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Study: Mixed-Use Neighborhoods Fail Affordability

A study published recently in the Journal of the American Planning Association finds that mixed-use neighborhoods in Toronto are only delivering benefits to those who can afford to pay a premium.
February 7, 2018, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"A new study by a School of Planning researcher at University of Waterloo shows mixed-use development might be increasing income inequality," according to an article on the CBC News website.

"Data collected between 1991 and 2006 in Toronto showed that housing options in mixed-use zones — those mixing residential and commercial properties — continued to be less affordable than housing in other parts of the city," adds the article.

The researcher is Markus Moos, and he provides several quotes in a press release announcing the new study to explain the implications of the findings: "Walking to a nearby fancy coffee shop is nice but the premium people pay for that luxury means the barista can't afford to live near their job."

The press release and the article both present ideas for how mixed-use neighborhoods can better deliver benefits across the economic spectrum. The press release especially makes it clear that mixed-use neighborhoods are not "inherently misguided."

"What’s needed now is good policy to follow good planning," says Tara Vinodrai, a professor at Waterloo’s Department of Geography and Environmental Management in the press release. "This includes inclusionary zoning, density bonuses linked to affordable housing, affordable housing trusts, and other relevant methods."

Full Story:
Published on Monday, February 5, 2018 in CBC News
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