Korkut Onaran

Korkut Onaran

Assistant Professor Adjunct
  • Planning and Design Department (CAP)

Email Address: korkut.onaran@ucdenver.edu

Primary Phone: 303-557-8188

Office Hours: Office Location: Office Hours: By appointment Email: Korkut@pel-ona.com Cell: 303.557.8188


  • Design Policy/Regulation
  • Small Town, Rural, and Resort Planning
  • Sustainable Tourism Planning in Greece
  • Planning Project Studio 
  • City Design Policy 
  • Directed Studies in Turkey: Multi-Level Planning and Urban Design Studio (A six-credit study abroad program)

Areas of Expertise

Land use/environmental planning, urban design, growth management, historic preservation

Education, Licensure & Certifications


  • 1996 Ph.D. in Environmental Studies Institute of Environmental Studies / Land Resources Program in University of Wisconsin - Madison. The dissertation title: “Official attitudes, regulation cultures, and practical interactions in design review: A study in Wisconsin's communities.” Study under the direction of Prof. Fahriye Sancar.
  • 1990 Master in Architecture; School of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Ankara 
    Thesis: “A search for aesthetics of urban morphology” 
    Project title: Design of a sequence of urban terraces and plazas in historic center of Ankara. 
    Area of research and study: History of and theories in urban design.
  • 1987 Bachelor of Architecture, honors School of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Ankara



  • October 2007 AIA Colorado North 2007 Mentor of the Year Award
  • July, 1995 Fifth Prize in the national competition for Opera House and Performing Arts Center in Ankara issued by the Turkish Ministry of Culture (Entry with a group formed by K. Onaran, Y. Eskinat, O. Arslan, H. Simsek)
  • October, 1989 Second Prize in the national competition of Commercial, Cultural and Recreational Complex in Kusadasi, issued by the Municipality of Kusadasi. (Entry with a group formed by K. Onaran, A. Uysal, A. Ergulec).
  • February, 1989 Fifth Prize in the national competition for Gaziantep Recreational Zone Master Plan issued by the Municipality of Gaziantep. (Entry with the Bademli Planning Team; R. Bademli, O. Kiral, Z. Ulkenli, F. Erkal)
  • October, 1988 First Prize in the national competition “Small House and Its Different Applications” issued by KAM (Housing Research Center) of METU.
  • February, 1988 Fourth Prize in the national competition “Conservation Master Plan for Castle District in Ankara” issued by the Municipality of Altindag, Ankara. (Entry with a group formed by A.O.Ozturk, K.Onaran, A.Ardicoglu, H.Butuner).


  • Published poetry in several journals and anthologies. Received Second Prize in 2006 Baltimore Review’s annual poetry competition.
  • Performances as a tenor in early Music Singers of Colorado, singing a cappella choir music from 15th and 16th centuries.



Land use planning, environmental planning, methodology of planning and design, environment and behavior studies, growth management, sociology of law, historic preservation, and legal aesthetics.

Professional Activities Principal, Wolff-Lyon Architects (To see our work please visit: www.wlarch.com )

Professional Associations A Director in the Board of Directors for the Planning Institude of Colorado Member of Congress of New Urbanism

Publications and Presentations


Onaran, K., F. Sancar.1998. Design review in small communities. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, vol.25, pp.539-557

Onaran, S. K. 1995. Protecting the collectively appreciated: Different approaches to aesthetics and aesthetic regulation in the United States. Journal of Faculty of Architecture, M.E.T.U., vol.15, pp.17-36.

Onaran, K. 1990. Efes’in ogrettikleri (Learning from Ephesus). Media, Spring 1990, pp.39-43. 

Onaran, K. 1990. Cesitlilik kavrami ve cevresel bloklar (Concept of variety and peripheral blocks). Media, Spring 1990, pp.16-22.

Onaran, K., F. Sancar, W. Tlusty. 1995. Postmodernism in the trenches: Official attitudes about design review in smaller communities of Wisconsin. Poster presentation and abstract, the 26th Conference of Environmental Design Research (EDRA), in Boston, March 1-5, 1995. 

Sancar, F., K. Onaran. 2001. Designerly argumentation in Boulder, Colorado. Journal of Urban Design, Vol.6, No.1, pp.5-26.

Sancar, F., K. Onaran. 1999. Designerly argumentation in Boulder, Colorado. Paper presentation in 41st Annual ACSP (Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning) Conference. October 21-24, Chicago

Sancar, F., K. Onaran. 1997. Modeling the dynamics of informalization in land use controls: Using system dynamics to formulate research in land-use planning. In 15th International System Dynamics Conference, August 19-22, 1997, Istanbul, vol.1, pp.219-222.

Sancar, F., K. Onaran. 1996. Developing and evaluating growth management strategies for Dane County, Wisconsin. Poster presentation and abstract, the 27th Conference of Environmental Design Research (EDRA), in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 12-16, 1995.

Sancar, F., H. Macari, T. Barmann, K. Onaran, G. Sargin. 1992. New visions for Kickapoo: Regional design proposal for future development. Unpublished Report. Dept. of Landscape Architecture, UW-Madison.

Codes, Standards, and Design Guidelines Prepared In Civitas Inc. and In Wolff-Lyon Architects, As A Co-Author

Wolff – Lyon Architects. 2006. Design guidelines and standards for Sunrise Valley Planned Community Development, Washington City, Utah. (Adopted on March 2006 by Washington City, Utah).

Wolff – Lyon Architects. 2005. Truckee railyard building types study: Mixed-use and affordable housing opportunities. (Work commissioned by Town of Truckee, California.

Wolff – Lyon Architects, Nelsen Architects, Goff Engineering, Becholt Engineering, Sugnet Environmental, and GRVP, LLC. 2005. Three Springs Codes and Standards, Durango, Colorado. (Currently under review for adoption by the City of Durango).

Civitas Inc. 2001. PUD Design standards for Broomfield Urban Transit Village. (Adopted by the City of Broomfield on 2002).

Civitas Inc. 2000. South Platte River Corridor development design objectives: A primer for the desired character of new development within the South Platte River Corridor in Littleton, Colorado. (Work commissioned by the City of Littleton).