SmartCode Intensive Columbia

SmartCode Intensive is an advanced session meant for seasoned urbanists who have studied or used form-based codes intimately. Top experts on the SmartCode will deliver an in depth 6 hour session on the power of this form-based, transect-based unified development model ordinance. The SmartCode and its modules represent the input of countless planners, politicians, developers and citizens — a collective knowledge base that spans decades.

8:30-10 | Building Community Support | Nathan Norris
Developing in the new economy is a new experience. With opportunities to buy into projects at pennies on the dollar, developments that will succeed in the near term target concise unfilled niches. Nathan Norris will review lessons learned from coding reform efforts, and outline various tools to generate the required support.

10:30-12 | Calibration Techniques | Susan Henderson
The SmartCode must be calibrated to the local character of the place. Calibration extracts the DNA of neighborhoods that embody the collective community vision, and enables those parameters at home. Susan Henderson has led numerous SmartCode initiatives, and will walk participants through the critical path to calibration.

1:30-3 | Coding Sustainability | Ben Brown

Beyond green gadgetry or even environmental responsibility, “sustainability” implies endurability and viability on a broad scale. Communities that achieve sustainability on that more comprehensive level are more resilient in the face of unexpected challenges, whether they come from natural or man-made hazards. Ben Brown, a PlaceMakers principal and editor of the “Roadmap to Resilience” report of the Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama in the wake of the BP oil spill, talks about the role of form-based coding in community resilience planning.

3:30-5 | Panel Discussion and Q&A | Nathan Norris, Susan Henderson, and Ben Brown
Panel discussion with the audience will examine where the SmartCode is being implemented around the world and the lessons learned by other places in their calibration and use of the code.

Speaker Bios

Nathan Norris is the Director of Implementation Advisory for PlaceMakers.  Nathan’s expertise is land development; sales; marketing; green building; builders guild formation; plan selection and design generation.  He is a licensed attorney and real estate broker, accomplished speaker and advocate for great placemaking.  He also works with communities on how to leverage their K-12 assets by integrating Smart Growth principles into the school planning, design and management process.  He has served as the Director of Marketing & Sales at both Mt Laurel and the Waters, and has overseen the design process at the Waters.  He is the co-founder of the New Urban Guild, the premier association for the nation’s leading practitioners of traditional architecture and urbanism.  He is a board member of the Transect Codes Council as well as the New Urban Guild Foundation.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his law degree from the University of Alabama.


Susan Henderson, a practicing architect and a published author, led numerous Form-Based Code projects including the inaugural Driehaus Form Based Code Award winner, Leander, Texas – plus FBCs in Taos, New Mexico; Fitchburg, WI; Hutto, TX; Kona, Hawaii; Hilo, Hawaii; El Paso, Texas; Lawrence, Kansas; San Marcos, Texas; New Castle County, Delaware; Bellevue, Kentucky; Lauderhill, Florida; and Early County, Georgia. As a LEED Accredited Professional, she embeds an expertise in sustainability in form-based codes. She is a contributor to the SmartCode & Manual as well as author of Mississippi Renewal Forum: Architecture Report and Traditional Construction Patterns. Susan serves as a board member on the Transect Codes Council. She is a Principal of PlaceMakers, and Director of Design.


Ben Brown A veteran journalist who was on the founding staffs of USA TODAY and Coastal Living magazine, Ben turned his attention to communications support of regional and community planning efforts a decade ago. He was communications director for the landmark Mississippi Renewal Forum charrette after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for the seven-county Mountain Landscapes Initiative in western North Carolina in 2008, and for the Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama in 2010. He is a partner in PlaceMakers LLC, where he is director of client public relations.


The SmartCode Intensive is part of the SCARC/SCAPA Joint Conference, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Colunbia, SC, February 24, 2011 from 8:30am to 5pm. More info at APA SC.

Published in Blog


  1. This looks great.  When does it take place?

  2. Just seeing if anyone was reading! Thanks for the catch, Andrew. It’s at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Colunbia, SC, February 24, 2011 from 8:30am to 5pm. More info at APA SC.

  3. Haha!  Thanks for the contribution…

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