Mixed Use & Retail Centers

We design amenity-rich, mixed-use destinations and retail centers that foster shared experiences and community. As vibrant social hubs, these integrated mixed-use developments can connect people and experiences and breathe new life into cities.
In Latin America, mixed-use and the 20-minute neighborhood are the same. It’s having everything you need within walking distance and feeling like you belong to the larger community.
—Beatriz De Paz, Mixed Use & Retail Centers leader

Residential will be the key anchor of mixed-use developments.

Real estate markets have recast what’s most important for mixed-use developments, and residential is now the key ingredient. It is residents, not visitors, who will have direct stakes in a development’s overall health and who will make up the captive audience that drives on-site retail, entertainment, and food & beverage, setting the tone for attracting outside visitation and investment in the development.


Activating a development’s “in-between” spaces with mixed-use design strategies will enable more diverse programming and flexibility.

Ground plane activation is the “buzz” in the industry as developers see an opportunity to create 20-minute neighborhoods that appeal to a diverse range of people and offerings. Locating certain amenities adjacent to buildings rather than inside them can help tenants manage costs and help cities promote more inclusive, varied, and vibrant programming.


Developers will capitalize on the utility of the pedestrian realm.

After witnessing the economic and social potential of dedicated open-air pedestrian zones, many cities are maintaining and investing in them as long-term fixtures. Developers and retailers are taking a close look at sidewalks, streets, stairs, and corridors as overlooked domains ripe with the potential to foster commerce and community culture.

The desire to live close to work has increased for everyone — even for those who don’t commute daily.
Gensler City Pulse Survey 2022
Graphic comparing work/school non-daily and daily commuters.
A person walking in front of a large white building.
Design Forecast 2023
10 Meta Trends That Will Transform the Future of Cities
Design Forecast identifies the trends and design strategies that are shaping the future of the human experience and the built environment. We provide strategic advice, research, and projects from all 29 of Gensler's practices to help clients prepare for transformational times.