Emerging Trends in Mixed Use and Urban Development

The goals for mixed-use developments are constantly evolving, creating new mixed-use design trends in architectural, landscape and infrastructure design guidelines. As master planners and designers, we play an instrumental role in translating research and its subsequent recommendations into places / environments designed to serve business, commerce, retail, commercial and residential purposes.

Three emerging trends include:

  1. Sustainable Development: a strong sustainable development and urban place-making strategy that focuses on three elements:
      • carbon reduction/absorption
      • green construction technologies
      • water retention/recycling
    • A farm and greenhouse on the roof of the Javits Convention Center
      The rooftop farm at the Javits Convention Center in New York

    2.  A Focus on Community: Mixed-Use developments offer residents and tenants the ability to engage in cultural activities as an integral part of daily life. The modern mixed-use development offers a contemporary character, yet combined with traditional regional touches. This merger creates creates a holistic sense of place for the community.

    A large mixed use project in an urban setting. In the evening.
    Technology Square in Atlanta, GA.

    3. Walkability: This is an important aspect of any mixed-use development. Pedestrian links at the plaza level and sometimes below grade should be carefully designed to connect all of the retail, parking and commercial business zones. Districts will should be designed to maximize opportunities for walking and transit use through mixed-use and pedestrian-oriented planning.

    Atlantic Station in Atlanta. A large urban mixed use development
    Atlantic Station in Atlanta, GA

    At the heart of every mixed-use project is the desire to create a great place – an environment that enables people to form communities that are active, iconic, valuable and sustainable.

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