Founded in 1980, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) is a major leader in the practice and direction of urban planning, having designed over 300 new and existing communities in the United States and overseas.
DPZ’s projects have received numerous awards, including two National AIA Awards, the Vincent Scully Prize, the Thomas Jefferson Medal and two Governor’s Urban Design Awards for Excellence. The firm’s early project of Seaside, Florida, was the first authentic new town to be built successfully in the United States in over fifty years. In 1989, Time Magazine selected Seaside as one of the 10 "Best of the Decade" achievements in the field of design. The firm has been featured in other national media such as NBC News and ABC News, as well as Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the New Yorker.
The firm is led by its Principals, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, who are co-founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), recognized by the New York Times as "the most important collective architectural movement in the United States in the past fifty years." The movement, currently over 3,000 strong, marked a turning point from the segregated planning and architecture of post-war America; instead, they advocated and promoted the universal and time-tested principles of traditional planning and design that created the best-loved and most-enduring places throughout the world.
The firm’s method of integrating master plans with project-specific design codes and regulations is currently being applied to sites ranging from 10 to 10,000 acres throughout the United States. Abroad, DPZ projects are underway in Scotland, Spain, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Australia, the Philippines, Mexico, India and Turkey. Urban redevelopment plans for existing communities include: Baton Rouge, Louisiana; West Palm Beach, Naples, Sarasota, and Fort Myers, Florida; and Providence, Rhode Island. In addition, the firm is rewriting the entire City of Miami zoning code in the groundbreaking Miami 21 project.
A significant aspect of DPZ’s work is its innovative planning regulations which accompany each design. Tailored to the individual project, the codes address the manner in which buildings are formed and located to ensure that they create useful and distinctive public spaces. Local architectural traditions and building techniques are also codified within the regulations. In the last five years, DPZ has also been continually developing a new model, form-based zoning code called the SmartCode, which has been adopted by municipalities across the country.
DPZ has also taken a leading role in the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Working with both with the Mississippi Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal, and the Louisiana Recovery Authority, DPZ’s designers generated plans for rebuilding at the regional, local and neighborhood scales, as well as guidelines for individual homeowners looking to rebuild. Notably, DPZ organized and led the Mississippi Renewal Forum, which generated plans for all eleven municipalites along the Mississippi Coast, conducted the Louisiana Speaks charrette series and participated in the Unified New Orleans Plan as neighborhood planners.
Duany and Plater-Zyberk’s recent book, Suburban Nation, written with Jeff Speck, was hailed as "an essential text for our time," and "a major literary event," in the national media. In 2004, Builder Magazine recognized Duany as among the 50 most influential people in home building, the ranks of which included economists, bankers and developers, apart from architects, planners and builders. Duany was ranked after Alan Greenspan, Franklin Rainee, George W. Bush and Jerry Howard, earning Duany the distinction of being the top ranking individual from the private sector. Duany sits on the board of the National Town Builders Association, and Plater-Zyberk shepherds the Knight Program in Community Building, a program that brings an interdisciplinary approach to the revitalization of inner cities. These and other efforts have earned Duany, Plater-Zyberk, and the firm at large international recognition and dozens of local and national awards in recognition of their contributions to the American built environment.