Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company

Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company

Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) is a Miami, Florida-based architecture and town planning firm founded in 1980 by the husband-and-wife team of Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. It is one of the dominant firms specializing in new urbanist town planning in the United States and other countries, having completed designs for over 300 new and existing communities. In addition to Duany and Plater-Zyberk, DPZ's Partners include Galina Tachieva, Marina Khoury, Senen M. A. Antonio and Matthew J. Lambert.


Areas of practice

Areas of practice include regional and downtown plans, new towns, urban infill, villages and resort villages, transit-oriented development, suburban retrofits, campuses, housing, affordable housing and civic buildings. The firm is headquartered in Miami, Florida, with offices in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Charlotte, North Carolina.


DPZ’s projects have received numerous awards, including two National AIA Awards, the Thomas Jefferson Award, the Vincent Scully Prize 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. Other well-known DPZ-designed communities include Kentlands, MD; Rosemary Beach, FL; Alys Beach, FL; Habersham, SC; New Town St. Charles, MO; and Prospect New Town, CO.


DPZ's work has brought international attention to urbanism and its postwar decline, being among the first to advocate a return to sustainable, environmentally-responsive, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use and compact urban growth. A significant aspect of DPZ’s work is its innovative use of 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. Architectural style, often based upon local building traditions and techniques, are also codified within the regulations. In the last five years, DPZ has also been continually developing a new model zoning code called the SmartCode. This is based on an analytical tool called the Transect, which classifies degrees of urbanism within a continuum from urban core, through general urban neighborhoods to rural wilderness, and promotes a system of zoning according to that structure. The growing acceptance of traditional neighborhood development and of form-based regulation has inspired many municipalities across the country to adopt the SmartCode.

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 (40 km2) throughout the United States. Abroad, DPZ projects are underway in Scotland, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, England, Russia, Turkey, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Urban redevelopment plans for existing communities include those for Baton Rouge, Louisiana; West Palm Beach, Naples, Sarasota, and Fort Myers, Florida; and Providence, Rhode Island. In addition, the firm undertook the comprehensive overhaul of the City of Miami's zoning code, dubbed Miami 21, which was passed in May 2010.

Disaster Recovery Planning

DPZ has also taken a leading role in the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Working with both 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 developed guidelines for individual homeowners looking to rebuild. Notably, DPZ organized and led the Mississippi Renewal Forum, which generated plans for all eleven municipalities along the Mississippi Coast; prepared a series of typological plans for recovery and redevelopment of the Southern Louisiana coast under the Louisiana Speaks effort; and participated in the Unified New Orleans Plan as the neighborhood planner for the French Quarter, the Central Business District and Gentilly. Most recently, DPZ, working under the banner of The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment (TPFBE), prepared a post-earthquake recovery plan for Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


Duany and Plater-Zyberk’s 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. The New Civic Art, written with Robert Alminana, was also published to wide acclaim. More recent publications include Duany's and Speck's The Smart Growth Manual, Thomas E. Low's Light Imprint Handbook: Integrating Sustainability and Community Design, Galina Tachieva's Sprawl Repair Manual and Duany's Garden Cities: Theory & Practice of Agrarian Urbanism (published by TPFBE).

DPZ Pacific

In 2005, DPZ Director Demetri Baches and Project Manager Mallory Baches founded DPZ Pacific, the company's first affiliate office and its first international office. The firm focuses exclusively on work in Asia, India, Southeast Asia and Oceania using the principles and techniques pioneered by Duany and Plater-Zyberk. DPZ Pacific's office is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is headed up by Kamal Zaharin, a former DPZ Project Manager, who returned to his native Malaysia in 1999.

The firm has completed numerous plans and codes for new cities and town centers in China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and the UAE. DPZ Pacific is currently promoting sustainable regional planning in rural areas of developing countries by advising government officials and investors on planning for compact and walkable, mixed-use, community systems.

Further reading

  • Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream 320 pages, North Point Press, 2001 ISBN 0-8654-7606-3 or ISBN 978-0865476066
  • Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Robert Alminana New Civic Art : Elements of Town Planning 384 pp., Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2003. ISBN 0847821862
  • Joanna Lombard The Architecture of Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2005 ISBN 0-8478-2600-7
  • Andres Duany, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company Garden Cities: Theory & Practice of Agrarian Urbanism 99 pp., The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, 2011. ISBN 1906384045 or ISBN 978-1906384043

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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