Why is Gen Y migrating to the cities? Because millennials are craving the things they didn’t get in their suburban upbringings, like connectedness and adventure. Basically, they’re throwing off their cul-de-sac childhoods and seeking out authenticity.
Nathan Norris, urban infrastructure planner, lays it all out at the PlaceShakers blog:
Like those before them, Generation Y currently finds themselves attracted to things they did not have growing up. Four that stand out are: 1. Safety to Adventure; 2. Isolated to Connected; 3. Inconvenient to Convenient; 4. Car Dependent to Car Independent.
There are other, more practical factors at work in the urban migration, of course, including higher energy costs, better urban design, public school reform, and lower crime rates in cities. There’s also the fact that an aging population wants to live in walkable neighborhoods that don’t require them to drive. So millennials’ parents apparently crave authenticity, too.