The Seaside Academic Village is a project that is being spearheaded by the Seaside Institute, a nonprofit organization located in the town of Seaside in Walton County between Panama City and Destin on the Florida panhandle. Widely considered the birthplace of traditional neighborhood development and the new urbanism., this 80-acre town has served as a town planning laboratory for architects, builders and developers for the past three decades and is visited by design professionals from all over the world.
The Institute’s mission is to convene the best thinkers and practitioners in the field of new urbanism to discuss and debate at the highest level; educate students and professionals through programs created by the Institute; gather like-minded organizations together so that they can learn from one another; and provide the necessary tools to improve the way communities are formed and developed.
As the town has grown and prospered beyond the founders wildest dreams, property values have soared (Seaside has some of the highest real estate values in the country). It has become a challenge to fulfill the goals of the Institute due to high rental costs and a lack of a central gathering place for students. It is hoped that by creating this village on-site in Seaside, the work of the Institute will be more readily available to students and professionals year-round.
The Seaside Institute has an office in Seaside and members from all over the country.