Mixed-Success Predicted for High-Rise, Mixed-Use Suburban Developments

With occupancy rates rising faster in urban than suburban locations, some suburbs are remaking themselves into mixed-use communities with hi-rise office and residential towers; Tysons Corner, Va. and Research Triangle Park, N.C. among them.
Morgan Brown / flickr

As noted here many times, demographic changes in the workforce are key to understanding the movement to create more urban environments.

In this article, Eliot Brown writes how some auto-oriented office parks are planning to convert to walkable, mixed-use job centers. While Tysons Corner may be the best example, Brown clears that it is part of a nation-wide urban planning movement.

"Planners in places like Bellevue, Wash., and White Flint, Md., also are engaging in large-scale makeovers with mixed-use towers as a response to a generation of young workers who like downtowns and employer preferences shifting away from suburban campuses. 

Another bastion of isolated office parks, the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, recently revamped its future development plans to encourage retail and housing, which had been prohibited there until 2012.

Brown adds a cautionary note. "It's still too early to tell whether these transformations will succeed," he notes, about the plans that "try to convert sprawling areas built for car-dependent commuters and shoppers into 24-hour walkable communities." Ed McMahon, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute, a Washington-based real-estate think, elaborates:

"There's probably more plans for suburban development like [Tysons Corner] than there are going to be successful projects."

Full Story: Suburbia Looks to Grow Up

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 7 different cities.
$22.00
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95