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Oct

16

2012

New Urbanist Community Seaside Celebrates 30th Birthday

Seaside is designed to be walkable and includes streets mixing boutiques and residences.  Steven Brooke

When Robert Davis inherited 80 acres of costal land in the pandhandle of Florida from his grandfather in 1978, he had a vision. Davis set out to create an old-fashioned beach town with modern innovations: "A town seamlessly tied by a common sense of community... Simple. Beautiful. Graceful. Elegant." He succeeded, his ambitions resulting in Seaside, one of the first New Urbanist communities in America.

Over the past few decades, Seaside has grown into a vibrant community, replete with farmer's markets, shops and galleries, local festivals, marathons, a charter school, a renowned theatre and a nondemoninational chapel containing a bell tower. Additionally, the Seaside Institue is a "non-profit organization [that] sponsors a wide variety of performing and visual arts, literary events, and educational programs throughout the year. Chamber music performances. Dance recitals. Poetry readings. Architectural forums." There is a prominent emphasis placed on walkability, and locals "can walk to the beach or stores from anywhere within five minutes." This town has become home to over 2,000 people and, needless to say, provides a premier quality of life for its residents.

Recently, Seaside celebrated its 30th Birthday, resulting in a flood of press and praises for the success of this community. Better Cities & Towns claims that it is "perhaps the most influential new town in recent decades." USA Today states, "Simple pleasures in artfully quaint surroundings are treasured at Seaside.

As Seaside is one of Town Creek's principal inspirations, we would like to congratulate them on their achievements and wish them a Happy Birthday. Our beginnings started very much as theirs did, with a local family yearning to retain the small-town charms and genuine culture of the surrounding area, while allowing the community to grow into beautiful, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. To read the full story of Town Creek's origins, click here.


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