The Seaside Prize, which was first presented in 1993, is an award given to individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to the quality and character of communities.
The Seaside Institute’s founding board members came up with the idea of this award to acknowledge those who had made great strides in spurring the new urban movement forward. Each year, the recipient of the award is recognized at a ceremony held in Seaside. Originally a small, intimate affair, the Seaside Prize has grown into a multi-day event in which the whole town gets involved with attendees renting houses in the town, businesses enlisted in food service and other cultural organizations provide entertainment.
The first Seaside Prize was presented to Seaside’s co-town planners Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, along with Vincent Scully. Since then, the Seaside Prize has been presented to planners, architects, writers, politicians and, in one instance, an entire town (the City of Portland, 1985). The award is a solid bronze key with an image of the town of Seaside imprinted on one end and the prize name on the other. It was designed by architect and town planner Dhiru Thadani (2011 recipient) and presented for the first time at the 20th anniversary of Seaside in 2001.