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. 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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    2. Seaside Florida cityscape
      In Seaside, Sustainability Isn’t a Design Choice; It’s a Design Ethic

      Florida’s Emerald Coast stretches some 100 miles from Pensacola to Panama City along the state’s panhandle. The area sometimes affectionately referred to as the “Redneck Riviera” features white sandy beaches and azure waters, as well as the idyllic beachfront community … Continue reading

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    3. Mini parking craters Northside, Cincinnati, Ohio
      Mini Parking Craters Ideal for Missing Middle Housing

      How often will you be encouraged to walk down a street if you are walking past parking lots versus engaging storefronts or stoops? Spend some time browsing Google Maps and across the country, you will see a landscape punctuated with empty surface … Continue reading

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    4. 9 great ways to reclaim space and boost your business
      9 Great Examples of Reclaimed Space

      Downtown Berkeley is fortunate to feature a variety of reclaimed spaces that add value to businesses and properties and contribute to customer experience. Scroll down to see our top picks, and imagine how you might adapt space around your business. … Continue reading

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    5. Slow rose garden patio creative reuse reclaimed space
      Reclaimed Spaces Add Value to Businesses and Communities

      When it comes to great urban design, it’s often not about what you build, it’s about how you use what you already have. Distinct character is hard to replicate; reclaiming space around your business and reusing it in a creative way … Continue reading

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    6. The Hercules Bayfront Transit-Oriented Development
      Move Beyond Green Buildings: It’s Time for Green Communities

      Green building design standards have been around since the early 1990s. The movement has grown to become the most important and progressive trend in the building industry, but community-wide projects are still few and far between. How can we create … Continue reading

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    7. Free Parking
      Parking Guru Donald Shoup: The Pseudo-Science of Parking Regulations

      “It’s embarrassing for someone from L.A. to come to Bay Area to give advice on anything,” said Professor Donald Shoup as he opened a March speaking event in Berkeley. Shoup is a Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning UCLA. His lecture, … Continue reading

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    8. Mesa Arizona downtown master plan and form-based code
      Quick, High-Quality Results for Mesa’s Downtown Form-Based Code

      The City of Mesa, AZ, hired Opticos to create a Master Plan and Form-Based Code that would remove existing barriers to revitalizing the city’s downtown. The code was adopted in June 2012, and the first project to be developed with … Continue reading

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    9. Millennium Gate Atlanta
      Excursion: Classical Architecture in Atlanta

      If you visit the Millennium Gate monument in Atlanta, GA, you will see the name of Opticos Principal Daniel Parolek carved into its base as one of the original designers. In 2000, Dan was one of 10 winners of an … Continue reading

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    10. Neighborhood of single-family homes in Austin, Texas
      Does the Cost of Your Commute Make Your Housing More or Less Affordable?

      As housing costs climb in popular metropolitan areas, the idea of moving to a far-reaching suburb where housing costs are lower is appealing to many. But as the cost of gasoline rises, so do transportation costs, especially in areas not … Continue reading

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