Mixed-use development can be defined as any urban real estate development that balances a mix of various asset classes i.e. residential, commercial, cultural and retail to achieve synergy, where these assets classes are physically and functionally integrated.
Many urban designers have been criticizing mixed-use developments terming it anti-urban as it creates a self-contained little world.
But the truth is, throughout human history, the majority of human settlements developed as mixed-use. The idea of segregated developments started with the industrialization, the mixed-used development declined during this period in favor of large-scale separation of manufacturing and residences in single-function buildings.
We will not go further brooding if mixed-use development is anti-urban or nor. We will focus on the reasons why a developer should go for a mixed-use development.
- Risk Reduction: Mixed-use developments are less risky; for the developer the risk is spread across several asset classes. Even if an asset class is not performing well in certain market condition, other classes can perform well. Mixed-use development provides a good diversification opportunity to the developer.
- Synergy: Various asset classes work in synergy with each other in a mixed-use development. Office workers want restaurants to eat, hotels to host business travelers, and retail to shop. In fact mixed-use development also reduces vacancy risk; one asset class act as a feeder to other asset class.
- Good Urbanism: Mixed-use developments provide stronger neighborhood character and sense of place.
- Lower Carbon Footprint: Mixed-use development also reduces the overall carbon footprint. Reduced distances between housing, workplaces, retail, businesses, and other amenities and destinations make it walk-able or bike-able neighborhoods. It also reduces traffic congestion and energy consumption for transportation.
- Lower Parking Requirement: Mixed-use development can lower overall parking requirement if planned properly. Some parking space can be shared among various uses.
Hope you enjoyed this post on mixed-use development. What do you think, use the comment section below.