January 2, 2019

Urban mixed use gaining popularity

City Lab -In the 1980s, the city of Boston was nearly synonymous with its NBA team – the Celtics won three championships and reinvented Boston as a destination city thanks to Larry Bird & Co. Ironically, the neighborhood around the old Boston Garden was virtually a dead zone.

It was typical for fans to visit the Garden for a game and then leave immediately after for nightlife elsewhere. Boston Garden was the epitome of a single-use building. It offered little to fans beyond the game itself, and certainly nothing outside the actual arena. As a result, the neighborhood and even local economy surrounding the old Garden couldn’t live up to its full prime real estate potential.

Many urban areas today that continue to rely heavily on single-use buildings struggle the same way as 1980s Boston.  As people live integrated lives, no one is using spaces in a single way. Single-use venues are being replaced with hybrid destinations, multi-use districts and places for 24/7, 365-day interaction.

Boston is just one example of this trend in action. When the city began rethinking the area around the new TD Garden the Celtics now call home, they knew they needed a mixed-use development to revitalize the area.


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