What Next for Cities, After 'Peak Millennial'?

The question of whether the largest generation in U.S. history will maintain its lover affair with urban living is either the elephant in the room of the million dollar question.
January 25, 2017, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"A number of demographers, along with economists and real estate consultants, are starting to contemplate what urban cores will look like now that the generation — America’s largest — is cresting," according to an article by Conor Dougherty.

Dougherty launches this investigation from the starting point presented in the work of Dowell Myers, a professor of demography and urban planning at the University of Southern California. Myers published a paper in 2016 noting that American cities reached peak millennial [pdf] in 2015. Planetizen covered the original analysis of Myers's research in two separate articles—one from February 2016 and another from March 2016.

Dougherty looks at rental prices in cities around the country for evidence of one of the key claims made by Myers: that over the next few years, "the growth in demand for urban living is likely to stall."

"Apartment rents in San Francisco, Washington, Denver, Miami and New York are moderating or even declining from a year ago," writes Dougherty while citing data from Zillow.

Acknowledging that the idea that Millennials might depart the city en masse, taking high rents and gentrification with them, is "full of contours and caveats," Dougherty considers a number of opinions from leading thinkers on what will happen to cities as the Millennial Generation comes of age.

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Published on Monday, January 23, 2017 in The New York Times
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