How 24-hour buildings will help reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. As cities adapt to become more focused on the people that inhabit them, we can expect to see more walkable neighborhoods, higher density developments, mixed-use, and community buildings connected to our changing environments. The global economy runs around the clock, shouldn’t our buildings do the same? Office space is typically only occupied between nine and 10 hours per day, five days a week. The average employee, tucked away on the 37th floor of a high-rise office building, is often disconnected from community activity and the energy of the city due to security measures, large anonymous lobbies, and a lack of access to amenities. Attitudes toward buildings and their occupants have been changing rapidly and dramatically in the last few years. As initiatives like the Sharing Cities Alliance, Betterblock.org, BCworkshop.org, and other community programs gain ground, the move toward a networked architecture of mixed-use zoning, varied architecture, and multifunctional assets has the potential to dramatically increase the health, wealth, and resource efficiency of all city residents. In this sense, 24-hour buildings may well be the first phase in a larger movement toward a sharing economy, boosting sustainability and a greater commitment to improving overall quality of life.
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