© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. A powerful model to evaluate the collective magnetic response of large arrays of segmented nanowires comprising two magnetic segments of dissimilar coercivity separated by a non-magnetic spacer is introduced. The model captures the essential aspects of the underlying physics in these systems while being at the same time computationally tractable for relatively large arrays. The minimum lateral and vertical distances rendering densely packed weakly-interacting nanowires and segments are calculated for optimizing their performance in applications like magnetic sensors or recording media. The obtained results are appealing for the design of multifunctional miniaturized devices actuated by external magnetic fields, whose successful implementation relies on achieving a delicate balance between two opposing technological demands: the need for an ultra-high density of nanowires per unit area and the minimization of inter-wire and inter-segment dipolar interactions.