Thursday, February 2, 2017

Drake Law School and the University of Colorado Denver’s Center for Sustainable Urbanism Partner to Update Sustainable Community Development Code

NEWS RELEASE

Drake Law School and the University of Colorado Denver’s Center for Sustainable Urbanism Partner to Update Sustainable Community Development Code

DES MOINES, IA | DENVER, CO (February 1, 2017): Drake University Law School has entered into a partnership with the University of Colorado Denver’s Center for Sustainable Urbanism and Clarion Associates, LLC, to update and expand the Sustainable Community Development Code. This online, interactive model code provides state and local governments with examples of the most innovative and up-to-date land use standards to promote sustainable development. The code has been used by numerous cities, towns, and counties across the United States to help tune-up their zoning, subdivision, and other development ordinances by removing barriers, creating incentives, and filling regulatory gaps.

Faculty, research assistants, and students from the partner institutions will collaborate to update the code. Jonathan Rosenbloom, professor of law at Drake Law School, and Rocky Piro, FAICP, executive director of the Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism in the College of Architecture and Planning, are co-leads of the code project, with support of an advisory committee comprised of land use and sustainability experts from around the country.

“One of the most powerful tools local governments have is authority over land use,” Rosenbloom said. “The updated code will be an invaluable resource to help local governments utilize this authority in a way that promotes environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable communities.”

Increasingly, local governments are targeting land use and development as pathways to sustainability—from climate change, water conservation, and renewable energy to transportation, food security, community health, and affordable housing. Traditional land use and development policies and patterns, however, are often at odds with community sustainability goals.

Originally created by the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute at the University of Denver and Clarion Associates, LLC, the Sustainable Community Development Code was designed to solve this problem, offering the best ideas about how to promote sustainability through innovative land use and development standards.

“The partnership between the Center and Drake Law School is an exciting, timely one that will help refresh and expand the model code at a crucial time as local governments take a more prominent role across the nation in promoting sustainable growth and tackling tough issues like climate change,” said Chris Duerksen, former board chair at the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and land use attorney with Clarion Associates, which helped create the code.

“The update and maintenance of the code meshes very well with the mission of the Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism and its commitment to provide resources that help make cities and towns more vibrant, livable, sustainable, and equitable places,” Piro said.

Students at both universities will work on developing the code as part of their coursework, including students in Drake Law School’s Land Use Law and Sustainability and the Law courses. In addition, each year two Drake Law students will have the opportunity to work on continually updating the code. “This is a great opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in sustainability practices,” Rosenbloom said.

Drake Law School prepares outstanding lawyers who will promote justice, serve as leaders in their communities and the legal profession, and respond to the call of public service. One of the 25 oldest law schools in the country, Drake combines a rich history with the latest technology and an innovative curriculum. Drake Law School is consistently ranked as one of the Best Law Schools for Practical Training by The National Jurist and focuses on providing practical experience to equip students for career success.

The Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver is a collaborative home for urban planners, architects, engineers, economists, health professionals, public policy experts, and others to work together in using best available information and best practices to advance sustainable solutions for both the natural environment and the built environment.

The College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver is the only college in Colorado offering comprehensive programs in the design and planning of the built environment, from undergraduate through accredited professional master’s degrees to the doctorate.

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