If You Zone It They Will Come: Town Centers

Zoning Practice — May 2007

By Kirk Bishop


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Smart growth ordinances and development codes are regulations intended to achieve a variety of objectives. Because smart growth ordinances involve providing more transportation options and more compact, mixed-use development, they inevitably have public health implications: they encourage walking, bicycling, and human interaction, with the potential to support more active, socially engaged lifestyles that result in better physical and mental health.

The primary smart growth principle addressed with town center zoning is mixing land uses. Secondary smart growth principles include walkable neighborhoods and distinctive and attractive places.

This issue of Zoning Practice provides an overview of a model ordinance for a town center zoning district or overlay from APA's Model Smart Land Development Codes project.


Page Count
Date Published
May 1, 2007
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Kirk Bishop