Mixed Use Zones

Mixed-use development offers people the ability to live, work, play, and connect all in one place, supporting vibrant neighborhoods. One main goal is generating the flexibility to work from home or close to home, in support of the idea of “15-minute” cities, where residents can find everything they need within 15 minutes of walking or biking.


  • Establish a variety of districts with varying combinations of densities and intensities, to develop more vibrant and economically productive communities by supporting activity outside of standard business hours.
  • Provide diversity in the range of uses so that mixing housing with retail, services, open space, institutional, educational, and office uses encourages activities outside of standard business hours.
  • Permit a complementary variety of land uses near one another to consolidate infrastructure costs and increase opportunities and incentives for people to walk, bike, and ride transit between activities.

Design Guidelines
Policy & Implementation
The Role of Local Government & Transit First Policies
Guiding Principles of Land Use
Flexible Zoning Strategies
Street Design Implementation
Revising Transportation Analysis Practices
Transportation Demand Management
Rethinking Vehicle Parking Requirements
Parking Management
Best Practices to Attract Successful Developers
Clarifying Design Expectations
Integrating Retail into Transit Oriented Development
Community Planning for Rail Transit
Additional Resources
A photo of a restaurant entrance with a people walking on the adjacent sidewalk.
Mixed Use District, San Pedro, San José, CA (Source: Flickr - Will Buckner)

Plan for neighborhood integration to ensure that new development and the proposed urban pattern provide a natural transition in size, scale, and character to adjacent neighborhoods.

A photo of mixed-use building near a park and a transit rail station.
Mixed Use Zones, Cahill Park, Diridon Station Area, San José, CA (Source: Flickr - Sergio Ruiz)

Integrate Transportation Demand Management strategies and apply standards for the public realm that support transit ridership and provide high quality pedestrian spaces.

A photo of mixed-use buildings next to a park and wide sidewalks.
High Quality Pedestrian Space, Sunnyvale, CA (Source: Flickr - Sergio Ruiz)

Acknowledge “18- and 24-hour” districts where non-residential activities continue beyond traditional working hours to support neighborhood vitality, including through design and planning for active “third places,” or social gathering areas, such as sidewalks, parks, and plazas.

A photo of a packed restaurant patio in a commercial center.
18 to 24 Hour Zone, Gastown, Vancouver, Canada (Source: Flickr - La Citta Vita)