A streamlined new community sets sail in Miami Beach. By Carolyn Weber

Florida has long been a leader in Traditional Neighborhood Development, and now Miami's Dacra Development Corp. is proving that New Urbanism doesn't have to be all gingerbread and front porches. Aqua, a new community on 8 1/2 acres at the southern tip of the city's Allison Island, is what the developer calls Tropical Urbanism.

Bold colors and blocky shapes of Miami's Art Deco district are echoed in the new townhouse designs of Aqua's single-family component.
Bold colors and blocky shapes of Miami's Art Deco district are echoed in the new townhouse designs of Aqua's single-family component.

It will be a collection of three elegant mid-rise buildings of condominiums and lofts and 46 single-family, island homes that reflect the Art Moderne style of Miami Beach. The colors and lines of the contemporary homes will be as varied as the nine different architects working on the project. Each of the narrow, zero-lot line homes will be three stories plus a tower to take in the views, and some will have roof gardens. The master plan, by architect/planner Duany Plater-Zyberk combines cutting-edge architecture with a friendly village-like setting. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk designed the site plan so that the streets run perpendicular to the beach--each one ends at the water, allowing everyone to share in the views.

The apartments, which average 2,000 square feet, will start at $400,000 and go into the millions. The 4,000-square-foot townhomes will be priced from $800,000 to $3 million.