Mixed-Use is All Benefits

Creating neighbourhoods to live, work, and play.

We hear it all the time: mixed-use. More and more, urban growth is dominated by mixed-use development. So, what is it?

Imagine a day like this; you wake up early and head to the gym, it’s a short walk from your home. After your workout, you grab a coffee at the local coffee shop, where the barista calls you by name. Your office is also in the community, meaning that by 9 a.m., you’ve already gotten some exercise in, seen some of your neighbours and supported a local business. When work is done around 5 p.m., you saunter on home, but not before stopping by the grocery store to grab a couple of items for dinner. And after dinner, a long walk in nature, just out your back door.

It sounds like a return to how things used to be, with a modern take.

The City of Calgary Municipal Development Plan (MDP) defines mixed-use development as “the development of land, a building or a structure with two or more different uses, such as residential, office and retail.” 

Mixed-use as a term is definitely not as evocative as it should be. This pair of words doesn’t really conjure up vibrant streets where residents can live, work, and play together.  But that’s exactly what mixed-use development can create. 

“Our cities influence the way we move, behave and feel.”

-  Charles Montgomery, author of Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design  

Some of Calgary’s older neighbourhoods are great examples of mixed-use communities. Inglewood or Kensington come to mind, but we’re seeing new communities following suit. Places like Quarry Park and Seton in Calgary, are helping to move the needle on sustainability with nearby jobs and walkability.

A return to a self-contained community is led with mixed-use building, and the Calgary Region is growing that way.

October 14th, 2016
Updated: September 14th, 2017

As Calgary grows, mixed-use development becomes more important for the health of our communities.