Architectural conference to address 30 years of Seaside, Fla.

Author: Kara Kelly

Seaside at 30: Lessons from the First New Urbanist Community and the Future of Traditional Town Building

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture will host a three-day conference titled “Seaside at 30: Lessons from the First New Urbanist Community and the Future of Traditional Town Building” Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 (Thursday to Saturday) at Bond Hall on the University’s campus.

The event is open to the public and registration is required on the conference website. There is no charge for Notre Dame students and faculty.

The conference will examine the successes and failures of Seaside, Fla., by bringing together the architects, planners and builders who created it. By examining the founding of this seminal work in the history of urban design—the planning, the creation and testing of the code, and early building designs, experts will address the ongoing influence of Seaside today and look to the future of the New Urbanism movement.

Seaside is an unincorporated master-planned community on the Florida panhandle between Panama City Beach and Destin. The town has become the topic of lectures in architectural schools and housing-industry magazines, and is visited by design professionals from all over the world. It was also the setting for the 1998 satirical film “The Truman Show.”

Robert Davis, Seaside founder and developer; Andrés Duany, Seaside’s first architect and town planner; and Léon Krier, architect and master-plan consultant, will deliver keynote addresses at 5 p.m. Thursday in 104 Bond Hall. It will be followed by the launch of the Seaside Research Portal, an online resource for students and enthusiasts of architecture, urban design, planning and real estate that will serve as a digital archive of Seaside featuring maps, plans and images in a variety of media.

Friday’s presenters include Dhiru Thadani, a practicing architect, urban designer, educator and author of “The Language of Towns & Cities: A Visual Dictionary;” Scott Merrill, principal, Merrill, Pastor & Colgan Architects; and Christopher Leinberger, a land-use strategist, developer, researcher and author.

Saturday’s presenters include Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, a partner in the firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company and dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture; Daniel Parolek, a 1995 Notre Dame graduate, architect and urbanist committed to creating walkable, sustainable places; and Marianne Cusato, a 1997 Notre Dame graduate well known for her work on the Katrina Cottages and ranked the No. 4 most influential person in the home building industry in Builder magazine’s annual “Power on 50” list.

Contact: Kara Kelly, School of Architecture, 574-631-5720,