(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.),
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.