Events Calendar

Below is a list of events where Missing Middle Housing will be a primary topic of discussion. Please click the links to participate.

Contact us if you have an upcoming Missing Middle Housing event to add, or if you would like to host an event or book a speaker.

Upcoming Events

No events are currently scheduled. Check back soon!

Past Events

ULI Premier Event: Missing Middle Housing with Dan Parolek

February 8, 2018, Salt Lake City, UT

With walkable, mixed-use real estate now in high demand as an economic engine, cities everywhere are reexamining how to build productive, resilient urban places to attract young talent, aging demographics, and new employment sectors. A crucial factor in development is diversity—not just diversity of residents, but in housing, transportation, and workplace choices. Join Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design as he explores Missing Middle Housing and shows how it responds to current trends and helps meet the growing demand for walkable living options. 

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: The Berkeley Missing Middle Housing Tour

February 3, 2018, Berkeley, CA

Join Opticos Principal Daniel Parolek as he guides participants through the rich collection of Missing Middle Housing Berkeley, Opticos’ home, has to offer. As the group explores on foot the city’s charming neighborhoods, participants will complete photographic and sketch documentation using a template provided by the organizers. While documenting, the group will discuss single-family home compatibility, the range of buildings that make up Missing Middle Housing, zoning opportunities and constraints, and more. This exercise will provide participants with the tools and knowledge to explore and document Missing Middle Housing types throughout their own communities, to help inform the discussion around challenging housing issues.

Near Southside, Inc. Missing Middle Housing Seminar

Thursday, November 16, 2017, Fort Worth, TX

Join Near Southside, Inc. for a day-long discussion on infill development of small-scale, high-quality residential projects that fall on a spectrum between single-family homes and large apartment complexes. Dan Parolek will deliver the day’s keynote presentation, introducing Missing Middle Housing and exploring how it responds to the widespread demand for walkable living and shifting household demographics.

2017 AARP Livable Communities Conference

Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Dallas, TX

Missing Middle Housing: Successes in Advancing the Livable Communities Discussion
Missing Middle Housing types — duplexes, fourplexes, courtyard apartments, and more — have become an increasingly important part of age-friendly livability efforts nationwide. In this session, architect Daniel Parolek, the country’s foremost expert on Missing Middle Housing, will explain and compare examples of Missing Middle Housing and demonstrate how communities have effectively begun using the concept to build momentum for livable communities, addressing important issues such as housing affordability, housing choice and neighborhood compatibility. Following Parolek’s presentation, a panel of AARP state office leaders will share their experiences framing the discussion around livable places and Missing Middle Housing in their own communities.

Field Trip: Missing Middle Housing Walking Tour
After decades during which new housing construction was dominated by either large-scale structures (apartment buildings) or single-family homes, the housing options in the middle — such as duplexes, triplexes and bungalows in walkable communities — went missing. Architect and conference presenter Daniel Parolek will lead field trip participants through the Bishop Arts District, a South Dallas community with fine examples of Missing Middle Housing.

Planning for Age-Friendly Livability: Missing Middle Housing

Tuesday, November 14, 2017, Anchorage, AK

How can we make more affordable, accessible, age-friendly housing available to more people of all ages, abilities, incomes, and backgrounds in thriving and connected neighborhoods? Join John Miki of Opticos Design for an engaging look at the future of housing and creating livable communities for all ages with Missing Middle Housing. In this keynote, John will introduce Missing Middle Housing and explore how it elegantly responds to recent nationwide trends, including the growing demand for walkable urban living, household affordability challenges, and the need for contextual and compatible infill solutions in communities large and small.

PlanIt Greensboro: Missing Middle Housing

Thursday, October 19, 2017, Greensboro, NC

Opticos Principal Daniel Parolek comes to Greensboro, North Carolina for an in-depth look at Missing Middle Housing. Join Dan as he explores a rich variety of fourplexes, bungalow courts, mansion apartments, live-work units, and more, and shows how these types respond to changing demographic trends and the growing demand for walkable urban living. The event is the first in the Greensboro Planing Department’s new “PlanIt” speaker series, which engages residents and the business community around the city’s Comprehensive Plan, Connections 2025.

2017 APA California Conference

The Missing Middle Housing Walking Tour: Documenting Medium-Density, House-Scale Building Types
Sunday, September 24, 2017, Sacramento, CA

Get out and about with Opticos Principal Daniel Parolek to explore on foot Sacramento’s range of housing choices in a walkable context, including house-scale, multi-unit types such as duplexes and small multiplexes. Via photos and sketches, participants will document these Missing Middle Housing examples with the goal of understanding how to support housing diversity in planning efforts. 

Missing Middle Housing: Is Your Planning and Coding Preparing Your City for the 21st-Century Demand?
Monday, September 25, 2017, Sacramento, CA

Led by Opticos Founding Principal Daniel Parolek, this session will explain, illustrate, and compare examples of high-quality, medium-density housing types such as duplexes, fourplexes, and bungalow courts called Missing Middle Housing. It will then demonstrate how you can remove barriers and provide incentives in your planning and zoning to create diverse, affordable housing options.

ULI Indiana Breakfast: Missing Middle Housing

Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Indianapolis, IN

Recent research has highlighted a mismatch between current US housing stock and shifting demographics, as well as the growing demand for walkable urban living. Join ULI Indiana for a presentation by Daniel Parolek, the architect and urban designer who coined the term “Missing Middle Housing,” a spectrum of housing types that works to address this challenge by responding to changing household demographics and the dramatic shift in demand for walkable, attainable housing options. Embraced by communities and builders across the country, the concept is gaining broad recognition from organizations like ULI, AARP, Next City, Professional Builder, and the National Association of Realtors. Daniel will discuss housing types that should be part of every architect’s, planner’s, real estate agent’s, and developer’s arsenal.

Housing | Real Estate: The Art, Business and Policy of Placemaking Colloquium

Friday, September 15, 2017, South Bend, IN

Daniel Parolek ’95 returns to Notre Dame to examine placemaking’s role at the intersection of design, policy, and finance. Alongside a multidisciplinary roster of experts including Daniel Murphy (Continuum Partners), Kathy Schuth (Near Northwest Neighborhood Center), and Galina Tachieva (DPZ CoDESIGN), Dan will provide a close look at Missing Middle Housing’s dynamic role in the placemaking discussion. Presented by Notre Dame School of Architecture, Law School, Institute for Real Estate, and the Mendoza College of Business. 

CNU 25.Seattle

Thursday, May 4, 2017, Seattle, WA

Missing Middle Housing V2: Helping Cities Address 21st-Century Challenges
As Missing Middle Housing is catching on around the world, the concept and its application is evolving and becoming more sophisticated to meet the housing needs of today’s cities and regions. The panel will explore Missing Middle application in state-of-the-art density bonus and affordability housing programs, present strategies for identifying where these types should be enabled, and look at applications from AARP’s Livable Communities to New South Wales, Australia. We’ll also discuss the opportunities and challenges for large developers looking to take the Missing Middle to scale, building these “new” products to meet the growing demand for housing choice and walkable urban living.

Tour: Documenting Seattle’s Missing Middle Housing
In Seattle, a growing awareness of the lack of Missing Middle Housing types like duplexes, fourplexes, bungalow courts, and live-work units has highlighted the nationwide mismatch between existing housing stock, changing demographics, and demand for walkability. In this tour, participants will explore and document Seattle’s Missing Middle Housing while discussing challenging affordability issues. The walk will present a chance to learn how to support these types through smart planning and zoning, and to understand barriers affecting the construction of new Missing Middle Housing.

AARP Oregon 2017 Livability Solutions Forum: The Future of Housing, Springfield & Medford

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Springfield, OR
Thursday, April 13, 2017, Medford, OR

How can we make more affordable, accessible, age-friendly housing available to more people of all ages, ability, income, and backgrounds in thriving and connected neighborhoods? Join us for an engaging morning of dialog on the future of housing, land use, and creating communities for all ages. Learn about Missing Middle Housing from the man who coined the term: nationally known architect and urbanist Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design, Inc. Daniel will describe the full range of Missing Middle Housing options and trends in America’s residential landscape that often limit housing choice. Hear from local speakers on the challenges and opportunities to meeting the region’s growing need for affordable, accessible, and age-friendly housing. Learn about critical housing policies under consideration at the Oregon legislature, including tenant protections and affordable housing development and preservation, homeownership and more.

Solving Bend’s Missing Middle Housing Puzzle

Monday, April 10, 2017, Bend, OR

How will we solve the puzzle of Bend’s missing middle housing market—those duplexes, triplexes, townhomes and courtyard apartments that fill the gap between single-family homes and multi-story apartment buildings? Dan Parolek, the nation’s premier expert on these diverse housing types, will break down the problem and describe tangible solutions to Bend’s current and future growth challenges. Audience members will also give direct feedback to the Bend Collaborative Housing Workgroup—led by Bend 2030, Brooks Resources, Central Oregon Association of Realtors, Central Oregon Builders Association, Housing Works and the American Institute of Architects Southwestern Oregon Chapter—that is aiming to recommend a slate of policy tools and incentives to jump-start Bend’s middle housing market.

ULI Arizona Insiders Series

Missing Middle Housing with Dan Parolek
Thursday, March 23, 2017, Phoenix, AZ

The mismatch between current US housing stock and shifting demographics, combined with the growing demand for walkable urban living, has been defined by recent research and publications. Unfortunately, the solution is not as simple as adding more multifamily housing stock using the dated types of housing that we have been building. It’s time to rethink and evolve, reinvent and renew. Dan Parolek, principal of Opticos Design, will lead this dynamic Missing Middle Housing discussion with ULI Arizona.

Age-Friendly Greater Des Moines’ Annual Report to the Community

Friday, December 16, 2016, Des Moines, IA

Join AARP and the volunteer and community leaders of the Greater Des Moines Age-Friendly Initiative for the fourth annual report to the community, featuring special guest Daniel Parolek. Dan will speak on the concept of Missing Middle Housing. addressing how these building types are helping to meet the growing demand for age-friendly housing and walkable urban living.

Presented by AARP Iowa

EconAlliance 2016 Future Forum: The Shape of Things to Come

Thursday, November 3, 2016, Santa Maria, CA

Join leaders from California’s Central Coast for an exciting look at trends shaping the future of the area. At the forefront of the discussion will be Missing Middle Housing, which responds to shifting demographics and the growing demand for walkable neighborhood living. Opticos Principal Dan Parolek discusses how these housing types present promising solutions to the Central Coast’s challenges of today and tomorrow.

2016 APA California Conference

Sunday, October 23, 2016, Pasadena, CA

Missing Middle Housing: Is Your Planning and Coding Preparing Your City for the 21st Century?
Moderated by Opticos Design Principal Daniel Parolek, this session will explain, illustrate, and compare examples of high-quality medium density housing types such as duplexes, fourplexes, and bungalow courts called Missing Middle Housing. It will then demonstrate how you can remove barriers and provide incentives in your planning and zoning to create diverse, affordable housing options.

Mobile Workshop: Documenting Missing Middle Housing in Pasadena
Participants will explore several of Pasadena’s neighborhoods on foot with Opticos Principal Dan Parolek, documenting the range of Missing Middle Housing types along the way.

Professional Builder Housing Giants Leadership Conference

Missing Middle Housing, Master Planning, and Building Communities: Responding to 21st-Century Demand
Friday, October 21, 2016, La Jolla, CA

Today, there is a mismatch between what is being built and what the market wants. Additionally, many builders are encountering difficulties delivering entry-level housing with single-family homes and townhouses. Missing Middle Housing types—including duplexes, fourplexes, and more—are an important part of the solution. Who is building these types, and where? What are their design characteristics? How can you introduce these into your product line? Architect and master planner Daniel Parolek provides answers.

10th Leckey Affordable Housing Forum

Finding the Missing Middle—Expanding Middle-Income Housing Options
Thursday, October 13, 2016, Arlington, VA

Is it time to focus on how Arlington’s housing market works for its middle-income population? What design, financial, and regulatory initiatives could help us better serve downsizing seniors, young families growing out of their condos, newcomers to the community experiencing sticker shock? Daniel Parolek will define the “missing middle”, and he’ll be joined by a panel of other housing, zoning, and financing experts.

Housing and Neighborhoods for All: Affordability, Accessibility, and the Missing Middle

Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7, 2016, Portland, OR

Missing Middle Walking Tour
Dan Parolek and local small-scale housing developer Eli Spivak lead a tour of one of Portland’s classic neighborhoods to look at a wide range Missing Middle Housing types, many of which are illegal to build in Portland neighborhoods today. Discussion will include which of these Missing Middle types the City of Portland is currently considering re-legalizing, and what steps can be taken to create residential neighborhoods that can better serve residents of all ages and incomes.

Finding a Home in Portland – The Happy Hour
Following a brief Missing Middle Housing overview from Dan Parolek, Portland for Everyone will kick off a game of housing trivia. In between rounds, local experts and advocates weigh in on what land use and other policy decisions might mean for all Portlanders to find a place to live – and stay.

Missing Middle Housing and Multi-Generational Communities
AARP, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Portland for Everyone and Urban Land Institute host an engaging morning of dialog about housing, land use and creating communities for all ages. Learn about “Missing Middle Housing” from the man who coined the term — nationally known architect and urbanist Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design. Daniel will describe the full range of Missing Middle Housing options and trends in America’s residential landscape that often limit housing choice. Local experts will discuss housing trends, challenges and barriers to aging in community and meeting our region’s growing need for affordable, accessible, and age-friendly housing.

Grand Boulevard Initiative Task Force Meeting

Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Atherton, CA

Karen Parolek presents Missing Middle Housing to the Grand Boulevard Initiative, a collaboration of 19 cities, counties, and local and regional agencies united to improve the performance, safety and aesthetics of El Camino Real from Daly City to San Jose, California. Topics covered will include what defines Missing Middle Housing types, why these types aren’t being built, and how cities can accommodate and promote the Missing Middle. As a way to reframe the housing discussion, Middle Middle Housing provides a powerful tool to address affordability and livability issues.

Responding to the Demand for Walkable Neighborhood Living: Chattanooga

Wednesday, September 21, 2016, Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise invites the public to attend a lecture from Dan Parolek, a nationally recognized thought leader in architecture, design, and urban planning and creator of the “Missing Middle Housing” concept.

Rethink, Evolve, Renew: Presentations and Conversations on Missing Middle Housing

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, Atlanta, GA

With market demand for walkable neighborhoods on the rise, Missing Middle Housing types—duplexes, fourplexes, courtyard apartments, and more—offer a range of housing options for neighborhoods throughout the Atlanta area. What are the characteristics of these types, and what, if anything, is preventing these types from being built? Dan Parolek, principal of Opticos Design, explores.

Presented by the Georgia Conservancy and the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative

Exploring the Missing Middle in Omaha

Tuesday, August 9, 2016, Omaha, NE

Dan Parolek explores Missing Middle Housing’s past, present and future in Omaha. He’ll introduce the Missing Middle Housing concept, explain how these types have gone “missing,” and show how cities around the country are seeing Missing Middle Housing as a way to respond to the demand for walkable housing options. Along the way, Omaha’s rich history of Missing Middle Housing (including a variety of duplexes, small multiplexes, bungalow courts, and more) will be at the forefront of the discussion.

CNU 24.Detroit

202 Session: Advanced Missing Middle Housing: Beyond the Concept & Into the Details of Getting These Types Built & Sold
Wednesday, June 8, 2016, Detroit, MI

The concept of house-scale medium-to-high density housing types known as Missing Middle Housing has caught fire since the last session at CNU in Dallas. This session will bring a panel with diverse areas of expertise in housing design and development (including Opticos Principal Daniel Parolek) to present and discuss Missing Middle Housing. The panel will provide some basic insights into how to select sites, challenges and recommendations on financing, and how to market these types. The session will be a combination of presentations, panel discussions, and breakout table “speed dating” on the topics above.

In-The-Field Tour: Documenting Detroit’s Missing Middle Housing
Saturday, June 11, 2016, Detroit, MI

Explore the West Village and Indian Village Neighborhoods of Detroit on foot while learning about Missing Middle Housing. We’ll document Missing Middle Housing types, such as duplexes, fourplexes, and multiplexes, and complete photographic and sketch documentation, while discussing the following: location of types within blocks and neighborhoods; typical lot sizes and associated densities; and unit sizes and layout of rooms. In addition, we’ll discuss the important role of these types in providing diverse housing choices and revitalizing Detroit’s neighborhoods. Interested in further exploring the Missing Middle in Detroit? Join the launch at CNU 24 to start building a database of Missing Middle Housing at

3rd Annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference

Solving the Missing Middle in Housing
Friday, May 13, 2016, Santa Barbara, CA

Join Opticos Principal Daniel Parolek for the 3rd Annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference’s keynote presentation. Due to skyrocketing costs, dramatic changes in household demographics, and growing demand for walkable communities, there is a greater need than ever for creative approaches to providing housing choices in our communities. Missing Middle Housing—encompassing a wide variety of housing types such as duplexes, fourplexes, bungalow courts, and courtyard apartments—plays an important part in the conversation. By addressing barriers to these types of housing in their planning, regulations, and policies, communities can open the doors to diverse, affordable housing options. 

Idaho ULI: Finding the Missing Middle Housing

Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 7:30 am – 9:30 am, Boise, ID

This year’s housing trends program will focus on Missing Middle Housing. Daniel Parolek, a nationally recognized thought leader in architecture, design, and urban planning, specifically in terms of creating livable, sustainable communities and buildings will be the keynote speaker. Following Daniel’s presentation will be a moderated panel of local builders, architects and designers involved in missing middle housing who will discuss the market and opportunities for further development of Missing Middle both in urban and greenfield areas of the region.

Missing Middle Housing: Beyond Second Units

Thursday, November 5, 6:00-7:30 pm, Palo Alto, CA

Daniel Parolek will discuss second unit ordinances in relation to the Bay Area’s housing crisis and growing aging population. The full range of Missing Middle Housing options and their part in creating affordable, walkable neighborhoods will be discussed.

APA California 2015 Oakland

Missing Middle Housing walking tour

Sunday, October 4, 1:15-5:00 pm, Oakland, CA

Dan Parolek will lead a Missing Middle Housing walking tour during APA California’s annual conference in Oakland, CA. The tour will explore two Oakland neighborhoods and document Missing Middle Housing in the area through photos and sketch techniques. Participants will also learn how reformed zoning and general plan policies can encourage high-quality mixed density, and discuss the growing demand for walkable urban living and household affordability.

For more information, view the conference program.

CARTA 2015: A Symposium on Designing a Better Future

Sunday, October 4, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Denver CO

Karen Parolek will speak on Missing Middle Housing as a part of this symposium on city development. The symposium seeks to answer questions including, “Are we developing our cities to accomodate growth in the best ways? Are we making places that will be economically robust, environmentally and culturally sustainable? Are we enhancing the beauty, value and identities of our communities with each new building we build?”

AARP 3rd Annual Network of Age-Friendly Communities Conference

Shaping Housing Options in the Community
Tuesday, September 1, 2:45–4:00 p.m., Washington, DC

Dan Parolek will speak about Missing Middle Housing during the Shaping Housing Options in the Community session during the AARP’s third annual Network of Age-Friendly Communities Conference to be held in Washington, DC, September 1 – 2, 2015. Other topics to be discussed include housing affordability, financing, and the impact of gentrification and what can be done to redress the situation, as well as Form-Based Codes. The session will be moderated by Dr. Rodney Harrell, Director of Livable Communities for AARP’s Public Policy Institute.

Imagine Austin & AIA Austin

Walk the Talk: Tour and panel discussion of “Missing Middle” Housing in Austin,
Saturday, May 16, 1–3 p.m., Austin, TX

A talk and tour for people interested in learning more about Missing Middle Housing in Austin, and meeting the homeowners, builders, and designers who built them.

ReinventPHX Development Convening, Urban Land Institute Arizona

Placemaking through Walkable Urban Codes, Tuesday, May 5, 4–6:30 p.m., Phoenix, AZ

Dan Parolek will give the keynote address at ReinventPHX in Arizona. ReinventPHX is establishing a transit-oriented model for urban planning and development transforming Phoenix into a walkable, opportunity-rich community. Implementation endeavors to advance infill, mixed use, and adaptive reuse projects along the light rail corridor will involve innovative planning solutions that balance community, development, and design quality. This event will discuss how Form-Based Codes can improve the built environment and enhance predictability and investment in urban areas.

Congress for New Urbanism Conference

April 29 – May 2, Dallas, TX

Tour: In the Field: Documenting Dallas’ Missing Middle Housing Types,
Wednesday, April 29, 1–4:45 p.m.

Join Opticos Design’s Daniel Parolek on a walking tour around Dallas’s vibrant Bishop Arts Neighborhood to document Missing Middle Housing including duplexes, fourplexes, and mansion apartments. The group will photograph and sketch building types, and discuss the following: locations of types within neighborhoods; block composition; typical lot sizes; densities; and unit sizes and layouts. This exercise will leave you with the tools and knowledge to explore and document other Missing Middle Housing clusters throughout Dallas and your communities, and add them to the national database.

American Planning Association Conference

April 18 – 21, 2015, Seattle, WA

Deep Dive: The Future of Zoning, Saturday, April 18, 9 – 11:45 a.m.

Opticos Design’s Daniel Parolek joins Joel Russell, executive director of the Form-Based Codes Institute, Lee Einsweiler of the University of Texas at Austin, Richard Bernhardt of the Nashville Davidson County, TN, Metropolitan Planning Commission, Donald L. Elliott, of Clarion Associates of Colorado, Mark White, of White & Smith, and Peter Park of the University of Colorado, Denver, to talk about the direction of zoning reform, different scenarios, and special considerations of zoning for sustainability, urban form, social equity, and protection of natural systems.

Leaving Behind 1950s Housing Codes, Sunday, April 19, 1 – 2:15 p.m.

Lynn Richards, president and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Laura Buhl, land use and transportation planner for the State of Oregon’s Transportation and Growth Management Program, and Eli Spevak of Orange Splot will discuss the growing mismatch between available housing stock and average household size and infill housing developments that offer small, beautiful, neighborhood-compatible, and community-oriented homes, and offer a toolkit of regulatory changes cities can adopt to expand housing choices in residential zones and technical assistance and model code resources available at the state and federal level.


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