Commerce Centers

The spatial needs of employment and commerce have changed over the decades and are changing again.  Employment spaces fall into a few categories: retail space, office space, light industry spaces for many sorts of uses, and some specialized spaces such as hospitals, colleges, and large, heavy manufacturing complexes.

The goal of this project is to define optimum commercial activity centers which efficiently serve their occupants, communities and governments.  These commercial activity centers should be competitive in the global economy, support a just economy, be environmentally healthy and engender a rich social and cultural life.

We believe that there is a physical form which supports all of these goals.  Recent research and reflection by smart growth groups, the Congress of New Urbanism, the LEED Neighborhood Design task force and others is converging on common principles and standards.  We have gathered much of this work and have used it in this document.

The State of Michigan's Land Use Advisory Council and Grand Valley Metro Council's Blueprint plan for our region both spoke of the importance of “commerce centers” or economic “activity centers”.  This document is intended to further define commerce centers according to the principles described above and the most recent research and standards.

Commerce Center Templates