And I’m obviously not alone. Moreover, even plenty of young people (do I get to describe myself as young still?) who do have cars don’t want to work in the suburbs, as a Boston Globe story today points out:
Young workers like Debate are driving a mini-migration of companies from the suburbs into city neighborhoods that have convenient public transit, a lively restaurant and bar scene, and other features of an active urban life, commercial real estate specialists said. In some ways, local companies are merely following a broader trend sweeping the country, as many downtown sections of US cities have been revitalized and are attracting empty nesters and families who want the energy of a more compact, busy surrounding.
The city is where the entrepreneurial action is, here in Boston and beyond. But could the ‘burbs make a comeback? Just in case I’m blinded by my passion for walkable urban areas, I bounced that question off the Globe‘s Scott Kirsner who suggested, “Maybe when the employees of HubSpot, Boundless, SCVNGR & Gemvara all get married and start having kids.”
Well, Ariel Diaz, Boundless CEO, Nick Ducoff, VP of Content at Boundless, and Matt Lauzon, CEO of Gemvara, weighed in:
(Sorry, storify was down. Convo is here.)
What do you think? Will today’s young startup folks abandon the city and head to the burbs?
Of course some will, but I doubt my generation will do so to the extent previous ones have. I think today’s young professionals appreciate the benefits of cities that, if not new, have become more obvious. First, there’s a baked in economic advantage to living in dense urban areas. Second, for creative, open-minded people (like entrepreneurs) cities are drawn to the cultural and intellectual stimulation therein. Third, cities are more environmentally sustainable than suburbs, a fact younger folks tend to appreciate.
(If this is true, it’s another reason to build more housing and taller buildings in Greater Boston.)
Of course, the exurbs are also growing quickly, so I could be wrong. Thoughts?
UPDATE 7/22/12: Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan weighs in: