We are urban designers and architects who believe in the transformative power of beautiful, sustainable, walkable communities for all.

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Missing Middle Housing

Walkable, attainable communities people love to call home

Opticos principal Daniel Parolek inspired a new movement for housing choice in 2010 when he introduced the concept of the “missing middle” in American housing. Today, Opticos creates innovative architectural designs to help build walkable communities with unique, diverse housing choices that are attainable for all.

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We wrote the seminal book on Form-Based Coding

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Zoning codes for
people-centered places

Opticos is a world leader in zoning reform for walkable, sustainable communities. We didn’t create form-based coding, but we’ve been trailblazers in the field for more than 20 years. We are experts in understanding how the form of buildings will shape community spaces, and we can simplify the process of introducing form-based codes with a predictable build-out.

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We Can Help By

Designing inspiring urban architecture

Shaping citywide and regional plans that reflect and reinforce a sense of place

Developing creative master plans that foster urban repair and strong communities

Advising on development strategy and implementation

Designing Missing Middle Housing to create walkable neighborhoods with diverse housing choices

Writing Form-Based Codes that enable walkable neighborhood living

Recent Awards
Kauaʻi Kākaou General Plan Outstanding Planning Award

Kaua'i General Plan

Kaua’i, HI

FBCI Driehaus Form-Based Code Award

Akanda SmartCode

Libreville, Gabon

Latest From Opticos

On the boards:What we're working on

Mixed-Income Neighborhood Plan
Mammoth Lakes, California
Downtown San Rafael Precise Plan
San Rafael, California
The Villages at Santo Domingo
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
South Bend Near NW Neighborhood Plan
South Bend, Indiana
Hayward Downtown Specific Plan and Code
Hayward, California