Content about community life

Opticos in Action: Plan Downtown Oakland

This week, Opticos is in the middle of a 10 day charrette process in Oakland, California as part of a dynamite team led by Dover Kohl. We kicked off the program on Monday with a hands-on design workshop, and are currently in the midst of the Open Design Studio portion of the charrette through Tuesday. The program includes a walking tour and open house on Saturday, and a presentation of work-in-progress next Wednesday.

The Plan Downtown Oakland project seeks to address a wide variety of needs in the city, from improved transit development to maintaining affordable housing in this increasingly popular area. The charrette process seeks public input and collaboration to make sure that the design and planning team creates solutions that benefit and serve the community.

'Great Falls, Great Food, Great Stories' links downtown to national park

Visitors often park their cars, take in views of old mill buildings and a dramatic waterfall that made it all possible, take a picture of a statue of Alexander Hamilton, and leave without checking out the downtown and its restaurants.

Seaside Small Developers Boot Camp

The Seaside Academic Village will be the backdrop for John Anderson, Monte Anderson, David Kim and Bruce Tolar for a weekend workshop on the basics to small scale development. The workshop will open Friday evening, continue with a full day Saturday and continue with a half day Sunday, January 29-31. This weekend workshop will provide technical skills and resources to navigate development financing, zoning and entitlement, site selection and building design in order assemble your own small scale real estate deal. The workshop will also address issues surrounding becoming developer, including making a transition from your day job (or not), risk management, quality of life and basic business setup and contracting methods.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own projects or test case studies and provide an open office hours forum with experts to discuss real project challenges.

Chris Crowley Lecture, Reception, Bike Tour - November 21-22, 2015

To kick off the Seaside Institute’s aging in place program, Chris Crowley will speak about the fundamental science that is the basis for the Revolution in Aging at a lecture on Saturday, November 21 at 3:00 p.m. in Seaside’s Assembly Hall. He will go on to discuss the basic things that people need to do to join the Revolution.  He will also talk about the social side of the Next Third (of your life) and give advice about putting in place programs and activities that can make retirement (or moving into a new kind of “work”) fun and interesting, instead of the weird combination of terrifying and dull we all worry about. There’s some useful talk about your “limbic” or emotional  brain  (you have one and it has remarkable and surprising control over your life and health). And then some talk about the importance of “connection and commitment” in the Next Third, including your approach to diet and health.

Porchfest: Your guide to a community-building good time

For one afternoon, porches throughout the community become makeshift stages, yards become venues, and people from within and beyond wander the streets, chatting, taking in music, and basically reacquainting themselves with what it means to be neighbors.

Hands-on Design Workshop for “Plan Downtown Oakland"

Your involvement in the creation of Plan Downtown Oakland is needed!  Attend this design workshop to share your ideas about the future of Downtown.  Join the Hands-on Design Workshop & Charrette Kick-off on Mon. Oct. 19! The City of Oakland is preparing both a Specific Plan for the Downtown Oakland area and an Environmental Impact Report.  The objective of the Specific Plan is to provide sound policy guidance on Downtown development linking land use, transportation, economic development, public spaces, cultural arts, and social equity. The Specific Plan is the city’s effort to comprehensively assess our downtown to ensure continued growth and revitalization. 

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