Last month, in conjunction with the National Planning Conference in Atlanta, the American Planning Association (APA) released results of a new poll. It found interesting similarities of opinion between both young adults (my kids) and younger/potential retirees (my folks).
National Poll Dispels Popular Assumptions About Improving Local Economies and Attracting New Residents
Millennials, Baby Boomers Want New Economics of Place
ATLANTA — A wide-ranging national survey released today by the American Planning Association (APA) finds that Millennials and Baby Boomers want cities to focus less on recruiting new companies and more on investing in new transportation options, walkable communities, and making the area as attractive as possible. The poll also showed the perceived importance of shared economies, high-speed internet access and housing where they can live as they grow older.
The poll found that 68 percent of respondents believe the U.S. economy is fundamentally flawed. They also believe the best way to make improvements nationally during the next five years is through local economies and investments that make cities, suburbs, small towns and rural areas attractive and economically desirable places to live and work.
65 percent of respondents believe investing in schools, transportation choices and walkable areas is a better way to grow the economy than investing in recruiting companies to move to the area.
Whether the community is a small town, suburban or urban location, 49 percent of respondents someday want to live in a walkable community, while only seven percent want to live where they have to drive to most places.
Among other key findings:
- 74 percent of the Millennials surveyed said attracting new businesses by investing in schools, transportation options and walkable areas is better than recruitment of companies;
- 79 percent of respondents cited living expenses as important when deciding where to live;
- 76 percent of respondents said affordable and convenient transportation options other than cars is at least somewhat important when deciding where to live and work;
- 59 percent of respondents said the “shared” economy, such as CarToGo or Airbnb , is at least somewhat important to them.
“We recognize that providing people more options to get about effectively than just relying on the car will pose a host of planning and design challenges,” said APA President William Anderson, FAICP. “Yet such a finding is one of the reasons we conducted this poll. As planners, it’s vital that we look ahead 15 or 20 years and find ways to lessen the impact of current growth and development on tomorrow’s communities.”
More PR & the full report PDF on the APA website.