Arts & Culturecalendar picks 1

Andrés Duany

In the movie, The Truman Show, Jim Carrey lives an idyllic life in a white-picket-fenced community that’s so perfect, his life is worthy of being broadcast around the world.

Andrés Duany

But, that neighborhood is a real place—Seaside, FL—and when it was built, it set a new standard for livable, walkable communities. Today, that standard is called New Urbanism, and one of the creators of Seaside, and the urban planing it spawned, will be speaking at 5:30 p.m. on Mar. 8 in Room 171 of the UGA Miller Learning Center. Andrés Duany will lecture on the challenges of urban design and planning, specifically focusing on sprawl, at an event sponsored by the UGA College of Environment and Design. Duany and his wife, Elizabeth Plater-Zybek, are founders of DPZ, a planning company in Miami, who worked together on Seaside and also founded the Congress for New Urbanism, a nonprofit organization that promotes walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development and sustainable communities.

Duany’s arrival is timely, says the college’s dean, Daniel Nadenicek, because Duany’s experience with urban planning can help refocus the discussion swirling around the proposed development on the Armstrong & Dobbs land on Oconee Street in downtown Athens.

“We’re a design college, so to us,” Nadenicek says, “it’s really easy for the conversation to go astray when, in fact, what we’re all looking for is the best physical environment possible. So, I think, given Duany’s expertise and his long involvement in communities around the country, we’re hoping that will get us back to a discussion of what is good design.”

The lecture will be followed by a reception at the Founders Memorial Garden—a short walk away from the Miller Learning Center—where Duany will have a chance to answer individual questions. The lecture is free and open to the public.