Friday, November 14, 2008

City attitudes: The young have it.

Are the younger generation really different in their attitudes toward cities and urban life?

Here's a comment from my post "End of sprawl? Um, not yet."

"I think there's another factor too that's not entirely being examined. I'm a 26 year old young professional, and unlike young 'yuppie' professionals from past generations, my generation couldn't seem less interested in having a big house in the 'burbs. The majority of them seem to prefer more contained urban living. Will this new generation further the trend of new urbanism and fuel more inner city growth as they come more into their own? Only time will tell I suppose!"

Will this generation "further the trend of new urbanism and fuel more inner city growth"? Or will they be like previous generations and conclude that when they have children they require a house with a lawn, and suburban schools? I think one of the great untold stories -- and I hope to tell it one of these days -- is to debunk the myth that there are no families with children in uptown Charlotte.

But in Charlotte, at least, most of the uptown development seems designed with the assumption that folks with kids live elsewhere. Maybe that will change. Maybe the new 9-11 and Millennial generations will provoke the change. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I am 30 years old. The stigma of crime and drug plagued cities of the 70's and 80's is not in my mind, unlike my parents and older co-workers. My idea of city life is not crime and drugs, but rather lofty goals - high paying jobs to afford a tiny apartment, and loving every minute of it. It's something to strive for.

I am always amazed when my older co-workers make comments about how you can pick up prostitutes on Trade St. They obviously gave up on the city a long time ago. But for my generation, that's not our opinion.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for living in the city, but we really need to get the school situation resolved if more families are going to stay in town and in the county. Today's families in Plaza-midwood and NoDa should be truning around palces like Shamrock Gardens, Garinger, etc. One can only hope.

Anonymous said...

I consider myself "yolder". I am 37 years young in my activities, but 37 years old in my achievements.

Like my parents, I find myself wishing for a lawn for the dog, etc, HOWEVER I find myself more drawn to the urban activities i.e. bars, restaurants, late night activities.

As time passes, and we become more "green" in thought, it will be refreshing to see more uptown construction that does include rooftop grass, parking garages underground and covered with parks, etc.

Terry McDonald said...

"high paying jobs to afford a tiny apartment, and loving every minute of it. It's something to strive for".... that is the draw of city life, and an attraction to the echo-boomer that anonymous is, and us older folks too.
But to attract families, there needs to be more hiqh quality school options- no doubt about it. But Charlotte has a start, with Piedmont Open, and the charter in Villa Heights, and the private Episcopal Day School- am I missing any others inside in the loop?

Ken said...

When my wife and I (we are 25 and 26) moved to Charlotte in May 2007, we bought a house in the suburbs. I work in South End and my wife has worked at the Mint Museum downtown. We love being downtown, but like has been mentioned, we won't live there because it doesn't meet our children's needs. We hope someday soon that might change.

Anonymous said...

Families want to live in Uptown, Plaza-Midwood, Elizabeth, and Dilworth? Families are the #1 reason we singles DON'T live in the suburbs. Singles revitalized these neighborhoods because we wanted more liberal places to live than cookie-cutter McMansions and tract housing, away from the "City of Churches" attitude. Families in the center city are neither desired nor required. Charlotte has barely enough nightlife and culture to be called a city--don't screw up my neighborhood by bringing in your 2.5 chaps and a dog. There aren't enough singles here, but there are far too many families for singles to be comfortable.

42 in Elizabeth

Chris said...

your an idiot