Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Service amenities: "The Real Source of America's Urban Revival"?

But they'd still have to drive to the water slide.

The Real Source of America's Urban Revival, by Eric Jaffe (City Lab)

Millennials, housing costs, and shorter commutes are the usual explanations. But a careful new study points to another reason young college grads returned downtown in the 2000s.

 ... New living habits of Millennials and Baby Boomers, delays in starting a family, a tougher home-buying market, a hatred of long commutes—those social factors have all altered cities in recent years. But Couture and Handbury pin the return of downtown on a new fondness for service amenities: music venues, theaters, bars, gyms, and the like. Not the growth of these things but a fresh taste for living near them, a broad cultural shift that could make urban revival more durable.

“If this revival comes from a change in preference, then it could be a long-lasting phenomenon,” says Couture. “We have ruled out various explanations based on temporary trends.”

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