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 Why we do what we do

I never knew I could live like this. Now I never want to leave! —South Prescott Village Resident.

At TDA, we design great live-work and mixed-use projects, and we help people to live and work together in ways that excite them. Along the way, we invented a new building type, the live-work courtyard community, and we have rewritten the rules so more people can build that and other live-work types.

Here’s why we do what we do

The most important discovery I made early in my career was that live-work results in putting the separate parts of our lives together In One Place, with Other People; when done right, that’s where the magic happens. If I can live and work–and play and learn–in a place where, when I want to step out my door and run across someone else in the same situation, or wander down to a cafe and run into a friend or two, or not–that’s the jackpot. That’s why we do what we do at TDA.

Live-work is one of the most direct ways to make the magic happen—the most direct I’ve found. That’s why I’ve devoted my life to it.

Yes, I know the codes, wrote some, know the real estate and the biz–but it’s all a means to get to the magic. That’s why we’re here—to make places where every day-to-day act is an affirmation of humanity.

Communities become stronger and the people are healthier and live longer when the people who live in them have the opportunity to serendipitously encounter  others in well-designed public and semi-public spaces: great streets, convivial plazas, quiet parks and intimate courtyards. As it turns out, if you combine a great place to live with well-ordered workplaces and pay attention to life between the buildings, you have the makings of a great community. That’s the heart of live-work, and it’s also how to make cities for people (Jan Gehl).

Here’s the simple truth of live-work: it captures the essence of urban life, and compresses it into a single unit, or building, or neighborhood.