The Importance of Mixed-Use Communities
With ice caps melting, global warming, irregular climate change, and the worldwide reduction in air quality it has become visible to even the blind that the world is changing. Building sustainable cities that allow humanity to survive and prosper has become crucial.
As a result, the implementation of sustainable cities in modern development plans should be encouraged. These developments must be intelligent, urban, safe, and affordable, with enough greenery to make them reliable and climate-resilient.
A step in the right direction includes the creation of mixed-use communities. These are developments that perfectly blend the attributes of residential, commercial, and industrial real estate into a single site of mixed-use communities. With each house zoning type properly represented in this system, all the individual benefits of each zoning type are shared in such a community. Residents nearby have access to work, shopping, dining, and entertainment on foot.
Before World War II, mixed-use developments were in their prime in countries like the United States and to a large extent Nigeria. But on the discovery of oil and years of military rule in Nigeria, several areas became marked out as solely for the elite.
Several areas within Lagos for example have been marked out as either residential, industrial, or commercial. Littered around these housing types are several pockets of slums and ghettos where low-income earners thrive. With an evident lack of proper planning, a return to the creation of functional communities is essential. A good example of such a community is the Vedura Resort at Ibeju Lekki.
Undoubtedly, Mixed-use developments are beneficial, hence for clarity here are some of their advantages:
Advantages of Mixed-use Communities
It fosters a healthier and more mobile community
In mixed-use developments, residents are encouraged to walk or bike instead of driving because of the proximity to stores, eateries, and even their place of employment.
With proper urban planning, public landscaping, and trees were chosen not solely on aesthetics, but their impacts on the improvement of air quality, citizens will also live longer and healthier
In 2018, a study showed how much mixed-use developments encourage alternate modes of transportation. According to the study, people who live in well-planned mixed-use developments drive half as often as people who live in outlying areas.
With the inclusion of smart mobility solutions conventional and alternative modes of transportation make getting around in such a community much easier and healthier.
Guaranteed Productivity Through Social Interaction
Mixed-use developments strike a unique relationship that allows low-income service providers and high-income earners to foster effective trade relationships that serves the entire community in the long run. Have you ever been in a residential community, where roadside food vendors are outlawed? In such a community you may be left with no choice but to visit overpriced eateries that are unable to provide the local variety you desire.
In a mixed-use system, such services are readily available and both parties are better for it. Also, employees can get their lunch at nearby eateries, and guests on business can stay in nearby hotels. Being close to recreational opportunities or fitness centers can keep staff members active, content, and productive.
Mixed-use developments can even be advantageous to local governments
Mixed-use developments do not favor only developers. Studies demonstrate that mixed-use developments give local governments significantly higher returns through property and sales taxes. With more access to higher returns initiating developmental projects becomes increasingly easier.
Demand for high-quality, compact, and walkable communities is being driven by a number of factors, including shifting demographics, the real estate market, and the increasing inflation and persistent devaluation of the Naira.
To support a diverse economy, developers must plan for a wide variety of land uses and backed by innovative urban planning to meet the demands of the 21st century.
Mixed-use developments integrate two or more different types of land uses (e.g., offices, retail, housing, institutions, restaurants, services, and entertainment).
When a city is properly planned it will be more capable of meeting the rising market demand for walkable, thriving neighborhoods with easy access to public transportation, close proximity to employment opportunities, and access to nearby public spaces and services, as well as activity-focused destinations. Such a community will prosper with its citizens living a healthier, wholesome life.