The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning
Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece
Chapter 3: Encouraging Mixed Use in Practice
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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