Torti Gallas and Partners, Inc. is pleased to announce that they are the sole recipient of the 2013 Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust Form-Based Codes Award. Torti Gallas received the award for the Town of Babylon Downtown Wyandanch and Straight Path Corridor Form-Based Code created for the Town of Babylon, New York. The Driehaus Award is an annual award that recognizes excellence in the writing and implementation of form-based codes, offering excellent examples for communities considering Form-Based Codes.
In 2003, the Town Board of the Town of Babylon, NY began a public outreach process of helping the Wyandanch community to define and envision its future. What has emerged is a community generated “vision” plan, known as the “Wyandanch Rising Hamlet Plan,” that is based upon a New Urbanist paradigm, characterized by pedestrian amenity, transit oriented development, mixed uses, networked thoroughfares and opportunities for civic buildings and spaces; in short, a recipe for a sustainable and joyful public realm.
In 2010, Torti Gallas and Partners was commissioned by the Town of Babylon and the New York Department of State to lead a team of landscape architects, economists, civil engineers, cost estimators, zoning attorney, public outreach specialist, and transportation planners to create a highly sustainable and implementable TOD plan, undertake a corridor study, and create a new form-based zoning ordinance. The Town of Babylon is pursuing LEED ND certification of this brownfield revitalization effort that will become the new heart of the hamlet of Wyandanch.
Situated at the intersection of Straight Path and the Long Island Railroad, the Core Area will become the Civic and Commercial heart of Wyandanch, or in other words, a new Downtown. Downtown Wyandanch has been designed to create a distinct “sense of place.” To achieve this goal, the design is influenced by regional traditional Long Island villages. It has been designed with equal attention to the public spaces (the streets, the parks, the squares and the like), as to the private realm of individual lots. Using traditional neighborhood design principles, it features a mix of uses and housing types, a connected network of streets, a variety of civic spaces and parks, and a streetscape designed as much for a pedestrian amenity as for vehicular movement.
In their selection, jurors singled out these aspects of the code for comment:
• The Town of Babylon Downtown Wyandanch and Straight Path Corridor Form-Based Code is designed to spur the revitalization of an economically distressed area. The Code is intended to transform the existing 142-acre suburban corridor and transit station area characterized by odd-shaped parcels, brownfields sites, surface parking, blighted buildings and lack of open space into a cohesive, pedestrian-friendly downtown. Integrated into an existing regulatory framework, this well-organized code promotes good urbanism by employing standards that should create a predictable street character and public realm.
• The detailed Regulating Plans provide a clear structure, organized by and around the street-space. The Code shows a coherent conception of the public realm, and regulates it using consistent or complementary frontages and street trees.