2006-12-08, 10:19

An ongoing study: why isn't mixed use more popular?

By: Jonathan Groner
Shawn Conrad, a doctoral candidate at Arizona State University in environmental design and planning, has set up an interesting Web site in pursuit of a project she is working on. She is conducting a study of two cities -- Los Angeles and Tempe, Ariz. -- to see how mixed-use development has worked, or failed to work, in both of them. She is also doing a nationwide survey of planners, developers, architects, and others in the field to understand what obstacles mixed-use development often faces. She is a supporter of mixed use, and the key question she asks is:

Studies suggest that the market for alternative development types that include mixed use is healthy and growing; however, mixed-use development remains by the far the exception to the rule. The underlying question addressed by this study is: why isn't there more mixed-use development? The study will use a combination of a national online survey and case studies of mixed-use developments to investigate the regulatory, community, and financial constraints on mixed-use development.

Conrad's Web site is http://www.mixedusedev.com/index.htm. I would be interested in learning about her results once they are completed, and I urge my readers to take a look and to consider participating in her online survey.

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