LBCS Background

In 1993, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approached APA to conduct a feasibility study to determine the interest in updating the 1965 Standard Land Use Coding Manual (SLUCM). At that time SLUCM was the only national-level attempt to standardize land-use coding for local, regional, and state land-use planning applications.

The land uses and categories in the manual were based on a modified version of the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), and the coding scheme used a 4-digit SIC-like hierarchical system. Although SIC has undergone major revisions since 1965, SLUCM had not been updated to keep up with these changes.

In 1994, APA reported to the FHWA on the findings of a survey of federal, state, regional, and local needs for an updated land-use classification standard. Then, in May 1996, APA, along with the participation of six other federal agencies, initiated the Land-Based Classification Standards (LBCS) project to update the 1965 SLUCM. Through this project, APA and its partners produced a new land classification system to allow jurisdictions, agencies, and institutions at the local, regional, state, and national level to share land-based data. The first version of LBCS was released in 2000, and the standards have been updated periodically in the intervening years.

Working Papers

APA commissioned authors and experts in the field to write working papers on specific issues related to the subject matter. They provided the basis for problems of classification and standardization in the areas of land-use and land-cover data. APA selected the topics and authors based on the input received from the Steering Committee, the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) and the findings from current literature search.

LBCS Discussion Issues Paper for the LBCS Workshop by Sanjay Jeer

Consolidated Comments from the LBCS Workshop Participants by Sanjay Jeer with Bill Klein, AICP, and Barry Bain, AICP.

Treatment of Accessory Uses in LBCS by Sanjay Jeer.

SLUCM to SIC and NAICS Conversion Tables by Sanjay Jeer and Barry Bain, AICP.

  • Summary tables show all SLUCM codes matched to one or more SIC and NAICS codes. SIC and NAICS codes do not have text descriptions in this version.
  • Complete tables that show SLUCM codes with all possible matches with SIC and NAICS and inlcude complete text descriptions. These tables have more than 130,000 records and each file's uncompressed size is more than 15MB.

Discussion of LBCS Function Dimension by Randall West.

Table for Converting NAICS Codes to LBCS Function Codes (txt)

Supporting Documents

The 1965 Standard Land Use Coding Manual (pdf)

1994 Scoping Project

Other Classification System Examples (pdf)

Annotated Bibliography and References

LBCS Bibliography (pdf)