How Single Use Can Be Mixed Use

MLewyn's picture

Howard Blackson's latest post on the Placemakers blog clarifies the concept of "mixed use." A narrow definition of mixed use limits the term to mixed-use buildings: for example, buildings partially devoted to housing and partially devoted to other uses.  

But Blackson points out that a walkable mixed-use neighborhood can include purely residential buildings or even purely residential blocks, as long as those blocks are within walking distance of commercial places.  

It logically follows that Euclidean zoning (that is, zoning that requires some buildings or blocks to be purely residential or commercial) is actually consistent with walkable mixed-use development, as long as the zones are small enough for people to walk from one zone to another.  For example, if one block is zoned residential and the next block is commercial, the zoning is Euclidean in principle- but the blocks are far more walkable than most American neighborhoods. 

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