What is Horizontal Mixed Use Development?

Horizontal mixed-use development is an increasingly popular urban planning strategy that combines residential, commercial, and retail spaces into one cohesive unit. This type of development offers a range of benefits for stakeholders such as investors, business owners and residents. It can provide increased economic activity, improved access to amenities and services, better integration with the surrounding community and more efficient use of land resources. However, there are also potential drawbacks associated with horizontal mixed-use developments that must be taken into consideration before embarking on any project.

In this article we will discuss the types of horizontal mixed-use developments available today, the various benefits they offer stakeholders, as well as some potential drawbacks to consider when deciding whether or not this type of development is right for your situation.

What is Horizontal Mixed Use Development?

Horizontal mixed-use development refers to a type of urban development that combines different types of land uses, such as residential, commercial, and retail, within a single complex or area. In this type of development, the various land uses are horizontally integrated, meaning that they are located on the same level, rather than being vertically stacked in a vertical mixed use development.

The goal of horizontal mixed-use development is to create a more efficient and sustainable use of space within the same footprint by allowing people to live, work, and play in the same area, reducing the need to drive or commute longer distances to access amenities and services. This type of development is becoming increasingly popular in urban areas as it can provide a range of benefits to stakeholders such as investors, business owners and residents.

Benefits of Horizontal Mixed-Use Development:

Horizontal mixed-use development is an ideal solution for many communities as it can bring an array of benefits for a wide range of stakeholders:

  1. Convenience: Having a mix of residential, commercial, and retail spaces in close proximity can make it more convenient for residents to access the goods and services they need.
  2. Efficient infrastructure and land use: Horizontal mixed-use developments allow for more efficient use of land by combining multiple uses into a single development. This can help reduce urban sprawl and promote more sustainable development.
  3. Enhanced sense of community: Horizontal mixed-use developments can foster a sense of community by acting as a hub for different types of social gatherings, activities, and events.
  4. Increased property values: Horizontal mixed-use developments can be attractive to buyers and tenants, which can increase property values and provide a positive economic impact on the surrounding area.
  5. Economic activity: Horizontal mixed-use developments can provide additional economic opportunity by increasing private investment, bringing new businesses into an area, promoting tourism and creating more jobs.

Drawbacks of Horizontal Mixed-Use Development:

While horizontal mixed-use development has several benefits, there are also some potential challenges and drawbacks to consider:

  1. Noise: Combining residential, commercial, and retail spaces in a single development can lead to increased noise levels, particularly if the commercial and retail spaces operate late into the night. This can be a concern for residents and may require special soundproofing measures.
  2. Parking: Providing sufficient parking for a horizontal mixed-use development can be a challenge, particularly if there are limited available spaces. This can lead to parking shortages and conflicts between residents, customers, and employees.
  3. Zoning and Planning: Horizontal mixed-use development may require special zoning and planning approvals, which can be time-consuming and costly.
  4. Cost: Horizontal mixed-use development can be more expensive to build than single-use developments, particularly if additional design and engineering considerations are needed to ensure compatibility between the different uses.
  5. Management: Managing a horizontal mixed-use development can be complex, particularly if the various uses have different operational requirements and maintenance needs. This can require specialized expertise and a dedicated management team.

Types of Horizontal Mixed Use Development

Horizontal mixed-use development can take many forms. The following are some common examples:

  1. Mixed-use residential buildings: Buildings that combine different types of residential uses such as apartments and condos with retail or commercial space on the ground floor.
  2. Urban villages: Pedestrian-friendly developments that typically include a mix of residential, office, retail, restaurant, and entertainment spaces.
  3. Hotel and office complexes: Developments that combine hotels and offices with retail, restaurant, or entertainment space.
  4. Retail parks: Developments that combine large-scale retailers with residential, commercial, or office space.
  5. Mixed-use town centers: Communities that include a mix of residential, commercial, retail, restaurant, and entertainment uses within a compact area.

In Summary

Mixed-use developments can be an effective solution for many communities as they can bring an array of benefits for a wide range of stakeholders. However, it is important to weigh the potential drawbacks and challenges carefully when considering this type of development.

The right mix of uses must be chosen to ensure that the development meets the needs of the local community and is economically viable. With careful planning and consideration, horizontal mixed-use development can help create vibrant, sustainable communities.