What are mixed use developments?
Mixed use developments combine two or more uses within a building, site or block. They can be organised vertically, horizontally, or a combination of the two. Shops or other commercial premises at ground floor with apartments or offices above are a common example of a vertical mixed use development.
Why mixed use developments?
Mixed use developments have a number of benefits including:
- Opportunities for increased residential densities
- Reduced distances between residential and commercial uses
- Placing more people within easy walking distance of services
- Supporting pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environments
Location of mixed use developments
Mixed use developments can occur in a number of zones. You will need to consult the Auckland Unitary Plan to check the appropriate controls for your site.
Mixed use developments are best located in or near town centres where they offer the following benefits:
- reduce urban sprawl
- meet increased demand for accommodation close to services and amenities
- increase demand and support for local businesses
- reduce transport and commute distances and costs
- increase the activity and vibrancy of streets
- contribute to a safer environment by combining different uses used at different times of the day
Compatibility of uses
Developing a mixed use project can be more complex than a single use project. Compatibility of uses is something that needs to be considered to ensure reverse sensitivity is prevented. For example, a daycare centre next to a bottle shop may not be compatible. It is important to consider:
- hours of operation
- different types of servicing (car parking, rubbish collection, etc.)
- different effects that may need to be managed such as noise and traffic
However, such difficulties may be minimised at the outset of a project through good design and the choice of compatible uses.