Duany and Plater-Zyberk Take Home a Driehaus Prize

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Good times in Miami for Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. They took home the Richard H. Driehaus Prize this week for their plans for a new movement in town building, “New Urbanism,” which tries to move away from suburban sprawl and car-dependent cities by re-introducing classic “Main Street America” style planning. Not only do they take home the $200,000 prize, but the husband and wife team also made a bit of history, with Plater-Zyberk being the first woman to win it. Here’s a little about their projects:

Beginning with Seaside, which opened in the early 1980s, they have revived traditional town planning principles, bringing back street grids, front porches, town squares and other elements of pedestrian-friendly town planning that suburban planners had largely abandoned in favor of subdivisions and cul-de-sacs.

Some architects, critics and academics regard their efforts as nostalgic or arrogant, saying sprawl is here to stay and that it offers middle-class people the mobility, privacy and choice once enjoyed solely by the rich.