Found an interesting link on Twitter today thanks to Jon Ray. ( aka @BKEGa1 ) The post was an exploration of why members of the Millennial generation are following previous generations into the suburbs as they get ready to settle down.
The article was written by Emily McMackin and posted on businessclimate.com. You should read the whole thing here but below are a couple of key passages:
Between 2010 and 2013, the number of 20- to 29-year-olds in the U.S. rose by 4 percent, but the percentage of residents in this demographic living in core cities grew by only 3.2 percent, the study noted. Why are cities losing 20-somethings, while suburbs and smaller towns are gaining them?
They see the suburbs as an ideal place to settle down, and tend to view the urban core of cities as just a temporary place to land. Much of their reasoning stems from the desire to own their own homes or start families of their own – and wanting more space to do that.
This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who realizes that big cities are less than ideal for raising a family. Yet many people in the development community continue to propagate the silly notion that Millennials are going to forego the superior public schools, more affordable single family homes and lower crime rates of the suburbs when they get ready to settle down.
Right now Alpharetta is blessed to be one of the greatest places in the state of Georgia to do business and raise a family. As long as we continue to grow and change in a manner consistent with those qualities the Millennial generation and their successors will continue to move here when they are ready to settle down. Our quality of life and property values will continue to improve accordingly.
However there is tremendous pressure from some in the business community and political arena to change Alpharetta into the next Midtown, Buckhead or Sandy Springs. They speak tirelessly of the impending doom suburbs will face if they don’t attract Millennials who are still at a stage in life when they are more interested in bar hopping than house shopping.
But the reality is that if Alpharetta becomes just another concrete jungle at the end of a MARTA line it will force Millennials to move even further from the city of Atlanta when they want to escape the high cost of living, miserable schools and crime that plague urban centers. The irony is that the urbanization of places like Alpharetta actually forces people to spread further out creating more of the sprawl so many urbanists loathe.