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Sandy SorlienThe Neighborhood Conservation Code (NCC) was created because many communities with walkable urban patterns are not protected by their current zoning codes. The human-scale character and safe walkability of some of our best city neighborhoods and small towns are being eroded lot by lot, by garage frontages, anti-urban setbacks, and blank walls. It is common that these frontages are actually permitted under current use-based ordinances. Many older villages were formed by a beloved small-lot pattern that cannot be replicated under current codes that mandate larger minimum lot sizes and deeper front setbacks. The NCC provides protection - conservation - for such neighborhoods.

The Neighborhood Conservation Code is based on the model SmartCode in-house Version 9.5 by DPZ & Company and Sandy Sorlien of Smartcode Local. The SmartCode is a transect-based and form-based code that incorporates a range of environmental techniques. The full SmartCode, available as freeware, is a unified development ordinance for all scales of design, from regional planning on down to the building frontage.

The streamlined Neighborhood Conservation Code is intended primarily for the mapping and zoning of existing urbanism. It protects and completes traditional neighborhood patterns while discouraging sprawl patterns, thereby conserving open lands along with neighborhoods. The NCC is a model code that may be customized for any existing walkable neighborhoods, including downtowns, as well as areas that have a mix of both walkable and unwalkable patterns, as most places do.

Download the NCC here:
PDFs | InDesign editable file











Center for Applied Transect Studies

SmartCode Version 9 and Manual

Transect Collection Photographic Resource


CNU 23:
Meeting the Demand
for Walkable Places

Dallas, Texas, 2015
Wed. 4/29 11:30 AM
CNU Core session,
Transect & Coding