Category Archives: Urban Design

How good urban design can shape cities, towns, and villages to me more walkable and liveable.

  • Articles (14)
  • Awards (1)
  • B Corp (8)
  • Events (7)
  • Form-Based Codes (40)
  • Missing Middle (34)
  • News (31)
  • Placemaking (23)
  • Process (19)
  • Projects (42)
  • Small Towns (13)
  • Sustainability (24)
  • Uncategorized (5)
  • Urban Design (36)
  • Walkability (31)
    1. 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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    2. 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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    3. 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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    4. Testing here
      Why is Missing Middle Housing “Missing?”

      As we and others have noted, there is a clear and growing demand for walkable urban living. Around the country, cities and builders are seeing that home buyers and renters of all walks of life want walkable environments that foster … Continue reading

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    5. MM_CA_Berkeley_DSCN4523 - Bungalows 600 x 450
      Missing Middle Housing is Everywhere in 2016 Housing Trends

      With the downturn of the late aughts increasingly in the rear view, the real estate picture continues to look rosy. When it comes to real estate trends shaping our communities in 2016, we’re seeing Missing Middle Housing everywhere. Housing Experimentation Fueled … Continue reading

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    6. Plan Downtown Oakland
      Opticos in Action: Plan Downtown Oakland

      This week, Opticos is in the middle of a 10-day charrette process in Oakland, California as part of a dynamite team led by Dover Kohl. We kicked off the program on Monday with a hands-on design workshop, and are currently … Continue reading

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    7. Pedestrians First
      Pedestrians First

      “Every increment of construction must be made in such a way as to heal the city.” ~The Overriding Rule, A New Theory of Urban Design by Christopher Alexander, Hajo Neis, Artemis Anninou and Ingrid King, p22. Rick Bernhardt, a truly … Continue reading

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    8. 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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    9. Walkability
      Five Reasons Demand for Walkability is Growing Across America

      To continue our discussion of walkability, today we’re taking a look at the some of the leading reasons behind the growing demand for walkable community design across the country. Walkability is not a new value: in fact, it’s an old … Continue reading

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    10. Austin bikability 11th & Congresss
      Initiatives Work to Make Austin a Top City for Biking

      According to the Alliance for Biking & Walking, bike share programs across the country are surging. Earlier this year, the alliance published its biennial Bicycling and Walking in the United States, 2014 Benchmaking Report, which collects and analyzes data on bicycling … Continue reading

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