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Practical Techniques for Sustainable Neighborhoods
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Sandy SorlienSandy Sorlien is principal of Smartcode Local and is a Technical Advisor to the Center for Applied Transect Studies (CATS), a think tank founded to promote understanding of the built environment as part of the natural environment. She also consults for the Fairmount Water Works as an Environmental Educator, connecting the built environment to the health of the watershed.

Sandy is a code writer, editor, and photographer who has coordinated transect-based tools by more than thirty different planning and design firms. In addition to the SmartCode and Neighborhood Conservation Code, she edits supplementary Modules that address building-scale, community-scale, municipal, and regional standards and performance goals. These Modules include Zero Net Energy Buildings, Tree Canopy Cover, Vehicle Miles Traveled, Regional Watersheds, Riparian Buffers, Civic Space, Affordable Housing, Transit Oriented Development, Complete Thoroughfares, Bicycling, Visitability, Sprawl Repair, Signage, and many more. The freeware Modules may be downloaded at CATS.

Sandy lectures widely on form-based codes, transect-based planning, and the calibration of model codes for individual municipalities and private developments. She has photographed the built environment in all fifty U.S. states (resulting in the book Fifty Houses, published by Johns Hopkins in 2002) and has calibrated or reviewed SmartCodes for municipalities in twelve states as well as Mexico, England, Romania, and the Bahamas. Sandy also teaches transect-based and form-based coding techniques to some of the country's most progressive municipal and county planners, urban designers, and architects. She is a member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and is CNU-Accredited.

In 2011, Sandy and CATS launched the Transect Collection image bank, which organizes more than 500 of her photographs by Transect Zone. She has also been photographing and writing about American Main Streets since 2001.

In 2013, after writing the Pocket Code, Sandy joined the Project for Lean Urbanism group. Lean Urbanism "Makes Small Possible" by finding legal workarounds to obstructive bureaucracy, bringing urbanism back to the fine-grained human scale, and enabling small builders and entrepreneurs to compete with Big.

Sandy was born in Philadelphia in 1954 and grew up in King of Prussia before it was a mall. From 1978-1990 she lived in the Philadelphia river wards of Northern Liberties and Queen Village, and since 1990 has lived in the Manayunk-Roxborough section of Philadelphia with her husband John Arnold, a home inspector.

Professional Leadership:
2010-2013 - Transect Codes Council
2008-2010 - Director of Technical Research for the Center for Applied Transect Studies (CATS)
2008-2009 - Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council
2007-present - Smartcode Local master class leader
2004-2010 - Managing Editor for the SmartCode model development code
2008 - Principal Co-Author (with Andrés Duany), SmartCode Version 9 and Manual, New Urban News Publications
2007 - Host Committee, CNU XV national Congress, Philadelphia, PA
2006, 2007 - Urban Lab Leader, Coding for Neighborhood Evolution, Congress for the New Urbanism
2006-07 - SmartCode Pro Sessions - Principal
2005-2008 - SmartCode Workshop - speaker
2005 Codes Team Leader, Mississippi Renewal Forum, Biloxi, MS
2004 National SPE Conference Chair, Photography & Place, Newport RI

Code Finishing - Reviews of draft SmartCodes 2004-2007 for
Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. projects:

Huckelberry Creek, Panama City, FL
Bull Street, Columbia, SC
Independence, Lancaster, PA
Vermilion Parish, LA
Abbeville, LA
Lake Charles, LA
Erath, LA
Delcambre, LA
St. Bernard Parish, LA

Code Review & Finishing
Roxborough (Philadelphia) Neighborhood Conservation Overlay
(passed 2014) with Central Roxborough Civic Association,
Narberth, PA (up for adoption 2015) with Sean Metrick, Montgomery County Planning Commission
South Fork, Colorado (adopted June 2009) with Crabtree Group

SmartCode Calibration and Planning , at onsite charrettes:
2014 Michael Watkins Architect, Leander, TX
2010 Robert Orr & Associates, Damariscotta, ME
DPZ Charlotte, Camden, South Carolina Downtown Walking District
2007 Donald Powers Architects and Cornish Associates, Jamestown, RI
2007 Joanna Alimaniestianu Architects, Bran, Romania
2006 Robert Orr & Associates, Waveland, MS
2006 Fisher & Hall Urban Design, Pass Christian, MS
2006 HDR Town Planning, Gulfport, MS
2006 Jaime Correa & Associates, D'Iberville, MS
2006 DPZ & Co - Gentilly Neighborhood Charrette, New Orleans
2006 DPZ & Co - District One UNOP Charrettes, New Orleans
2006 DPZ & Co - District Six UNOP Charrettes, New Orleans
2005 DPZ & Co - SmartCode Manual & Photography, San Antonio, TX
2005 DPZ & Co - SmartCode Manual & Photography, Montgomery, AL

Form-Based Code Presentations and Workshops (selected):
Form-based code and Transect Planning on-site consultations, Ithaca, NY
CNU Core session, Transect & Coding, CNU 23, Dallas, TX
Lean Codes, Project for Lean Urbanism, CNU 22, Buffalo, NY
Teaching the Watershed, CNU 22, Buffalo, NY
Engaging the Code Critics, CNU 21, Salt Lake City, UT
The Misunderstood Transect, CNU 20, West Palm Beach, FL

Smarter Codes, Smarter Growth, Charlotte, NC
CNU 18, Atlanta GA

APA National Conference, Minneapolis, MN
Smart Growth School, San Francisco, CA
CNU 17, Denver, CO
Andrews University charrette, Great Abaco, Bahamas
Climate Change and Urban Design, CEU Congress, Oslo, Norway
Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission
CNU XVI, Austin TX
CNU XV, Philadelphia, PA
Andrews University charrette, Michigan City, IN
Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, Lincoln, England
City of Ocean Springs, Ocean Springs, MS
University of Miami School of Architecture
CNU XIV, Providence, RI
Andrews University charrette, Saucier, MS
Ayers Saint Gross, Long Beach, MS
Seaside Institute Rebuilding Symposium, Biloxi, MS
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Querétaro, Mexico

Essays and Op-Eds (selected):
"Critics May Miss The Green Point of the SmartCode,"
Planetizen, January 12, 2009
"All Green is Not Good,"
Green Architecture and Urbanism Council Report, December 2007

Photography of Urbanism:
Transect Collection Photographic Resource
Sandy Sorlien Photographs Main Streets book project

2009 CNU Charter Award - The SmartCode (managing editor)
2007 Form-Based Codes Award - Gulfport, MS (charrette team member and initial calibrator)









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