The process of land-use control as the determinance of urban form
Zuber, Jeri Ervin
Master of Architecture
Although land-use controls have been a major determinant in the physical form of the city, their application has been severely criticized by the discipline of urban design for their predominantly negative attitude. These criticisms, though partially correct, have been founded almost entirely up- on conjecture rather than fact. They have consequently provided only a criticism of the negative aspects of the existing regulative measures rather. than providing possible alternative solutions as well. However, before criticisms which do provide alternatives may be attempted urban designers must grasp a basic comprehension of the system which they are criticizing. They must understand the positive as well as the negative aspects of the existing land-use control measures before negating their entire application within the urban environment. The purpose of this paper is to provide an introduction to the existing land-use controls, both public and private, from which this basic comprehension may begin to be achieved. This paper is concerned with the existing public regulative measures exemplified by zoning, subdivision control, and housing and building codes; the existing private regulative measures exemplified by the restrictive covenant; and the existing public incentive measures exemplified by the Federal Housing Administration, and the Urban Renewal. These measures are examined first in terms of their foundation which, consists of the basis of the land-use control law, the legal system in which it is applied, and the basic means in which it is effectuated, and second in terms of the specific qualities of each individual measure consisting of an examination of each specific-process, its history, and its implication toward direction of the patterns of urban growth in the future. The introduction to the processes of land-use control provided within this paper hopefully will result in the initiation of a meaningful dialogue between the two now distinct disciplines of urban design and law. A dialogue from which positive solutions to the problems of land-use control may be achieved; solutions which will prove viable forces in the direction of the patterns of urban land-use in the future, and finally will result in directions which are equally acceptable to the private as well as the public interest.