More than 30 years ago Andrés Duany‘s urban design firm gave the world Seaside, Florida – the real life setting for the 1998 film entitled The Truman Show. Yes, that surreal place showcased in the movie to be too nice to be real actually exists on the Florida Panhandle.
The master planned community sparked a movement, called New Urbanism, for which Duany is as much responsible for as the movement is critiqued by contemporary architects.
Seaside focused on a lot of design concepts that were not necessarily new, but were novel at a time when developers across America were building strip malls, generic subdivisions and carefully segregating land uses. Some people even contend that Seaside helped to spark elements of the green building movement.
Love it or hate it, Seaside made an impact and changed the conversation about community design. While just 30 years old at the time his firm designed Seaside, Duany is no longer young, but he still energetically tours the country talking about New Urbanism and the tenets of good urban design and environmentalism.
The following video won ‘Best Urban Design Short Film’ at the first annual New Urbanism Film Festival in Los Angeles. Seaside, The City of Ideas profiles the coastal community and the basic ideas that influenced Duany’s firm. It is a great video to watch for anyone not intimately familiar with Duany or his New Urbanist movement, and perhaps a good video to watch for even the most familiar planners and architects out there.