Why Are Young Adults Returning to the City?

Much has been said about Millennials — the generation born from 1980 through the late 1990s, sometimes called Gen Y and Echo Boomers — choosing downtown living. Is it in rebellion to their suburban upbringing, or something more?
August 12, 2013, 8am PDT | newurban
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"Millennials are the children of the Baby Boomers — America’s first suburban generation. When Boomers came of age, a few revitalized urban places like SoHo — but for the most part they embraced the suburban lifestyle. Why aren’t Millennials doing the same? One possibility is rebellion — but I think it’s more than that," says Robert Steuteville.

"By the 1980s and 1990s, when the Boomers were raising the Millennials, the suburbs had lost most vestiges of traditional community that they retained in the 1950s. According to a market study for the reviving downtown of Wichita, Kansas:

Younger singles and couples comprise 71 percent of the market for new dwelling units within the Downtown Study Area,” wrote Zimmerman-Volk Associates, the authors. “This generation—the Millennials—is the first to have been largely raised in the post-’70s world of the cul-de-sac as neighborhood, the mall as village center, and the driver’s license as a necessity of life. In far greater numbers than predecessor generations, Millennials are moving to downtown and urban neighborhoods.”

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Published on Friday, August 9, 2013 in Better! Cities & Towns
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