There is a new fad in the development world called "Mixed Use." A mixed use community is developed by a single politically connected developer. The development generally includes office space, shops, condos and apartments.
Cookiecutter mixed-use communities are popping up in towns across the nation.
The big developers popping these communities out of the mold spew forth with reams of progressive dribble about how their new planned society will be so much superior than the failed free market in which residential and commercial space was artificially divided.
The dribble makes me want to scream.
The reason that we have a big separation between residential and commercial space was zoning.
Zoning is not done by the free market. Zoning is a contrivance of anti-market forces.
If you look at the development in pioneer days, it was all mixed use. There were stores generously sprinkled among the houses. It was common for houses to transition from shacks to single family houses to duplexes.
Many stores had living quarters above the store proper.
Zoning was a creation of progressives. The progressives forced an artificial seperation upon our communities.
Salt Lake County is a great example of zoning gone horribly wrong. The zoning boards in Salt Lake made it virtually impossible for people to transition older homes into duplexes or multi-unit apartments. Likewise, it was next to impossible for developments to build high density complexes in the city. The result was that developers bought up farms in unincorporated areas; thus creating a dysfunctional community where low income families in high density housing were isolated from the community and the services they needed.
Progressives like DeeDee Corradini and Rocky Anderson are the ones who created this dysfunctional city where tens of thousands of people are left languishing in food deserts with inadequate access to services.
May the progressives rot.
And what is the progressive solution to the dysfunctional world created by progressives? The progressives now want to create massives planned complexes where the entire community is engineered and owned by a single developer.
The new progressive mixed-communities look pretty in contrast to the overzoned cities of our progressive past ... but they are pits of stagnation. As the pretty little mixed use facilities are own3d by politically connected developers, this brave new planned community will simply stamp out creativity and self expression. A true free market, in contrast, is would a mixed use community that evolves as the local market changes.
A society with no ownership is not a real community. Such a society is really just a guilded concentration camp.
(The food deserts we see are a result of zoning, not the market. If people had the freedom to switch houses to stores, then someone would start selling food to meet local demand).