Young adults flood cities, including Denver

Urban centers around the country are growing at record rates. For the first time in over a century, some of America’s largest cities are growing faster than their surrounding suburbs, according to the results of a 2011 census, Denver News reported.

The trend is said to be due largely to a change in young adult behavior resulting from struggles with a currently weak job market. With recent college graduates and young adults among those hit hardest by unemployment, they are tending to delay careers and other life decisions such as marriage, having children or moving to suburban living.

Another reason for the flood to the cities is thought to be individuals looking to decrease their reliance on cars in the long-term, Denver News reported. The trend has been to forego homeownership in the suburbs, instead heading into the already bustling metros in search of shorter-term housing and looking to avoid costly transportation costs by opting for public transit.

Big cities that are noticing this faster growth include Denver, Chicago, Boston, New York, Minneapolis, Seattle and Philadelphia, with many cities actively encouraging younger educated professionals to move to the city. Denver is promoting a “walkable urbanism” campaign, which includes focusing on high-rise apartments in prime locations, pedestrian walkways, bicycle lanes, sidewalk cafes, restaurants and a newly formed theatre district.

Jaclyn King, a 28-year-old professional, told Denver News, “I will never live in the suburbs. I just like being connected to everything down here - concerts, work, restaurants, all of it. This is where everything’s at.”

Another young professional, 33-year-old Symm Vafeades, told of his brief move to the suburbs before moving right back to metro Denver. He said, “I much prefer living in the city. There’s just a lot more you can do without having to drive everywhere.” Now back in the city, Vafeades’ commute is down to just two miles, and he enjoys being able to hit up his favorite coffee shop on his way to work rather than sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

One of Denver’s latest “it” places to be is the Highlands neighborhood, which reports “amazing growth and changes over the past few years,” according to Denver’s official website. Highlands is Denver’s largest neighborhood, made up of three unique commercial districts: Lower Highlands (LoHi), Highlands Square and Tennyson Street. Young adults flooding to the city can look for real estate in Denver in Highlands for a trendy neighborhood peppered with restaurants, bars and shops perfect for the younger generation.