Travel the world and you’ll see vibrant, beautiful, old world neighborhoods where small local businesses are integrated with residential homes. I call these ‘mixed use areas’. This is typically the way towns were set up for many years. In the US and some other western countries you see a stark separation between residential and business areas. This is because zoning regulations usually prohibit mom and pop businesses or any businesses at all in residential areas.
Most of us reading this blog have become so accustomed to this that often times we think nothing of it. One downside however is now we are forced to drive for miles to get to a restaurant or a shop. But what if the restaurants, flower shop, fruit market, shoe repair shop, etc. were within walking distance? That’s what most people prefer. That’s what is most common worldwide. Are US zoning regulations serving we the people or are they corralling businesses into high priced real estate areas where big businesses are more competitive?
Image source: Travelers Point