The Brick Industry Association has created its first online education course for community planners, “Making or Faking Great Places, Design Guidelines for Smarter Growth.” American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) members who complete the free course can earn one free Certification Maintenance (CM) credit.

With changing demographics, a new interest in public health, environmental concerns, and a desire for energy efficiency, more and more communities are looking to adopt principles that promote smart growth and can guide infill and redevelopment. This presentation was created for planners who are interested in developing design guidelines or updating existing guidelines that will ensure smart growth reflects the distinctive and unique character of their community.

“The cookie-cutter approach to smart growth falls short in building upon the visual character that makes a community unique,” said planner Ann Stanley, AICP, a BIA consultant. “This new course offers planners information about creating guidelines that can help retain the character of their communities,” she said.

The course provides an overview of:

  • the legal framework that gives communities the authority to regulate aesthetics, character and materials;
  • the policy and regulatory tools available at the community level for implementing character; and
  • the process for engaging the public to define the character that will make their community a great place.

BIA’s community planners also provide a variety of free services to local government agencies. These complimentary services include assisting with drafting design guidelines for new development, on-site presentations, consultations and information on best practices for including clay brick in zoning and design standards.