Design Lessons from Seaside Florida

The Congress for the New Urbanism’s CNU 21 is happening in Salt Lake City as I write this post. Among the wealth of media that has been released in the build up to the event is an excellent video about Seaside, Florida. It’s about 15 minutes long, shows Andres Duany wandering around the town pointing things out and is consequently filled with useful points about good city planning:

• Lawns are used in a hybrid public space-flood plain. Everywhere else it’s just natural vegetation.

• Streets can be paved with brick because they’re paved gradually, rather than all at once as is the case with asphalt, and because they’re narrower.

• According to Duany, New Urbanism is agnostic to style.

• Creating places like Seaside that have live-work spaces, are built incrementally, etc. is actually more cost-effective than building “traditional” development as it emerged in the mid to late 20th century.

• Due to Seaside’s design, cars and kids are able to easier share the roads.

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