What is 'Mixed-use'?
Mixed-use is a term used in planning to describe developing pedestrian/human friendly neighbourhoods that have a mix residential homes, commercial business, cultural gathering places, and/or institutions (such as schools and hospitals). Mixed-use is about designing and developing neighbourhoods/communities in a way that protects and promotes our economy, public health, and the environment (1).
1. University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration (n.d). Complete Communities Toolbox: attractive, inclusive, efficient, healthy & resilient places [internet]. Newark, DE: University of Delaware. Available from: https://www.completecommunitiesde.org/planning/landuse/what-is-mixed-use-development/
Why do we need walkable/wheelable, accessible streets?
Having streets that are easy to get around without driving is important for place-making and community building. When transportation networks, like streets, sidewalks, pathways, trails and transit services are accessible, everyone (regardless of ability) is able to get where they need to go, safely.
When we have complete streets, residents have more mobility options and have to rely less on cars. When streets are built with walkability/wheel-ability in mind it influences people’s decisions on how they move around their city – and where they decide to live!
What is equity in Urban Design?
When we talk about equity in urban design it’s all about supporting healthy community design in all neighborhoods. It’s important to ensure that everyone regardless of what neighborhood they live in, that they have access to safe, accessible streets that connect their neighborhood to others, to transit routes and to local shops, services and quality public spaces.
When we build equity into how we implement complete streets it ensures that everyone from children to seniors can have and maintain independence in how they choose to move around the city. When every neighborhood has complete streets, children have a safe option to get to school using active transport and seniors are able to “age-in-place”. ‘Age-in-place” means to live and age in communities longer, which is often characterized by more dense, mixed-use and connected areas so that seniors (and others) have access to everything they need within reasonable distance to their homes.
Equity is urban design is about building healthy neighborhoods for everyone, in every neighborhood. Everyone deserves to have access to safe, pedestrian-friendly, accessible streets.