Seaside Institute Announces 2025 Seaside Prize Recipients

June 10, 2024 by SoWal Staff

The Seaside Institute is honored to bestow the 2025 Seaside Prize upon two distinguished individuals: Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson. The celebration will take place the weekend of February 7 through February 9, 2025, with a variety of events and symposia.

Architects and academics Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson are co-authors of the groundbreaking Retrofitting Suburbia series of books. For over 20 years, they have documented and advocated for successful redevelopment, reinhabitation, and regreening of dead shopping malls, aging office parks and other parking-lot-dominated real estate into more resilient, just, and community-serving places. Their book Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (Wiley, 2008, updated 2011) won the Association of American Publishers PROSE Award for best architecture and planning book of the year. A sequel, Case Studies in Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Strategies for Urgent Challenges (Wiley, 2021) , won a Great Places Book Award from the Environmental Design Research Association. Their work has been widely featured, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, PBS, and TED.

Ellen Dunham-Jones is professor and director of the MS in Urban Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, where she hosts the Redesigning Cities podcast series. She has been honored as the 2018–19 Woman Educator of the Year by Architectural Record, the 2023 Plym Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois and by Planetizen in 2017 and 2023 as one of the 100 most influential urbanists. Author of over 100 papers and book chapters on contemporary design theory and practice, she maintains the suburban retrofit database, tracking over 2,500 entries.

She is a Fellow and past board chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism and currently serves on the steering committee of the Urban Design Academic Council.

June Williamson is professor and director of Graduate Programs in Architecture at The City College of New York’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. Her sole-authored book Designing Suburban Futures: New Models from Build a Better Burb (Island Press, 2013) contextualizes and documents an innovative urban design ideas competition for re-envisioning suburban areas of Long Island. She serves on the board of directors of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She has practiced and taught architecture and urban design across the United States in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Boston.

The Seaside Prize is a testament to the tremendous impact June Williamson and Ellen Dunham-Jones have had on the built environment. Their books and teachings inspire architects, planners, urban designers, developers, and community leaders to retrofit aging, underperforming suburban properties to address urgent challenges, disrupt automobile dependence, improve public health, support an aging society, leverage social capital for equity, compete for jobs, and add water and energy resilience. Together they have worked to bring change to education and to communities to “Retrofit Suburbia.”

The Seaside Institute will formally present the Seaside Prize to Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson at the awards ceremony on February 8, 2025, by Seaside, Florida, founder Robert Davis. The ceremony will be hosted at The Chapel at Seaside, and it promises to be an evening of celebration, reflection and inspiration.

For more information about the Seaside Prize and the Seaside Institute, please visit our website at

The Seaside Prize is an annual award presented by the Seaside Institute to individuals who have made significant contributions to the fields of architecture, urban planning, and community development. The recipients are selected based on their exceptional achievements, commitment to design excellence, and their positive impact on communities around the world.

The Seaside Institute was founded in 1982. It is a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to advancing the ideas of community, education, and design for 42 years. Through research, programs, and events, the institute strives to create sustainable, resilient, and livable communities. With its roots in the iconic town of Seaside, Florida, the Seaside Institute serves as a collaborative hub for architects, urban planners, and community leaders.

Seaside, Florida, was founded in 1981 by Robert and Daryl Davis. Later, the architectural influence of Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk explored the ideas of traditional town design before sprawl became the new normal. Seaside is considered the birthplace of New Urbanism through its influence and radical ideas to minimize the trending sprawl and go back to the roots of walkable, sustainable, mixed-use town planning. Seaside soon became a place people sought out to experience as a retreat. Other towns and communities worldwide were influenced by the core principles that Seaside embodies. Seaside has become a movement, not just a location, as its rich roots and history make it truly a unique pioneer to all who study New Urbanism principles.


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