Incentives, Regulations and Plans

Incentives, Regulations and Plans

The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece

This unique book allows readers to compare analyses of how North American states and European nation-states use incentives, regulations or plans to approach a core set of universal land use issues such as: containing sprawl, mixed use development, transit oriented development, affordable housing, healthy urban designs, and marketing smarter growth.

Chapter 3: Encouraging Mixed Use in Practice

Jill Grant

Subjects: urban and regional studies, urban studies

Extract

Jill Grant As planners we are charged with offering advice about how to create better communities. Conventional contemporary wisdom suggests a few key choices. Whether falling under the rubric of ‘smart growth’ (US), ‘sustainable development’ (Canada), or ‘urban renaissance’ (England), the solutions and prescriptions seem quite similar. They call for compact form, public participation, mixed use, mass transit, pedestrian orientation and open space networks. We find widespread consensus in theory on the principles of good development and urban form and in the desire to accommodate growth. In practice, though, we see less evidence that new planning premises lead to widespread change in urban form or building patterns. In this chapter I examine one principle of the contemporary planning paradigm: mixed use. I consider briefly why mixed use is seen as key to good urban form, discuss some of the challenges to implementing mix, and offer suggestions on how higher levels of government may develop strategies for promoting the integration of uses. Through exploring the approaches taken by governments in the US, Canada and England, I will attempt to identify strategies senior governments may use to encourage mixed use in practice. THE IMPORTANCE OF MIXED USE Pre-industrial cities were mixed as a matter of course (Morris 1994). In ancient Chang’an (Xian) in China a million people resided within the city walls around the 7th and 8th centuries, living and shopping near their work (Wright 1967). Most people walked everywhere in ancient cities. Small shops, workshops, homes and places...

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