Will Urban-Loving Millennials Become Suburban Parents?

Real estate advisor Melina Duggal suggests that while studies show that today Millennials are seeking urban digs, that preference could change as they grow older and suburbs get more walkable.

Duggal also cites a a recent report by Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais, authors of Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics (See all Popular Culture Books).

According to the report, "43 percent of millennials describe suburbs as their 'ideal place to live,' compared with just 31 percent of older generations. It found that 54 percent of millennials live in suburban America, and most of those who do say they want to raise their own families in similar settings."

University of Southern California economics professor Peter Gordon reacts:

"The renaissance/revival/regeneration fantasies will have to be placed on hold one more time."

Full Story: Suburban Hip Is Where It’s At



Kotkin again

When the census hands Kotkin lemons, he makes lemonade - "suburban areas (like Stamford) that now offer a walkable, dense environment that can provide an urban experience" So in other words, they're not suburban. At an 1h20m train ride from midtown Stamford is only a suburb of NYC in the same sense that Trenton, NJ is. Stamford is certainly much nicer than Trenton but no less urban. Downtown Stamford was ravaged by urban renewal but it's always had a large downtown. It would be like saying Wilmington, DE or Atlantic City are not cities (and therefore not urban) because they're located within the Philadelphia MSA. Just as you'll find rowhomes as the dominant form of housing in Wilmington and AC, you can find the same type of housing in Stamford as in parts of any of the outer boroughs. When people leave Manhattan for Jersey City and Hoboken they're not moving to the suburbs just because they left NYC and the only statement they're making is that Manhattan is too expensive (because too many people want to live there).

People aren't rejecting their suburban geography for some far off life in the concrete canyons of downtown, USA. They're rejecting the typology of mcmansions, big box stores and large lawns. They might favor places like Stamford or New Haven or Danbury, Morristown or South Orange or Red Bank, White Plains or Poughkeepsie. Most of them suffered from decades of disinvestment and watch their downtowns crumble (just like the big city they surround) The last 15 years saw staggering investment in all of them. Being able to walk to work, walk to the train, walk to shopping - they're only suburban in the sense that they're not the central city.

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