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India’s urban landscape is undergoing a major transformation. In the past, every area was compartmentalized into separate zones for work, residence, and recreation, which is now slowly converting to a more integrated and sustainable vision. A new trend is setting its roots in real estate – the rise of mixed-use developments. Let’s understand mixed-use developments and the reason behind the rise of such developments. 

What are mixed-use developments?

Mixed-use developments integrate residential, commercial, and recreational spaces into a single project. These developments offer residents a one-stop solution for daily needs, such as groceries, co-working space, fitness, etc., fostering vibrant and self-sustained communities while reducing the need for extensive commuting and minimizing environmental impact. 

The concept of mixed-use developments is prevalent in major metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai and is also spreading to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across India. Larger cities with over one million people have more mixed-use developments compared to smaller ones. Interestingly, within these big cities, there’s also variation. Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bangalore have a higher percentage of mixed-use development. 

Types of mixed-use developments 

Mixed-use developments come in various configurations, each catering to a specific need or urban environment. Here’s a breakdown of some common types:

  1. Vertical mixed-use:

Imagine a towering skyscraper where you can live, work, and play all under one roof. Vertical mixed-use developments integrate residential units on the higher floors with commercial spaces like offices, retail stores, and restaurants on the lower floors. Amenities like gyms, pools, and common areas could be spread throughout the building.

  1. Horizontal mixed-use:

This type of development spreads out over a larger area, with separate buildings housing residential units, commercial spaces, and leisure facilities. These buildings are often clustered around shared green spaces, pedestrian walkways, and plazas that encourage interaction and a sense of community.

  1. Transit-oriented developments (TODs):

These developments prioritize public transportation integration. They are typically located near train stations, metro stops, or bus hubs, with residential and commercial buildings concentrated around the transit center. This promotes a car-free lifestyle and easy access to the wider city.

  1. Lifestyle centers:

These developments focus on creating a specific brand experience, often catering to a particular demographic or interest. They typically combine upscale retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and luxury apartments into a curated environment.

It’s important to note that these categories can sometimes overlap. A large mixed-use development might incorporate elements of several types, creating a truly comprehensive and integrated living, working, and leisure experience.

Benefits of mixed-use developments

The reality offered by mixed-use developments is that they blend residential spaces, commercial areas, and leisure facilities. Mixed-use developments prioritize seamless connectivity, which means meticulously planned infrastructure like roads, parking options, public transportation access, and well-designed pedestrian walkways. These innovative projects are transforming cities by offering a multitude of benefits for residents, businesses, and the environment:

  • Convenience is king: Mixed-use developments put everything you need within easy reach. Residents enjoy shorter commutes, as offices, shops, and restaurants are all a walk or bike ride away. This translates to more time for leisure, errands, and family.
  • Sustainability matters: By reducing reliance on cars, mixed-use developments contribute to a greener city. Lower carbon emissions and improved air quality benefit everyone. Additionally, these projects can incorporate sustainable building practices like rainwater harvesting and energy-efficient systems, minimizing their environmental footprint.
  • Community spirit: Mixed-use developments foster a stronger sense of community. Residents, workers, and visitors interact in shared spaces like parks, plazas, and cafes, creating a vibrant and connected atmosphere.
  • Vibrant lifestyle: Imagine having a diverse array of dining, entertainment, and leisure options right at your doorstep. Mixed-use developments offer a lively atmosphere with everything from trendy restaurants to rooftop bars and fitness centers.
  • Economic boost: These developments attract businesses as well as residents, leading to increased economic activity and job creation. The resulting rise in demand for apartments within these developments can lead to potential appreciation in property values over time. 

Is a mixed-use development right for you?

Mixed-use developments offer an exciting lifestyle for those who prefer convenience and a vibrant community. However, there are certain factors that can make these developments less suitable for some:

  • Peace and Quiet Seekers: Crave tranquility? Mixed-use developments can be bustling hubs with noise from traffic, deliveries, restaurants, and constant activity.
  • Privacy Purists: These projects often involve high-density living and shared spaces. A traditional neighborhood might be a better fit if privacy is paramount for you.
  • Budget-Conscious Residents: The convenience of a mixed-use development often comes with a premium price tag. Renting or buying within these developments can be more expensive than traditional neighborhoods.

The road ahead

Mixed-use development solutions are all about bringing together smart planning and innovative design to create lively and sustainable urban areas. By focusing on careful planning, thoughtful design, and community well-being, these developments can really boost the quality of life and drive economic growth in our cities. 

While these innovative design solutions, collaboration, urban facilities, and a focus on sustainability can be impressive to one, others might prefer more peaceful, dedicated residential spaces. Hence, it’s important to carefully consider your preferences before committing to a forever home in these developments.