Citizens' Guide to Mixed Use

Post by Mary Castel, January 27, 2016

Citizens’ Guide to Mixed Use

Over the past generation, old city planning orthodoxies which separated land use into distinct silos have ceded way to approaches which integrate mixes of uses. As communities around the world re-discover the benefits of combining residential, employment, retail, entertainment and other uses, they are exploring new opportunities for creating special, vibrant districts while also meeting new challenges in ensuring harmonious and sustainable outcomes. 

Building on the Urban Strategies study ‘A Citizens’ Guide to Density’ which focused on residential built form typologies in a variety of settings and densities, this effort seeks to explore a broad spectrum of mixed-use precedents which have been built around the world. We will be looking at SM, MD, LG and XL buildings, clusters and districts in a variety of forms, densities and mixes. Aimed at citizens’ groups, developers, municipalities and the interested public, the Guide seeks to highlight the most innovative and unique aspects of each project while identifying universal themes that factor into their success.

At this draft stage a number of questions have been guiding our explorations:

– What are the challenges ‎and benefits communities are experiencing in encouraging and integrating mixed use in existing or new districts?

– What challenges and benefits do developers face in creating mixed use buildings or districts?

– Are there infrastructure pre-requisites ‎to successful mixed use implementation?

– What are the best examples of mixed use which have been built over the past 50 years? Are there older precedents which also warrant documenting and analysis?

– What analytics and metrics would be most useful? 

We are looking for your input! Let us know what you think, and what other information and projects you would like to see in the comments below!


One thought on “Citizens’ Guide to Mixed Use”

  1. Mary C

    Some great west coast examples of new planned mixed-use communities are UniverCity in Burnaby, BC and Playa Vista in Los Angeles.

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