Category Archives: Small Towns

News and updates about Opticos Design’s projects in small towns and rural communities.

  • Articles (14)
  • 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)
  • Uncategorized (4)
  • Urban Design (34)
  • Walkability (30)
    1. pedestrians crossing a highway - why we need destinational walkability
      Designing Neighborhoods for Safer Destinational Walking

      We recently wrote on the merits of destinational walking and the ways in which communities can be supportive of it. When we put pen to paper to design walkable neighborhoods, we strive to make walking a safe, useful, and enjoyable … Continue reading

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    2. 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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    3. Beaufort County Form-Based Code LadysIsland Newpoint
      Beaufort County FBC Gets the Nod from Driehaus, CNU Charter Awards

      Beaufort County has experienced incredible growth in the past 10 years, and is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. To help channel future growth toward existing urban areas, and protect the county’s rural character, the county, the City of … Continue reading

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    4. Port Royal, South Carolina Form-Based Code
      Port Royal Moves Forward with FBC Approval Process

      The town council in Port Royal, SC, voted unanimously to give preliminary approval to the proposed Form-Based Code at its March 12 meeting. The Beaufort-Port Royal Metropolitan Planning Commission approved the proposal in December. Opticos Design was commissioned to create … Continue reading

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    5. Historic downtown Turlock, CA
      Building on a Town’s Historic Fabric

      New Urbanists—Opticos included—often talk about increasing walkability through high (or higher) density, mixed-use development. Many small cities and towns across the country hope to become The Next Big Thing by opening up large areas to commercial mixed-use development, rather than … Continue reading

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    6. Kingsburg
      Bringing Walkable Urbanism to a Historic Small Town

      Pedestrian traffic drives economic development in urban centers, but over the last half-century, rural communities have become more and more car dependent. Those same communities now face aging populations, declining local infrastructure, and limited access to economic opportunities. In October … Continue reading

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    7. Kauai
      Community Planning Inspired by Cultural Tradition on Kaua’i

      Ancient Hawaiians did not recognize the concept of private property, but they did follow a complex system that divided land according to the natural landscape, from whole islands, down to single units that families used to cultivate crops. An ahupua’a … Continue reading

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    8. La Citta Balneare
      Tracing the History of the Original New Urbanist Town

      Architect Dhiru Thadani’s latest book about the planned town of Seaside, Florida, Visions of Seaside: Foundation, Evolution, Imagination, Built & Unbuilt Architecture, is a complete history of the town, from the project’s inception, to its planning, to projects that remain … Continue reading

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    9. Oceano Plaza
      Oceano Revitalization Plan Receives Unanimous Approval

      On Tuesday, Aug. 6, the Board of Supervisors in San Luis Obispo County, CA, voted unanimously to adopt the Oceano Revitalization Plan. Opticos worked on the project, which was funded by a $149,974 Caltrans grant, with the Local Government Commissiom, Lisa Wise Consulting, and … Continue reading

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    10. City of Petaluma Waterfront Plaza
      Petaluma’s New SMART Station Master Plan and Code Receives Unanimous Approval

      On June 17, the Petaluma City Council voted unanimously to adopt a Master Plan and SmartCode written by Opticos, connecting the city’s new Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Line (SMART) station with the downtown core of Petaluma, CA. A new urban … Continue reading

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