Mixed-use development

Program basics

  • Land development approach merging distinct uses (commercial, residential, leisure) for greater density and diversity in a given geographical area
  • May feature added public transit and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure
  • Aims to boost physical activity for improved health and active transportation to decrease vehicle miles traveled

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)


Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

Target population


Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Potential for increased tax revenue per acre, more diverse and resilient tax base overall
  • Improved health outcomes, largely stemming from higher levels of physical activity
  • Reduced vehicle miles traveled, greenhouse gas emissions, transportation expenses, and travel time
  • Greater independent mobility for non-drivers and elderly people to "age in place"
  • Improved traffic safety
  • Higher levels of integration and reduced geographic isolation of neighborhoods

Keys to successful implementation

  • Partner closely with local economic development agencies, housing authorities, businesses, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders to identify potential projects and sources of funding.
  • Set clear, community-informed criteria and goals for any given development, including considerations for how a project will specifically benefit businesses, workers, and the community as a whole.
  • Identify and evaluate existing local assets that may provide a competitive advantage in attracting new investments and supporting businesses, such as residents with unique skills; local architecture and infrastructure; academic, technical and medical institutions; and more.
  • Prioritize development projects that strike a balance: the opportunity must be large enough to make a significant community impact, but small enough to make tangible, concrete improvements.
  • Launch a community engagement initiative to help define the targeted development area, including soliciting feedback from existing residents and other affected stakeholders, as well as potential employers, employees, industry leaders, and more.
  • Leverage both qualitative and quantitative data to inform a development strategy, including walkability audits, cultural inventories, public transit routes, and community needs/values surveys.
  • Incorporate existing infrastructure and/or future infrastructure investment into mixed use development planning.
  • Ensure proposed projects leverage urban and community design best practices that support desired health outcomes, such as creating a development compact enough to allow for substantial walkability.

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