Category Archives: Placemaking

Placemaking is a transformative approach to creating walkable, liveable public spaces.

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  • Awards (1)
  • B Corp (8)
  • Events (7)
  • Form-Based Codes (39)
  • Missing Middle (32)
  • News (31)
  • Placemaking (20)
  • Process (18)
  • Projects (41)
  • Small Towns (13)
  • Sustainability (24)
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  • Urban Design (34)
  • Walkability (30)
    1. One of the defining features of the master plan is this lakeside drive and promenade lined with mansion apartments. This a clear example of how this project is intended to redefine multi-family/apartment living with Missing Middle types applied at a neighborhood scale.
      Shaking Up the 21st-Century Multifamily Market with a Missing Middle Neighborhood

      What happens when a developer with passion for Missing Middle Housing buys and renovates 300+ units of historic Missing Middle Housing in Midtown Omaha, then gets bored while developing a few suburban garden apartments? He decides he wants to develop … Continue reading

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    2. dohenyvillage_square_600_450
      Taking Sides? With Walkability, There’s No Need

      As advocates of walkable, livable places, we’ve been involved in urban design discussions around the country and worldwide, observing, learning and understanding firsthand the key steps to successfully creating walkable places—and supporting existing ones. Form-Based Coding is a key tool … Continue reading

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    3. MMH Barbell of Affordable Housing-732
      The “Missing Middle” Affordable Housing Solution

      The lack of affordable housing is an increasing problem in many places—particularly those that are walkable and have transit service. The demand for walkable places continues to increase, but too much of what our zoning allows and what the market … Continue reading

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    4. 062016_walkability_neighborhood
      A Tale of Three Places

      There are lots of ways to define and think about walkability, but for us, it’s clear: walkability and nice places go hand-in-hand. We look at three places and discover what’s working and what’s not. When you first think about walkability, … Continue reading

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    5. IMG_3341_800
      Opticos Goes Back to School: 2016 Edition

      Tony Perez, Opticos’ Director of Form-Based Coding, recently wrapped up a second edition of his design studio class at UCLA, which focused on the differences between the prevalent use-based planning system and the increasingly popular form-based planning system. Tony took … Continue reading

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    6. gabonmarket_600_400
      Sustainable Growth Strategy for Gabon’s Capital Wins APA International Planning Achievement Award

      We are thrilled to announce that one of our projects—Gabon, Africa’s Akanda Masterplan and SmartCode—is the recipient of the 2016 Pierre L’Enfant International Planning Achievement Award given to groundbreaking international projects by the American Planning Association. Opticos Principal Dan Parolek reflects on the innovative effort … Continue reading

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    7. Hwy 395 Three Flags Highway Mono County CA
      Progressive Planning & Revitalization Strategies in Rural California

      U.S. Highway 395 (shown above), otherwise known as the Three Flags Highway, is the only road not part of the interstate highway system that extends from the Canadian border to southern California, through some of the most scenic and remote … Continue reading

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    8. Grace McCammond Dragon St. Louis
      The Power of Public Art: How Murals Beautify Cities and Build Communities

      Across the country, cities large and small are looking a little more colorful lately—and that’s not because of the changing seasons. Groups that aim to promote local talent and engage the community have been turning empty city walls into huge … Continue reading

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    9. Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat ArtWorks mural
      Giving Back: Opticos Donates CNU Charter Award Money to Cincinnati Nonprofit Public Art Group

      Earlier this year, Opticos Design was awarded the CNU’s Charter Award Grand Prize for Best Planning Tool for our work on the Cincinnati Form-Based Code. As we discussed what to do with the prize money, we decided the best thing … Continue reading

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    10. Temescal Alley Oakland recycled buildings
      How Historic Buildings Can Make Your City Modern

      Recycled structures and buildings and reclaimed spaces have been all over the news lately, from a West London water tower that was converted to a townhouse (now available for rent), to an artificial island floating on 250,000 recycled plastic bottles … Continue reading

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