Month: February 2014

How Do Mixed-Use Developments Make Better Neighborhoods?

When you consider the inherent convenience in mixed-use developments, the practicality of living in these types of communities is obvious. Who could argue with the convenience of having everything you need within walking distance of your home? Certainly not our One Loudoun residents, who enjoy the benefits of proximity to shopping, dining and entertainment options within walking distance of their front doors.

But mixed-use developments aren’t just practical from a convenience standpoint – they also help to create better, stronger neighborhoods, benefitting both the residents and the businesses that reside there. The following are aspects of mixed-use developments that help make better neighborhoods:

·      Promotes healthy lifestyles: By definition, mixed-use communities have a focus on walking and a de-emphasis on vehicle use. Because everything residents need is within walking distance of their homes, the idea is that there’s less of a need for a car, leading to more walking and a healthier lifestyle. The health benefit of living in a neighborhood that promotes walking can’t be overstated. In fact, one study that analyzed transit-oriented neighborhoods in Charlotte, North Carolina found that residents who walked to and used the light rail transit system in the development weighed an average of six pounds less than those residents who did not use the light rail.

·      Cleaner air: Since fewer vehicles are needed in mixed-use communities, there’s less traffic congestion, resulting in cleaner air. This has a two-fold benefit: there’s cleaner, healthier air for the residents and those who work in the development, and the health of the environment is also maintained. 

·      Stronger community ties: Imagine living in a community where you can walk to your favorite shopping and dining destinations with your neighbors. The way that mixed-use developments are laid out allows for residents to easily spend social time with their neighbors while doing the things they love – walking together to shop the day away, or to dine at their favorite new restaurant down the street. At One Loudoun, our residents have the opportunity to also check out entertainment options with their neighbors – for example, visiting The Alamo Drafthouse for a movie-watching and dining experience like no other, or heading to the ball park to catch a Loudoun Hounds game once the stadium is finished.

·      Great character: There’s a certain character that mixed-use developments have, giving the area an energy and vibrancy that may not have been present before. Residents, in turn, have a newfound pride in their community, and visitors are attracted to the area.

·      Visually appealing: Mixed-use developments are either completely new construction, or built upon and within previous communities and structures. Either way, the mix of diverse residential and commercial property types in mixed-use developments can have a great aesthetic aspect, further developing the character of the area and the pride of the residents who live there.

With one visit to a mixed-use development, such as One Loudoun, it’s easy to experience and appreciate the convenience that these communities offer. The only way to truly discover the strong neighborhoods that mixed-use developments create, however, is by living in one. And the best way to fully experience all the benefits that a mixed-use community has to offer in the greater Northern Virginia area is by living in One Loudoun. Our incredible new construction single-family homes and townhomes, within such close proximity to some of the best retail and dining options in the area, gives our residents the very best experience that mixed-use developments can offer. 

SOURCE: Urban Land Institute