Millennials: They Came, They Saw... They Stayed?

According to Haya El Nasser, cities across America have succeeded in attracting young professionals for over a decade. “They came, they played, they stayed,” she writes. But, she asks, will these Millennials stick around as they age and have kids?

December 5, 2012, 7:00 AM PST

By Erica Gutiérrez


Richard Florida and Bill Fulton agree, Millennials not only move often, but they are also “the generation that decides where it's going to live before it decides what it's going to do.” This means that cities need to not only attract Millennials early on in adulthood, but also provide the amenities to keep them there in the long-term. Fulton asserts "capturing people early on in their lives in a metro really matters. It's important to compete with suburbs for people once they get a little older and have children." As Millennials age, cities will need to provide more than “hip entertainment venues and small flats," but also, “soccer fields, good schools and roomy homes,” Fulton says. "The question isn't so much getting families out of the suburbs into cities but getting them to stay in the cities."

According to Nasser, “The growing urban constituency of hipster parents is not timid about making itself heard," pointing out that "[e]ducated and in professional jobs, they are equipped to organize and galvanize.” Among other things, they demand safe neighborhoods, high quality schools, and larger 3-4 bedroom homes within cities, rather than in the suburbs. They also want access to other urban amenities near transit, which they are more likely to use, including grocery stores and childcare. Mayors, councilman and developers alike are responding to these demands in different ways: by endorsing school choice and charter schools, by investing in “quality of life” infrastructure and urban parks, and by building suburban housing environments in cities.

"We have professionals come and go, singles come and go," says downtown Los Angeles Councilman, Jose Huizar, "But you build for families, and they're here to stay." By building for families first with those amenities that also attract young adults, cities have much to gain. In doing so, they are fostering a stable tax base and continued economic activity as Millennials moves into family-hood.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 in USA Today

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

LAX Cars

Car Noise Is Killing Us

It’s not just traffic collisions that kill—a new study from researcher at Rutgers finds that the loud noises emanating from cars has direct impact on heart health in Americans.

May 6, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

Two people on a bike trail with downtown Houston in the background

Houston Bike Summit Makes In-Person Return

The event will focus on improving bike safety and continuing maintenance on the city's growing network of bike lanes and trails.

41 minutes ago - Houston Public Media

Austin Bus

Austin’s Transit CEO Moving to D.C.

After overseeing a major system redesign and plans for its largest-ever expansion, the head of Capital Metro will take over Washington, D.C.’s transit agency.

1 hour ago - KUT

Manhattan, New York City, New York

NYC 25x25 Plan Would Reclaim ‘13 Central Parks’ From Cars

A plan backed by New York City Mayor Eric Adams would repurpose 25 percent of the city’s street space for multimodal transportation and pedestrian plazas.

2 hours ago - Electrek

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.