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Trends in mixed-use development

Trends in mixed-use development

Mixed-use development is not a new phenomenon. In fact, this type of development was popular for a long time until it was replaced by suburban sprawl. In the past decades, mixed-use development has seen a rise in popularity as land becomes ore valuable and populations are more concentrated in urban areas.

As more mixed-use developments emerge, it is clear that certain trends are becoming more prevalent within this type of project, including a small-town feel, a focus on walkability, and smarter planning for transportation.

Trend #1 – The small town feel

By including residential, commercial, and office space in a single structure or facility, mixed-use developments offers residents and tenants a modern version of small-town living. For this reason, those who design these projects strive to create uniformity among the structures and often include a center for gathering where people can come together. This creates a sense of community both visually and practically, allowing people to get to know their neighbors and local businesses in a real way.

Trend #2 – Getting Back to “Walkability”

Another important trend is the ability to walk not only in the development itself, but to walk and/or bike to the stores, homes, and businesses from other locations as well. Society as a whole is working towards a greener, more sustainable lifestyle, and mixed-use developments offer a way to live those goals by avoiding the need to drive to work or to run errands. More and more mixed-use developments are created in central locations and include walking/biking paths.

Trend #3 – Smarter transportation

One of the greatest advantages of a mixed-used development is that it offers an alternative to the suburban sprawl. Traditionally, suburbs are connected to a major urban center by a single highway, creating inefficient roadways that cannot sustain such a great amount of traffic. With mixed-use developments, entire communities can be planned with multiple routes to major destinations, allowing traffic to flow more smoothly even in times that are traditionally congested.

Mixed-use developments are very likely to become more popular during the coming years as they present a real solution to the problems faced by many urban areas. The ability to have a sense of community in a large city, to walk to the places that you visit frequently, and to avoid heavily congested roadways make these developments popular to both residents and planners.

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