Monday, April 25, 2016

Case Study: Seaside, Florida

By: Josh West

Seaside is an unincorporated master-planned community on the Florida panhandle in Walton County, between Panama City Beach and Destin. As Seaside is privately owned, the municipal government does not have jurisdiction over Seaside, and therefore the developers were able to write their own zoning codes. Built on 80 acres on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Seaside was acclaimed world-wide as one of the iconic examples of New Urbanism. The town offers a thriving town center, all within a walkable district to all of the homes and cottages and office spaces. Seaside consists of over 300 homes, 12 restaurants and 41 shops. One of the biggest things Seaside developed was maximizing waterfront area for all of the residents. Seaside’s high visibility and innovative planning concepts have already helped to spark a broad rethinking of the design of America’s new communities. Seaside’s commercial hub is located at the town center. The streets are designed in a radiating street pattern with pedestrian alleys and open spaces located throughout the town. Individual housing units in Seaside are required to be different from other buildings. All of the buildings range with different styles including; Victorian, Neoclassical, Modern, and Postmodern. Seaside has no private front lawns, and only native plants. The town rose to global fame as being the main filming location of the movie, The Truman Show. On April 18, 2012, the Architects’ Florida Chapter placed the community on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places as the Seaside - New Urbanism Township.

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