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The Missing Middle Housing: A Conversation with Dan Parolek

  • Study Restaurant 73 Ames Street Cambridge, MA, 02142 United States (map)

CNU-NE is excited to invite its members to a special conversation next week with Dan Parolek, AIA, principal of Opticos Design, who we've recently learned will be visiting us from the West Coast. He will be speaking with us about the Missing Middle, the range of cluster and multi-unit housing types — such as duplexes, courtyard apartments, and townhouses — that form a gradient between single-family houses and apartment blocks. Mr. Parolek will discuss how the Missing Middle, often forgotten or left out of the picture, can offer a richness and diversity of housing at a compact, human scale and can help to meet the rising demand for walkable urban living.

Informed by his childhood in small-town Nebraska, his work at many scales with such architecture giants as Robert A.M. Stern, Leon Krier, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Peter Katz, and his passion for great places and walkable urbanism, Mr. Parolek has continually pushed the boundaries of urban planning, design, and architecture, helping to formulate and advance form-based codes; writing and speaking prolifically about urbanism; founding Opticos, a design firm committed to a triple bottom line of social, environmental, and fiscal responsibility; and advocating for the use of the Missing Middle as a tool to create compact urban neighborhoods.