Island Press Events


Webinar: Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT

Opticos Design founder Daniel Parolek inspired a new movement for housing choice in 2010 when he coined the term “Missing Middle Housing.” This transformative concept highlights a time-proven, incremental, beloved way to provide more housing choices in resilient, walkable places such as cottage courts, fourplexes, and courtyard buildings.

According to Chuck Marohn, “Missing Middle Housing is an indispensable piece of the Strong Towns vision for cities that are resilient, adaptable, and can pay their bills." Hear from Dan, the author of the new book, Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis, as he dives deep into Missing Middle Housing.

In this webcast, Dan will discuss:

  • what “missing middle” means and why it’s important for your city or town,

  • how policy, planning and zoning can create barriers to the delivery of Missing Middle Housing types and how planners can respond to make way for more housing options,

  • how the Missing Middle concept is being applied around the world

  • case studies of how creative developers are delivering these types and the responses from communities of buyers and renters.


Better Buses, Better Cities

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 12:30pm PDT

Often dismissed by the general public, the humble bus is the underdog workhorse of public transit. Here in the U.S., buses have long been an afterthought in budgeting and planning, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Across the world, buses serve as the foundation of fast, reliable and inclusive transportation networks. The book, Better Buses, Better Cities, describes the implementable steps necessary to marshal widespread support and strengthen collaboration between everyone from community activists to transportation department heads in order to evolve the role of the bus on our streets. Join the book’s author, Steven Higashide, for an inspiring look at why a better bus system can create a better city for everyone. Hosted by SPUR.


Strong Town's Ask Me Anything featuring Dan Parolek

Thursday, August 13, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT

Strong Towns is holding a weekly Ask Me Anything session with their staff and special guests from the broader Strong Towns movement.

This is your chance to get specific with questions about how the Strong Towns approach to building stronger, more resilient places applies to your own town or city. It’s also an opportunity for all of us to stay connected and in conversation as we consider all the changes happening around us.

This week’s AMA will feature special guest Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design from our Tuesday, August 11 webcast Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis. You can also ask any other questions you may have about building a stronger, more financially resilient place.

You can submit your questions in advance at the Strong Towns community site. And you can register for the webinar here:


DIY City: The Collective Power of Small Actions

Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT

Please join RPA for a celebration and discussion of Hank Dittmar’s DIY City. Dittmar was a visionary urban planner whose ideas and influence can be seen around the world. In DIY City, Dittmar explains why individual initiative, small-scale business, and small development matter, using lively stories from his own experience and examples from recent history. DIY City, Dittmar’s last original work, captures the lessons he learned throughout the course of his varied career — from transit-oriented development to Lean Urbanism — that can be replicated to create cities where people can flourish. Hooper Brooks will lead a discussion of the book and Dittmar’s legacy with Don Chen of the Surdna Foundation, and Janette Sadik-Khan of Bloomberg Associates.