Mixed-use development is a new way of planning built environments. It blends residential, commercial and cultural into one precinct, making communities a more physically and functionally integrated space. Multi-use communities bring people to live where they work, taking long travel times off the table and adding positives like more time each day to enjoy with friends and family. The development at Aura is a classic example of this, a purpose-built community designed to serve all the needs of the people who live there.
Mixed-use can also apply to single buildings and indeed many of the commercial projects we undertake are now being built for multiple purposes – warehouse, offices, storage, and dwelling spaces exist together in one building.
Mixed-use buildings have may benefits. They are more efficient than single-use buildings in that they are less land consumptive. Sharing the maintenance costs between a range of tenants, say apartments built over retail or offices, is also highly practical. Mixed-use also improves building efficiency, energy use and sustainability by sharing the load. Multi-use buildings can also spread the risk for investors, relying on a diversity of tenants for rental income.
Multi-use also creates a feeling of diversity that brightens the community rather than detracts from it. Apartments over shops, for instance, means the building is alive and vital 24 hours a day. The building is working harder and creates an urban vitality. Compare this to rows of shops and offices closed at night and on weekends. Multi-use brings activity and energy to the streets day and night.
People’s attitudes are changing; the trend towards living, working, shopping, and playing in our own neighbourhoods is growing. Having facilities within walking or cycling distance is gaining in popularity as people begin to seek community and lifestyle where they live. We want to spend more time relaxing and less time commuting and multi-purpose developments cater to that need.