Form-based codes versus urban revitalization of historical city centers. Opportunities and dangers The aim of the article is the presentation of new methods and tools applied in city planning and revitalization projects. It is also a result of the wide interests and recognition of contemporary city spaces condition and methods which can be used to successfully shape harmonious urban space and create desirable living conditions for residents that will go forward their everyday needs. The article draws attention to the challenges related with searching for new, effective tools and methods used in the urban planning in the face of contemporary transformations of historical downtown space, as well as in connection with the need to efficiently revitalize urban spaces in many Polish cities. It shows the complexity of activities undertaken on many levels, focusing on aspects of urban renewal and revitalization processes with the special context of cultural and historical heritage. It is also an attempt to recognize the assumptions of the SmartCode, a special type of formbased code proposed by the New Urbanism, and considers the possibility of the application of the method in local regulations – taking into account the cultural and spatial context of Polish cities. Author searches for an answer to the following question: Can formbased codes be an effective tool in the revitalization of urban, historical space? What is the potential of this tool – what opportunities it offers and what risks it entails? The reflection on these issues is based on the analysis of the written sources, literature on the subject and analysis of case studies of selected architectural and urban cases. The selected examples are presented in the aspect of application of the local building tradition over the years, and how it can refer to that category in the context of the SmartCode methodology. For this purpose, selected references were based on the explanations done by town planners and architects to apply the local building and histor ical tradition in, e.g., the postwar reconstruction of the city spaces, promotion of socialist realism, popularity of postmodernism, historicism, and retroversion. The analyses of this approach led us to look over the similar aspect of the SmartCode methodology. As a result, it is found that this ap proach [supported by a transect, charette workshops, and by relevant local legal regulations] is a coherent and comprehensive tool in urban planning, successfully applied in the American countries, both in newly designed city spaces and in the transformation of the existing ones. The important aspect of the undertaken research was the recognition whether it is possible to simply copy that methodology in Poland. After acknowledgment of the subject it should be noted that due to significant cultural differences (e.g., a centuriesold and complex history of urban planing) and a different tradition of building, it can be defined that there is number of threats and fears related to the attempt to apply them directly in the revitalization of the historical space of Polish cities. However, it should be indicated that following on the SmartCode methodology, it can be a valuable inspiration to look for appropriately modified local solutions and it can also be an interesting starting point for a discussion on the role of cultural heritage in contemporary transformations of urban space and the purposefulness of contemporary references to historical forms.