Past-Present-Future

This page of the website is a portal through an existing city neighborhood to a world of codes. We present one or more photographs of current conditions in the study area. There are numbered pop-ups highlighting some of the plans, standards and zoning codes that helped create or protect these conditions. We also link to an example of a contemporary form-based code (SmartCode v9) to compare the present reality of our our study areas with progressive coding practice. We will concentrate on three essential building-scale components of urbanism - height, setback, and frontage type - and one community-scale component - thoroughfare type.

For those who wish to delve deeper into research of codes, there are also numerous external links to primary sources.

Codes in Real Life also provides a protocol for users to photograph and collect their own material from other cities and post them here, or on your own sites, in a similar format. The protocol includes instructions and blank forms for performing an urban analysis called a Synoptic Survey to extract the DNA of any existing place for a future code.

We have provided three examples to get you started:

Philadelphia, PA - traditional mixed use neighborhood
Coral Gables, FL - walkable residential area
Anywhere, USA - conventional Euclidean (separated-use) zoning ordinance and the result

Click on the place image to begin your journey.