Heather Smith

Urban Planner Heather Smith

Planning Director - CNU


Heather is an urban planner responsible for supporting the CNU member Task Forces. She joined CNU in January 2005. Before joining CNU, she coordinated the Metropolis Plan activities for Chicago Metropolis 2020, a regional planning organization. Prior to working in Chicago she received an American Planning fellowship to advance sustainable development and planning issues in the United States Senate. Heather holds a masters degree in urban planning and previously worked for the New York City Department of City Planning. Heather lives in Chicago with her husband and enjoys sailing, swimming, and kayaking in her free time.

מתכננת הערים הת'ר סמית' מגיעה אלינו לכנס מרחב בחיפה משיקאגו, ארה"ב. הת'ר עובדת כמנהלת התכנון ב- CNU ואחראית על צוותי הפעולה של חברי הארגון.

הת'ר תדבר על שני כלי תכנון לעיר:

The SmartCode

The SmartCode is a unified land development ordinance for planning and urban design. It incorporates zoning, subdivision regulations, urban design, and basic architectural standards into one compact document. Because the SmartCode enables community vision by coding specific outcomes that are desired in particular places, it is meant to be locally customized by professional planners, architects, and attorneys.


The SmartCode supports the following outcomes: community vision, local character, conservation of open lands, transit options, and walkable and mixed-use neighborhoods. It prevents the following outcomes: wasteful sprawl development, automobile-dominated streets, empty downtowns, and a hostile public realm. It allows different approaches in various areas within the community, unlike a one-size-fits-all conventional code. This gives the SmartCode unusual political power, as it allows all stakeholders to undertake effectively.


The SmartCode addresses development patterns on three scales of planning:

- the Sector (Regional) Scale

- the Community Scale

- the Block and Building Scale.


Form Based Codes

A method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form. Form-based codes create a predictable public realm by controlling physical form primarily, with a lesser focus on land use, through city or county regulations.


Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in form-based codes, presented in both diagrams and words, are keyed to a regulating plan that designates the appropriate form and scale (and therefore, character) of development rather than only distinctions in land-use types. This is in contrast to conventional zoning's focus on the segregation of land-use types, permissible property uses, and the control of development intensity through simple numerical parameters (e.g., FAR, dwellings per acre, height limits, setbacks, parking ratios). Not to be confused with design guidelines or general statements of policy, form-based codes are regulatory, not advisory.


Form-based codes are drafted to achieve a community vision based on time-tested forms of urbanism. Ultimately, a form-based code is a tool; the quality of development outcomes is dependent on the quality and objectives of the community plan that a code implements.