The City of Philadelphia adopted a new zoning code this month, which was years in the planning. Tina R. Makoulian, a partner in Ballard Spahr's Zoning and Land Use Group in Philadelphia, spoke with Newsworks about the importance of the new code for the city.

"It is the modernization of a code that has essentially remained in the same condition for 50 years," Ms. Makoulian said. "So it is the city's attempt to bring the city into the 21st century." She added: "With respect to larger projects, the code now requires that applicants undergo a civic design review process and it is much more involved than any sort of review that had ever been conducted under the old code."