Metropolitan areas are growing faster than suburbs for the first time in decades, as more and more people want to live closer to where they work, eat, drink, and play. As populations in cities continue to grow, requests for mixed-use communities are pushing architects and planners to think of master planning and design in new ways. Understanding this societal trend, architecture firm John Portman & Associates contends that mixed-use design is the fabric that enhances urban environments, and has created mixed-use developments around the world. This firm strives to design walkable communities that still accommodate commuter access, and balance local authenticity with opportunities to experience culture and entertainment. We had the opportunity to interview architect Gordon Beckman, Partner and and Design Director at John Portman & Associates, about the future of mixed-use and sustainable cities.