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

Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today's Housing Crisis

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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
CNU Charter Award: Metropolis, City and Town

Memphis 3.0 Comprehensive Plan

Memphis, TN

2021
CNU Merit Charter Award: Emerging Projects

Culdesac Tempe: A Car-Free Neighborhood

Tempe, AZ

2021
NAHB Best in American Living™ Platinum Award for Game Changer

Culdesac Tempe: A Car-Free Neighborhood

Tempe, AZ

2020
Latest From Opticos

On the boards:What we're working on

Growth Area Housing Plan
Jackson, Wyoming
Citywide Housing Plan
Modesto, California
Village Center Master Plan
Buena Vista, Colorado
Infill Courtyard Housing
Santa Maria, California