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
PCBC Gold Nugget Award of Merit

Best Multi-Family Housing Community - under 17 du/acre

Papillion, Nebraska

FBCI Form-Based Code Award

Multi-jurisdictional Objective Design + Development Standards

Marin County, California

APA Hawaii Outstanding Planning Award

West Kaua‘i Community Plan

Kaua'i County, HI

Latest From Opticos

On the boardsWhat we're working on

Lihue Civic Center Redevelopment Feasibility Plan
Kauai County, Hawaii
MMH Scan & Deep Dive
Columbia, South Carolina
10 Acre Infill Master Plan and Architecture
Florence, Alabama
Objective Design & Development Standards, Six Site Visualizations
Sausalito, California