Thus is the title of a recent on-line MSNBC article describing how the next generation of drivers are not as interested in buying cars as previous generations. As the article notes, "environmental worries, a preference for gadgets over wheels and the yearslong economic doldrums — is pushing some teens and twentysomethings to opt out of what has traditionally been considered an American rite of passage: Owning a car."
As the League has been saying for some time now, it is important for local leaders and communities to understand their "market" and that this generation of young people is different than the last. They are looking to live in dense areas where they have a choice of how they get around, whether it be by foot, bike, bus, rail or car. Knowing this helps local officials, planners and economic development folks understand the importance of physical design in future development, and investing in downtowns and neighborhoods that have multi-modal transportation options.
The League's "Center for 21st Century Communities" program can help communities understand the importance of physical design and transportation options as assets of being a vibrant 21st century community.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.