April 17, 2014

Suburbs don't appeal: Young adults want more urban environments

Suburbs are losing their young adult population as the number of 25- to 44-year-olds are declining -- especially in affluent communities, says this article in the New York Times looking at US Census data.

Is it because this generation simply doesn't want a lifestyle that revolves around the automobile? Or are they just delaying their move to the 'burbs by marrying and starting families later? Hard to say from the data alone, but one thing is clear: If suburban communities want to attract and keep young adults, they need to provide a lifestyle that doesn't require a car for every errand. Some tactics:
Long Beach, N.Y., with a year-round population of 33,000, has also been refreshing its downtown near the train station over the last couple of decades. The city has provided incentives to spruce up signage and facades, remodeled pavements and crosswalks, and provided more parking. A smorgasbord of ethnic restaurants flowered on Park Avenue, the main street.
Which makes Framingham's long-overdue downtown facelift well times. Without an appealing streetscape, places to walk to and public transportation, it will be tough to attract 25- to -44-year-old middle-class residents to live downtown.