Archive for June, 2010

Trends in mixed use development

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Mixed Use Development Trends

While mixed use development (link to mixed use page) is not an entirely new development in the design and engineering field, it is an area that is constantly changing. As such, new trends emerge regularly as these developments adapt to the needs of those they are designed to serve whether individual residents, businesses, or retail tenants.

Three emerging trends include:

1.    A focus on community. Unlike other developments which tend to keep residential and business areas separated, mixed-use developments offer residents and tenants the ability to feel connected to their neighbors and neighborhood. By including common areas and a cohesive design, the modern mixed-use development offers the feel of a small town in the middle of a major metropolis.

2.    Walkability. As people are working to improve their health and fitness while limiting the amount of time spent in a car and fuel consumed, walkability is a logical focus for developers. Being able to walk to both the development itself and within the development makes it easier for people to leave their cars at home as they go to work, run errands, or visit friends. This is an important aspect of the mixed-use development.

3.    Transportation planning. Finally, mixed-use developments lend themselves to smarter transportation planning both within the development itself and on a larger scale as well. Instead of small suburbs connected by single routes to one another and the nearest major metropolis, mixed-use developments are increasingly working to develop multiple routes to popular destinations to allow traffic to flow more smoothly, even during rush hours.

Mixed use development defined

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The art of engineering efficiency and usefulness

Mixed-use development is a phrase that you may have heard recently. If not, you are certain to hear it in the future as this type of development becomes the norm in both urban and suburban areas.

So what is mixed use development, and what does it mean for those who choose to live, work, or live and work in such a development?

Simply put, “mixed use” refers to developing structures and communities that have a mixture of residential, business and retail uses.  By incorporating retail, office, and residential space into a single project, mixed-use developments take advantage of the land upon which they are built during more hours of each day and by more people than a single-use building would be able to do.

Those who live in these developments do not have the same dependence on a car that people who live in traditional neighborhoods have because they can walk or bike to work and to run many of their errands, making it easier for them to stay active and function without a vehicle.

Additionally, retailers benefit from the traffic flow of customers who reside so close to their businesses while residents enjoy the ease of proximity to so many options.

Brief History of Mixed Use

Before traditional zoning laws became the norm, mixed-use developments were prevalent throughout the United States. After disappearing for some time after World War II, they re-emerged during the 1960’s and 1970’s as part of ongoing efforts to bring life back into certain parts of cities.

In modern times, these developments are becoming the norm for progressive development because they offer a way to make the most efficient use of land while providing a higher quality lifestyle for those who live or work in the developments.



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