Luis Felipe Gonzalez

MIT Department: Urban Studies and Planning

Undergraduate Institution: Wesleyan University

Faculty Mentor: Siqi Zheng

Research Supervisor: Yingcheng Li

Website: LinkedIn

Biography

My name is Luis Felipe Gonzalez. I was born in Bogota, Colombia but have spent the greater part of my life in South Florida. I am a rising senior at Wesleyan University majoring in Neuroscience & Behavior along with Science in Society. I am interested in issues of power relations, environmentalism, and culture that occur in cities, specifically those of the Global South and East Asia. My current goals in sight are obtaining a fellowship or a job in East Asia to acquire work experience and language skills before applying to graduate schools in the U.S. Outside of academics, I love karaoke, film, concerts, traveling, eating, biking, exercising and dancing.

2018 Research Abstract

The past century of land use policy in the United States has mandated low-density development separated by uses – also known as sprawl. Sprawl has been shown to degrade public, civic space while supporting racial and socioeconomic segregation, and environmentally toxic automobile-dependency. Form Based Codes (FBCs) are an alternative to traditional zoning which places less importance on zoning by uses and instead enforces the development of a diverse, connected, compact, walkable urban realm by regulating building form instead of use.

In 2010, Miami was the largest city in the U.S. to enact FBCs with the aim of developing zoning areas with greater density, mixed-use zones, more transitional zones created by emphasis on form instead of use, and a more predictable physical result based on prescriptive standards. Moreover, Miami-Dade County has employed a hybrid development plan, establishing form-based codes for special urban areas and traditional coding in the remaining areas.

We use a longitudinal study of employment density and housing price in Miami-Dade County to measure the effects of form-based codes on urban economic structure. Our evaluation of the county’s urban form as a result of recently enacted FBCs could inform future developments of FBCs in Miami-Dade and other cities.

  • General motivation
    • The past century of land use policy in the United States has encouraged low-density development separated by uses – also known as sprawl. Sprawl has been shown to degrade public, civic space while supporting racial and socioeconomic segregation, and environmentally toxic automobile-dependency. Form Based Codes (FBCs) are an alternative to traditional zoning which places less importance on zoning by uses and instead enforces the development of a connected, compact, walkable urban form.
  • Drilling down to specific motivation
    • In 2010, Miami was the largest city in the U.S. to enact FBCs in an effort to ensure sustainability, predictability and efficiency in the city’s development, growth and planning.
  • Statement of problem or knowledge gap
    • The efficacy of Miami 21 has not been evaluated since the code was enacted in 2010.
  • Summary of what was done learned
    • We use a longitudinal study of employment density and housing price in Miami before and after the enactment of Miami 21 to assess the effects of the new enactment on the urban form of Miami.
  • Detailed Summary of high level results
    • Not yet available
  • Implications
    • Our evaluation of Miami’s urban form as a result of recently enacted FBCs could enable policymakers in Miami and across the U.S. in correcting current land use codes and implementing FBCs well.

Form-based codes (FBCs) are gaining interest among planes and policymakers as solutions to counteract sprawl and develop more compact cities.

FBCs have been increasingly implemented throughout the U.S., but the largest cities to do so have been Miami and Denver.

The efficacy of Miami’s form-based code –known as Miami 21- has not been evaluated since the code was enacted in 2010.

We use a longitudinal study of employment density and housing price pre-FBC and post-FBC enactment to analyze the effects of FBCs on urban form.

Understanding the efficacy of Miami 21 could help inform Miami’s future land use policy development along with land use policy across the U.S. and the world.