reign of Emperor Justinian I (A.D. 483–565).
Julian of Ascalon’s Treatise of Construction and Design Rules Julian of Ascalon 6th century Palestine "Julian's treatise is a compilation of construction and design rules that address the prevention of nuisances and potential damages to proximate neighbors resulting from building activities associated with change and growth in the built environment" (Hakim, 2001).
Malik's code Malik 8th century Some texts of Imam Malik (712-795) from Medina in Arabia include a number of issues related to building codes and construction matters.
Jindee Design Code Studio LFA and RobertsDay October 2009 Australia - Jindee, Western Australia The design for Jindee was inspired to reflect the 112 hectare site's climatic, topographical and coastal place-making. The design has developed a coding system based on the SmartCode Transect Based Code which will be the first innovative coastal village in the Western Australia Planning system that will ultimately influence productive working relations with government and elected members and for harnessing support for new models in coastal planning, design and delivery.