How Mixed-Use Centers Can Supplant Single-Use Office Parks

In the latest article from Better Cities & Towns' series on healthy, walkable town centers, Geoff Dyer offers insight into the ways that locating office space in mixed-use centers can improve economic vitality.

Building on prior columns exploring the benefits of mixed-use development to residents and retailers, Dyer sets out to make the case to employers and public officials for why offices make a prime component of mixed-use centers. Recognizing the increasing struggles of suburban office parks, the more relevant question might be why not?

Dyer has compiled a list of reasons why towns should consider including places for employment in their mixed-use centers, including reduced regional trips, shared parking, and economic development. "One of the key ingredients of healthy economic development," he writes, is "leveraging the fact that your shops and multi-family residences like to get together to help create those dynamic mixed-use places that industry is so attracted to."

Dyer goes on to include examples of the ways planners can attract mixed-use offices into town centers, focusing on zoning revisions, site selection, parking provisions, and good design. "Conventional office parks offer two views: the parking lot and open space. A well designed mixed use town center can offer three: Parking, open space, and an active mixed-use street. Expanded choice means expanded value for potential tenants."

Full Story: Get your offices into a walkable town center!

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