The Next Baby Boom: Urban Millennials with Children

June 12, 2017

Affordable urban living for millennial families with children has the potential to become one of the largest market demands in the near future.



Pre-war “collar neighborhoods”, Tulsa, OK

These “collar” neighborhoods are a 20-minute walk or a 5-minute bike ride to the downtown and are compact, walkable, mixed-use, and green.  They also contain a variety of affordable, family-sized housing stock available within them.

Thus, we went from the financially unattainable dream of $½ to $1-½ million in “family-friendly” urban neighborhoods of top-tier cities to an attainable one between $175,000 and $300,000 located in traditional neighborhoods of 2nd- and 3rd-tier cities that are still inclusive of many or all of the desired elements that urban millennials with children want.

Real estate data from Trulia.com

What’s also attracting millennials to these 2nd- and 3rd-tier cities is that they are a size that makes getting involved locally (and making a big impact in the process) possible.  Additionally, given that the suburbs of these cities are where many millennials grew up, relocating to these places puts family (and ultimately child support) within close proximity.  Something to note, however, is that not all collar neighborhoods are equal.  It all depends on where they are on the socio-economic spectrum or in the revitalization process.  What this has created is a variety of scenarios or solutions for attaining “the complete package.”  In the next article, I’ll highlight a few different and creative affordable urban lifestyle models for urban families with kids that we’ve found in Tulsa’s “collar” neighborhoods alone.

This article was originally published in two excerpts by Strong Towns, http://www.strongtowns.org . The mission of Strong Towns is to support a model of development that allows America's cities, towns and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient.

Jennifer Griffin is a practicing design professional and founding principal of J Griffin Design, LLC. She has worked in the US, UK, and Central America on a variety of projects, from small-scale renovations and additions of historic structures, to mixed-use urban infill projects, to master plans at both the neighborhood and regional scales. Her work has received multiple Congress for the New Urbanism Charter Awards. Jennifer was educated at the University of Notre Dame, from which she received both her Bachelor of Architecture and her Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism degrees. She also has served on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, where she has taught urban and architectural design courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level while conducting research on the relationship between the built environment and human flourishing.

J Griffin Design, LLC

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