My husband Peter and I just returned from the International Urban Design Symposium sponsored by the Seaside Institute. This year’s prize winner was Rob Krier (architect, urban designer, sculptor and artist). The weekend was filled with lectures in all disciplines of New Urbanism, a concept that encourages practices that are economically and environmentally sustainable — always promoting walkable communities, focused on mixed use zoning, driving job development and economic growth. The last day of the symposium, Andres Duany of DPZ led a walking tour of Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach. Both communities are based around town squares (community open space) – mixed use zoning allows for retail, restaurants, office spaces and housing to coexist in the same buildings. High-density neighborhoods are accomplished with narrow walkways and the use of public and private courtyards. What a great way to spend a weekend gaining knowledge in the future of smart growth!!