The author reviews changes in the world of urbanism and architecture over the last two decades. Some of these changes are substantial and lasting, others driven by fads and fashions will likely be of short duration, but all have altered the environment in which the real estate industry operates. Urban design has been greatly affected by the new urbanist movement. Developers today play a central role in large urban projects. Mixed-use developments are touted as a universal solution but since they are more complicated to design, build, and manage than traditional shopping malls, they require a special skill set on the part of the developer. The challenges for the future include not only developing successful models of mixed-use, but also increasing housing density, both in urban centers and especially in the suburbs.
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