Mixed-use Neighborhoods

By: Benedetto Davi

Photo credit: USDN Sustainable Consumption Toolkit                                                             

Mixed-use neighborhoods are only one of the principles that defines Smart growth, but perhaps the most difficult to achieve. There are various definitions of what mixed-use development means, all of which embed common characteristics:

1)blending vertical and/or horizontal uses (residential, commercial, cultural, industrial, etc.),

2)walkability

3)pedestrian, bike and child friendly environments

4)healthy and resilient communities

5)local economy improvement

Obviously not every urban area and community is set-up for mixed-use land and development.  And noise, pedestrian traffic and congestion are frequent side-effects of mixed-use neighborhoods. Therefore this is where bottom-up planning can take a step towards giving voice to those communities that suffer from the absence of diversity in land-use.

Furthermore, planning policies that point in the direction of polycentric cities, can considerably reduce pressures on public and private transportation, decreasing the number of long distance commuters and traffic congestion.

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Elevating City Life