Developments with a Sense of Place: Exploring Mixed Use Complexes & Pocket Neighborhoods

Today’s seniors have a desire to age differently and are evaluating housing options with a new set of criteria. Providers, developers and designers understand these changing expectations and are exploring unique housing alternatives to redefine senior living—marketable options to entice a younger senior demographic. These active adults are looking for an environment that offers camaraderie and purpose as well as a variety of amenities. They don’t want to be defined by their age; they are looking for a lifestyle and sense of community.

Traditional senior living communities tend to focus on the lifestyle and amenity spaces internally within a centralized commons area. Providers, developers and designers at AG Architecture are now exploring different planning strategies to attract the new market of seniors, housing options that offer the details and amenities of the neighborhoods they know and love.

AG Architecture has used several master planning techniques to better define the potential for intergenerational, mixed use environments. With the benefits of walkable urban environments in mind, the goal is to provide a vibrant social and living environment for the senior living resident. The following strategies show how to integrate senior living into the heart of a walkable urban community.

  • Provide a variety of housing types
  • Create organization around activity
  • Locate residential entries on the street
  • Include integrated amenities
  • Offer independent retail opportunities
  • Create connections to mixed residential uses
  • Reinforce indoor and outdoor connections
Each of these design strategies increase the opportunity and regularity of the casual interactions that enhance everyday life. The future of senior living is about connectivity—real connections with real people to provide the variety and activity that supports health and well-being. This is a strategy that can improve life for everyone.


Download the full article to learn more about these master planning strategies as well as the role wellness centers play in creating a sense of place.

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Contact Eric Harrmann – for more information or to set up a meeting to discuss master planning strategies for your community.