Where Are The Boomers Headed? Not Back To The City( Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox, New Geography, Oct. 17, 2013)
Also discussed here: With the kids gone, aging Baby Boomers opt for city life(Tara Bahrampour, The Washington Post, Aug. 899, 2013)
Today we review a debate going on about retirees and where they chose to move, if they do chose to do that. On the one hand, when rearing their children, families moved to the suburbs for the space it offers but when the children are gone, some of the now empty-nesters move downtown to smaller condos. Then, we have a recent poll of retirees that indicates that a huge majority (85%) want to stay where they have always lived. And then, we have statistics from the 51 biggest cities in the USA that indicate that the number of retirees within 5 miles of the city centres has in fact diminished and the number outside this area has increased.
On the other hand and in direct contradiction, another poll of the 50 biggest cities indicated that those who live more than 40 mils from the city centre have moved to within 5 miles of it. An additional factor not mentioned by either side is that the main impact of intensification using condos in the urban core is to raise the land prices of all surrounding land which works against low rise family residences such as row-houses or townhouses which otherwise would or could be part of the mix downtown. The end result has important implications for urban design and transportation planning over the next few decades: will downtowns prosper with more residents with money to spend on leisure activities or will the city core become barren with most people opting to live away from it? The debate goes on and city planners and developers are paying attention!
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