Community and Regional Planning Program


Date of this Version

Spring 4-29-2023


A Design Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Architecture, Major: Community & Regional Planning, Under the Supervision of Professor David Karle and Yunwoo Nam Lincoln, Nebraska May 2023

Copyright © 2023 Elvira Batelaan


Most planners and architects agree that the current rate of growth and sprawl in American cities is not sustainable. This thesis will explore how form-based zoning codes can be used to implement policies that increase the sustainability of an existing suburb. Typically, form-based zoning codes are applied to either new subdivisions in a city or to an overlay district in a city which does not get to the heart of the issue. A solution is needed for the rest of the city, such as downtown, industrial areas and existing suburbs, to further increase the sustainability of the entire city. In this thesis, an existing suburb will be identified in Lincoln, Nebraska that is currently lacking sustainability measures including a variety of transportation options, a lack of mixed land use and low density. By applying a form-based zoning code to this suburb, this thesis will show how after the implementation of an evidence-based design, the sustainability of this suburb will be increased. The implication for planning is that implementation of form-based zoning codes shows the effect of planning policies on the sustainability of a city. The implication for architecture is that comprehensive design, guided by form-based zoning codes, are needed to create an evidence-based solution in order to increase sustainability in American suburbs.

Advisors: David Karle and Yunwoo Nam