Just last month, we celebrated what would have been Vincent Scully’s 99th birthday.
Scully was a great American art historian, a Sterling Professor of the History of Art in Architecture at Yale University, and was known as the “father of new urbanism”. His idea that towns should be designed with people in mind rather than automobiles inspired Seaside’s development, and his likeness can be seen on a bright, lavender mural at the center of town. Although his architectural style is called new urbanism, the human-centric design concept is more of a traditional perspective to architecture and urban planning.
New urbanism in Seaside provides more than just an aesthetic appeal. At this point, we know that the way our buildings and cities are designed can have an effect on our physical and mental health, with big-city living tied to more physical and mental health issues than living in smaller or rural towns. With this in mind, Seaside restricts high-rise buildings from its picturesque landscape and has carefully crafted its neighborhoods to remain within just ten minutes of walking time between homes, entertainment, and shopping. Given its people-friendly layout, living in Seaside could be good for your health.
New urbanism in Seaside promotes positive social interactions
One of the flagship qualities of new urbanist areas like Seaside is having smaller, suburban neighborhoods. A study in 2017 showed that suburban development showed a significantly positive impact on mental health and well-being and that cluster housing was ranked the highest for social interactions with neighbors and perceived safety from crime.
Beyond making us feel good, increased social interactions where we live can help keep our brains young by increasing neuroplasticity and improve our memory, which means choosing a community like Seaside can potentially help retirees stay active, sharp, and engaged. It also makes for a healthy environment for kids to develop better social skills and better cognitive performance.
Free and affordable community events are common here, including outdoor, family-friendly movie nights at the Seaside Amphitheatre every Friday during the summer, fun weekly Farmer’s Markets, live music every Sunday at Pescado’s must-have brunch, and weekly summer bonfires put on by the renowned Chef Jim Shirley with his restaurant, The Bay.
New urbanism in Seaside means better air quality
Because Seaside is made for ultimate walkability, bike-ability, and convenient public transit, we tend to have fewer vehicles on the street than other cities that are designed to optimize vehicle use. Since non-motorized transit is common and the distances that vehicles and buses must go to get from Point A to Point B in a compact new urbanist city are shorter, Seaside residents are exposed to less air pollution and noise pollution, resulting in better overall health. As an added bonus, you’re also not likely to sit for hours in stressful traffic as you might in bigger Floridian cities like Miami or Tampa.
Beyond promoting less car-related pollution, streets also are designed to favor pedestrian and driver safety, which means we have fewer traffic accidents. Most residents are just a quick (and safe) walk or bike-ride away from shopping and entertainment.
New urbanism in Seaside keeps people active
Arguably the most important aspect of new urbanism is its ability to promote more physical activity since inactivity is one of the world’s leading causes of mortality. Because our surrounding architecture and environment have been known to have a significant influence on human behavior, living in a community that not only supports but actually encourages physical activity can make it so much easier to stay active at any age.
Bike rentals, hiking trails, community pools, shuffleboard courts, and paddleboard rentals are common in Seaside, and it’s just as common to see people actually using these amenities. On top of their physical benefits, the communal nature of most of these activities contributes yet another healthy social outlet for residents.
New urbanism in Seaside makes it easier to access resources
Seaside’s efficient road structure was created in such a way that no community is isolated or has difficulty accessing resources, meaning residents have an easier time meeting their basic needs. The city is designed to support shorter traveling distances and plenty of transit options so that proximity to things like fitness centers, job opportunities, or medical centers aren’t a barrier for residents to access them when needed. Put simply, Seaside lends itself to equal opportunity.
This can be especially helpful for older residents who may no longer drive and has also created a community in which the majority of people live comfortably because they’re not physically isolated from commerce or health. Other positive consequences of this particular set up is that residents enjoy less crime and a more stable, growing economy.
New urbanism makes Seaside property more valuable
As the world starts to move in a more environmentally-conscious direction, new urbanist cities will likely appreciate more quickly as young families and health-conscious retirees move to areas that place a higher value on clean air, physical activity, and easy access to jobs.
Since more studies continue to prove the positive influence that new urbanism can have on our health and economy, this leading-edge architectural style will surely gain more popularity and with any luck, will become the norm for most American cities as they change over time. Seaside is proud to be one of the leaders of this movement, and its residents are happy to reap the benefits of it every single day.
Is Seaside right for you?
Between the town’s cozy, new urbanist design and its establishments’ involvement in keeping residents happy and connected, there’s an unmistakable inclusiveness one feels on Seaside’s white sandy beaches.
If you’re thinking about relocating to this special coastal community, we’re happy to answer any questions you have about our listings, what it’s like to live here or anything else that’s important to you regarding Seaside living.
Contact Chad Farnum at (850) 419-7383 for more information.
You can also view our Seaside listings here: https://www.coastalinspirationsrealty.com/neighborhoods/seaside/