2017 Seaside Prize Winners by Beverly C. Walters, M.D.
The Seaside Institute is proud to announce the 2017 recipients of the Seaside Prize: Anthony Garcia and Michael Lydon, co-authors of “Tactical Urbanism,” and co-principals at Street Plans Collaborative in Miami and New York. Both winners are actively involved in the Congress for the New Urbanism.
Tony Garcia is an architect, writer, speaker and advocate focusing on transit, pedestrian, and bicycle infrastructure and a faculty member at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Not only has he been a project director for major architectural projects, but was, from 2008 to 2012, the managing editor and publisher of the blog, TransitMiami.com. His interest in bicycle mobility led to his work with the Green Mobility Network in Miami, and to founding the Ludlam Trail Project, leading to more than 50 acres of new parkland in Miami-Dade County. He has a bachelor’s degree in architecture and urban design from New York University and a master’s in architecture from the University of Miami. Garcia heads up the firm’s Miami office.
Planner, speaker, writer and advocate Mike Lydon co-launched the Street Plans Collaborative with Tony Garcia in 2009, after working for three years at Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ), where he contributed heavily to the Miami 21 project, winner of the American Planning Association’s National Planning Excellence Award. Prior to his work at DPZ, Lydon worked at Smart Growth Vermont, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition and Ann Arbor’s GetDowntown Program. Besides “Tactical Urbanism,” Lydon co-authored “The Smart Growth Manual” with Andrés Duany and Jeff Speck. Lydon has a bachelor’s degree in American cultural studies from Bates College and a master’s in urban planning from the University of Michigan. Lydon heads up the firm’s New York office. And like Garcia, Lydon is an avid bicyclist.
According to Wikipedia, tactical urbanism is an umbrella term used to describe a collection of low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually in cities, intended to improve local neighborhoods and city gathering places. “The Planners Guide to Tactical Urbanism” refers to it as “guerilla urbanism, pop-up urbanism, city repair, or D.I.Y. (Do it yourself) urbanism.” In his foreword to their book, Seaside urban planner Andrés Duany comments that, “The brilliance of ‘Tactical Urbanism’ is not just that it is an agile response to the reduced circumstances of the 21st Century, but that it has turned the opposition, private and public, into a motive. The frustrated and frustrating process of public participation begins skeptically and tentatively and then picks up as confidence is reestablished with tactical urbanist demonstrations.
“’Tactical Urbanism’ is pure American know-how. It is the common sense that housed, fed and prospered an entire continent of penniless immigrants,” Duany continues. “We need to think this way again … Without that, you just won’t get tactical urbanism. What a great filter for admission to some very good company.”
More recently, Duany commented that, “Mike and Tony, not by their age alone, lead the next generation of new urbanists. More important is that they are the next intellectual generation. They understand the limits of the 21st Century and confront them with audacity and creativity.”
Lydon and Garcia will be celebrated at the Seaside Prize Weekend event slated for Feb. 24 - 26, 2017, and are planning an extraordinary experience for everyone.