Background

The following items include Steve's background in several areas.

Recent Awards

Mizner Award, 2024

International Making Cities Livable Lifetime Achievement Award (with Wanda), 2023

Village of Providence 2018 Charter Award (Steve was charrette team member and is Town Architect)

Barranco Award for Architecture, 2012

Southlands: Agricultural Urbanism, 2010 Charter Award (Steve was charrette team member)

Planning Abaco, 2009 Charter Award (Steve was charrette team member)

A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Bahamas], 2008 Charter Award

City of Leander, Texas Code, 2007 Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award

Katrina Cottage VIII, 2007 Charter Award

Recent Activities

Fellow, Congress for the New Urbanism: 22 - present

Urban Guild Board Member: 19 - present

Useful Stuff blog: 09 - present

Project:SmartDwelling Initiative: 09 - present

Transect Codes Council: 09 - present

Original Green Blog: 08 - present

INTBAU - USA Board of Directors: 08 - 12

US Green Building Council Technical Advisory Group: 08 - 09

Sky Institute Board of Directors: 07 - present

South Main Town Architect: 06 - 07

Katrina Cottage Initiative: 05 - present

Original Green Initiative: 05 - present

Guild Foundation Board of Directors: 05 - 19

University of Miami School of Architecture Lecturer: 04 - 12

Form-Based Codes Institute Board of Directors: 04 - 05

Frequent Lecturer on architecture and sustainable buildings & places: 03 - present

The Waters Town Architect & Town Planner: 03 - 08

Village of Providence Town Architect: 02 - present

Moss Rock Preserve Town Architect: 02 - present

Gorham’s Bluff Town Architect & Town Planner: 01 - present

New Urban Guild Co-Founder: 01

Congress for the New Urbanism member: 98 - present

National Trust for Historic Preservation member: 98 - present

Selected Projects

Village of Providence: 02 - present

Steve’s work as a charrette team member at the Village of Providence in Huntsville, Alabama began a long and ongoing collaboration with master planner Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company on a countless series of projects and initiatives, several of which have been award-winners, including this one. Providence was the National Association of Home Builders Community of the Year in 2017 and won a Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism in 2018. Steve remains heavily involved with Providence in a number of capacities, most notably serving as Town Architect. Steve was also the author of the pattern book for the architecture of Providence.

University of Alabama: 04 - present

Steve has served the University of Alabama in a role similar to that of a Town Architect, reviewing new construction and renovations for all except the athletics department, which has its own process. Approximately five billion dollars of construction has been completed with Steve’s review. In addition to design review duties, Steve wrote the University’s new architectural guidelines.

Sky: 06 - 10

Steve was involved with Sky since the original DPZ planning charrette, which was the site of several notable advances in New Urbanist thinking. The seeds of Agrarian Urbanism were planted here, thanks in large part to Steve’s work on self-sufficient homesteads and hamlets. More recently, Steve developed the Sky Method, which is re-structures the entire development process in a more organic manner so as to bypass America’s broken development financing system. While the project did not go forward due to the 2008 Meltdown, several significant advances were made as a result of Sky. Steve serves on the board of the Sky Institute. Sky’s Town Founder is New Urban Guild member Julie Sanford.

Moss Rock Preserve: 02 - present

Steve has served as Town Architect of the Preserve in Hoover, Alabama almost since the beginning, with one hiatus of a couple years during the Great Recession when little was built. Steve also designed the Preserve Town Center with Frank Greene in 2003 and has consulted on updates to the design ever since. Currently, Steve is planning the final phases of the Preserve.

Gorham’s Bluff: 01 - present

Steve re-planned Gorham’s Bluff, near Pisgah, Alabama in 2001 and has served as Town Architect ever since. He wrote the architectural pattern book and has designed homes there. Steve co-founded the New Urban Guild with Nathan Norris at Gorham’s Bluff in 2001.

Schooner Bay: 06 - 17

Steve was commissioned to write A Living Tradition [Architecture of The Bahamas] by Orjan Lindroth, the Town Founder of Schooner Bay. He was at DPZ’s planning charrette for Schooner Bay, and led two New Urban Guild charrettes for architecture at Schooner Bay, in addition to designing numerous building schematics outside of the charrettes.

Alys Beach: 03 - 17

Steve was commissioned to photograph the architecture of Bermuda and Antigua Guatemala, which became the basis for the architecture of Alys Beach. He then participated in DPZ’s charrette to develop the land plan. Later, a dozen New Urban Guild members designed the first houses. Several of Steve’s designs are built there.

Lost Rabbit: 03 - 16

Steve worked on DPZ’s original planning charrette for the Town of Lost Rabbit, and later led the New Urban Guild architecture charrette. It was at the end of this charrette that the Transmission Device of Living Traditions was finally discovered; This breakthrough became the foundation for many advances since, including the Living Tradition series of books. Steve is not the only beneficiary of this breakthrough, as others are now building on its worth.

Southlands: 08

Steve was one of several New Urban Guild members who worked on DPZ’s Southlands charrette. Steve’s work focused heavily on agriculture, including the Agricultural Precinct. It was at Southlands that Steve was finally able to put together his long-sought “moral imperative for agriculture,” whereby a developer would see that it was both in the interest of the project and also in his own best interest to include the lands that feed the people as part of the project.

Rose Town: 06 - 08

Steve worked on two charrettes sponsored by the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment (now The King's Foundation) in Rose Town, a desperately poor neighborhood in Kingston, Jamaica. He developed the “wet appliance,” a tiny house core which could be craned into place quickly, allowing residents to build out the rest of their houses over time. He also developed a highly innovative “proverb code,” which was adopted by the people in a most surprising way.

Hurricane Katrina Initiatives: 05 - 08

Steve was one of the key people in several Hurricane Katrina recovery initiatives in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana in the weeks, months, and years after the storm. Andrés Duany and Steve came up with the idea of the Katrina Cottages on the Saturday after the storm and set in motion on that same day the initiative that would become the Mississippi Renewal Forum. New Urban Guild members made up most of the architecture team at the Forum, which was arguably the largest planning event in human history, with almost 200 planners and other design professionals working side by side in one huge room. Steve published Emergency House Plans the spring after the storm; it was the first book of Katrina Cottages, with plans designed pro bono by Guild members. Steve also developed the Katrina Cottage Guidelines, which was a pattern book to guide housing manufacturers producing Katrina Cottages.

Mississippi Renewal Forum: 05-06

The Mississippi Renewal Forum, likely the largest planning event in human history with a team of nearly 200 professionals working in the same massive room to redesign the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, began with a phone call to Steve. Realizing the enormity of the project, he enlisted the help of Andrés Duany, who then brought in the Congress for the New Urbanism. The Architecture Team at the Forum was composed of New Urban Guild members. Numerous other Guild members worked as planners on other teams.

The Waters: 03 - 08

Steve led the planning team that designed the Waters, near Montgomery, Alabama. He also served as Town Architect there for the first five years. The Waters has served as the most extensive laboratory to date for testing Steve’s ideas about living traditions, and refining his Town Architect methods. The Waters was recently included on the Magical Mystery Tour leading up to Congress for the New Urbanism 18 with such illustrious places as Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Hampstead, Mount Laurel, and Serenbe.

Ledges of Huntsville Mountain: 94 - 03

Steve served in several capacities at the Ledges in Huntsville, Alabama, including steering the project in the beginning away from conventional development patterns and towards the New Urbanism. He was heavily involved with getting the project approved by the city, then served as Town Architect and as architect of a few dozen homes and public buildings. Steve’s Traditional Construction Patterns, an influential architectural syntax code that has remained in the top 2% of sellers on Amazon for 14 years, began as a guidelines booklet for the Ledges.

Blount Springs: 94-96

Steve’s career as a Town Architect began at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company’s Blount Springs in Alabama. Steve also designed a Southern Living show home there and collaborated with Jock Leonard on the design of several cottages.

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