Duany was born in New York City but grew up in Cuba until 1960. He attended The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) and received his undergraduate degree in architecture and urban planning from Princeton University. After a year of study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, he received a master's degree in architecture from the Yale School of Architecture.
In 1977, Duany was co-founder of the Miami firm Arquitectonica, with his wife, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Laurinda Hope Spear, and Hervin Romney. Arquitectonica became famous for its signature style, a dramatic, expressive 'high tech' modernism. The firm's Atlantis Condominium was featured prominently in the opening credits of "Miami Vice."
Duany and Plater-Zyberk founded Duany Plater Zyberk & Company (DPZ) in 1980, headquartered in Miami, Florida. DPZ became a leader in the national movement called the New Urbanism, which seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. The firm first received international recognition in the 1980s as the designer of Seaside, Florida and Kentlands, Maryland, and has completed designs and codes for over two hundred new towns, regional plans, and community revitalization projects. At DPZ, Duany also led the development of comprehensive municipal zoning ordinances that prescribe appropriate urban arrangement for all uses and all densities.
Duany is a co-founder and emeritus board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, established in 1993. He has co-authored two books: "Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream" and "The New Civic Art." Duany has worked as visiting professor at many institutions and holds two honorary doctorates.
He also helped design Cornell, a community in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
He was featured in the Canadian documentary Radiant City (2006) on suburban sprawl.
Further reading 
- Duany, Andrés, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck (2000). Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. New York: North Point Press. ISBN 0-86547-606-3
- Duany, Andrés, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Robert Alminana (2003). The New Civic Art: Elements of Town Planning. New York: Rizzoli International Publications. ISBN 0-8478-2186-2
- Lombard, Joanna (2005). The Architecture of Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company. New York: Rizzoli International Publications. ISBN 0-8478-2600-7
- Duany, Andrés and Jeff Speck, with Mike Lydon (2009). The Smart Growth Manual. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-137675-5
- Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company
- Congress for the New Urbanism
- Subdivided: Isolation and Community in America A Documentary Film featuring Andrés Duany media