New Studies On Urbanization Highlight The Good, The Bad And The Opportunity

Two recent studies provide more confirmation that growing consumer demand for walkable, authentic and transit-oriented neighborhoods, particularly among Millennials, fueled urbanization in the years following the Great Recession.

In its latest Ambitious Thinking research on Smart Cities, JLL studied the settlement of college graduates aged 25 and older in the largest 25 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) from 2008 through 2016. The brokerage found that this talent pool grew an average of 8% across the metros, but its investigation also revealed that the cohort had clustered at a faster rate in the principal cities of those MSAs compared with the more populated suburbs surrounding them – 28.7% versus 23.6%, respectively. All told, JLL found that educated talent accounted for nearly 91% of the overall adult population increase in the principal cities, compared with 65.1% in the suburbs over that period. Secondary cities such as Denver, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were among the top destinations for college grads.

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