The Seaside Prize, which was first presented in 1993, is an award given to individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to the quality and character of communities.
The Seaside Institute's founding board members came up with the idea of this award to acknowledge those who had made great strides in moving the new urban movement forward. Each year, the recipient of the award is recognized at a ceremony held in Seaside. Originally a small, intimate affair, the Seaside Prize has grown into a multi-day event in which the whole town gets involved with attendees renting houses in the town, businesses enlisted in food service and other cultural organizations providing entertainment.
The award is a solid bronze key with an image of the town of Seaside imprinted on one end and the prize name on the other. It was designed by architect and town planner Dhiru Thadani and presented for the first time at the 20th anniversary of Seaside in 2001.
Nominees for the Seaside Prize are put forward by The Fellows, who are the past recipients of the award. The nominees are presented to the Seaside Institute board where they are voted on. The person with the most votes wins the award.
Though most years the prize has gone to an individual, there have been years where more than one person received the award. Over the years, recipients of the award have included planners, architects, writers and, in one instance, an entire town.