Generation Y and their baby-boomer
parents may not have much in common,
but both covet mixed-use developments
For decades, prospective homeown- ers wanted to escape from dense u r b a n c e n t e r s a n d b u i l d e r s
responded to this demand by constructing
vast, far-flung developments of single-family homes and shopping malls. But several
US age groups have begun to rethink how
they want to live, and experts say developers who respond to their new demands for
dense, walkable, mixed-use communities
will be the ones who get ahead.
“Developers need to study demographics the way stockbrokers study the market,”
says Edward T.
Charles E. Fraser
chair on sustainable development and environmental policy at the Urban Land Institute in
Washington, DC. And the pictures that
emerge from those studies can be complex.
Those in the market for new homes,
stores and other amenities are both older
and younger than in years past. Generation
Y, or those born between 1979 and 1995,
number nearly 80 million and have increasingly migrated toward dense urban cores.
But the country’s second largest generation,
the baby boomers, or those born between
1946 and 1964, number 75 million, and have
also joined their children’s generation in
demanding dense communities.
“For years, we’ve been building housing
like every family is the Waltons,” McMahon
adds. But the fastest-growing type of household in the US is singles who live alone.
By Brian Rogal
Of Mixed Use
A mixed-use, residential and retail property at 470 Fourth Ave. in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. Developers say the trendy area has a perfect
blend of urban and suburban qualities.