Mixed-use development

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Traditional mixed-use development: residential and retail, pedestrian-friendly street in Bitola, Macedonia
Marina City in Chicago, a mixed-use skyscraper

Mixed-use development is a type of urban development that blends residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses, where those functions are physically and functionally integrated, and that provides pedestrian connections.[1][2] Mixed-use development can take the form of a single building, a city block, or entire neighbourhoods, the term may also be used more specifically to refer to a mixed-use real estate development project—a building, complex of buildings, or district of a town or city that is developed for mixed-use by a private developer, (quasi-) governmental agency, or a combination thereof.

Traditionally, human settlements have developed in mixed-use patterns. However, with industrialisation as well as the invention of the skyscraper, governmental zoning regulations were introduced to separate different functions, such as manufacturing, from residential areas; in the United States, the heyday of separate-use zoning was after World War II, but since the 1990s, mixed-use zoning has once again become desirable as the benefits are recognized. These benefits include:[3]

  • greater housing variety and density
  • reduced distances between housing, workplaces, retail businesses, and other destinations
  • more compact development
  • stronger neighborhood character
  • pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environments

Benefits[edit]

Benefits of mixed-use development include:[3][4]

  • greater housing variety and density, more affordable housing (smaller units), life-cycle housing (starter homes to larger homes to senior housing)
  • reduced distances between housing, workplaces, retail businesses, and other amenities and destinations
  • better access to fresh, healthy foods (as food retail and farmers markets can be accessed on foot/bike or by transit)
  • more compact development, land-use synergy (e.g. residents provide customers for retail which provide amenities for residents)
  • stronger neighborhood character, sense of place
  • walkable, bike-able neighborhoods, increased accessibility via transit, both resulting in reduced transportation costs

Types of contemporary mixed-use zoning[edit]

Some of the more frequent mixed-use scenarios in the United States are:[2]

  • Neighborhood commercial zoning – convenience goods and services, such as convenience stores, permitted in otherwise strictly residential areas
  • Main Street residential/commercial – two to three-story buildings with residential units above and commercial units on the ground floor facing the street
  • Urban residential/commercial – multi-story residential buildings with commercial and civic uses on ground floor
  • Office convenience – office buildings with small retail and service uses oriented to the office workers
  • Office/residential – multi-family residential units within office building(s)
  • Shopping mall conversion – residential and/or office units added (adjacent) to an existing standalone shopping mall
  • Retail district retrofit – retrofitting of a suburban retail area to a more village-like appearance and mix of uses
  • Live/work – residents can operate small businesses on the ground floor of the building where they live
  • Studio/light industrial – residents may operate studios or small workshops in the building where they live
  • Hotel/residence – mix hotel space and high-end multi-family residential
  • Parking structure with ground-floor retail
  • Single-family detached home district with standalone shopping center

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]