2006-11-30, 09:41

Mixed use for medical and hospital districts?

By: Jonathan Groner
A fascinating article in New Urban News, October-November 2006, points out that few, if any, American cities have chosen to place mixed-use development near their major medical centers, even though such places typically have thousands of employees and lots of foot traffic. The article points to Miami as a prime example where this is actually beginning to occur and says that Miami leaders are looking to West Philadelphia as one of their models. Here are the first two paragraphs of the article:

It's hard to think of any city in the US that has made its medical district a place where people really want to be. Even though medicine and health care are the nation's biggest growth industry, accounting for 16 percent of America's gross domestic product, and even though 1.7 million jobs have been created in this field since 2001 -- more than in any other sector of the US economy -- there have been few efforts to capitalize on the urban design potential of hospitals and health-related institutions.

That may finally be starting to change. In Miami and Memphis, planners, designers, and local institutions are looking at turning medical areas into congenial, pedestrian-friendly mixed-use districts -- places where people of varied income levels would be comfortable living and spending leisure time.

The full article, entitled "Remaking America's Medical Districts: A Challenge for NU," can be found at http://www.newurbannews.com/MedicalInsideOctNov06.html. It is brief and worth reading.

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