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Live-Work Spaces:

Urban Incubators for Communities

December 2, 2019

As the process of cultural change continues into the 21st century, the role of innovation and creativity, combined with scientific inquiry, has particular importance. Exponential population growth has made humanity a force of nature that is having profound effects on the planet and its lifestyles.

Urban Incubator programs catalyze creativity; new economy initiatives; and successful new lifestyles in existing cities. As an initial form of incubator, Live-Work units can contribute in effective ways when they are combined with shared spaces and active collaboration.

Perspective rendering of Worcester Public Market with 48 market rate live-work units above - Kelley Square Lofts.

Artists, Young Professionals, Agriculturalists, Naturalists, Teachers, Students, and other creative social groups—including children and senior citizens—are critical to maintaining vibrancy and competitiveness in our cities. In America, many cities have become uncompetitive through their inability to adapt to changes in lifestyles.


Urban design strategies that encourage development of new products in the “sustainable economy,” that enable bioremediation, and defend biodiversity within the city, can have dramatically positive effects. Therefore, our cities need optimum creativity and “toolboxes of talent”, including urban agriculture, slow food, and sustainable green jobs. What will our creative responses be?


In live-work zones—new to many cities—ordinances dealing with noise, traffic, toxic substances, staff parking, operating hours, and other concerns are typical. This creates the need for specialized incubator programs that organize all aspects of residential and work needs including day care. In turn, associations, coops, and similar entities can provide management and oversight. Neighborhoods of this type have a complex pattern of owner-occupied and rental spaces.

“Our cities need optimum creativity and “toolboxes of talent””


-phil loheed, aia

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