Big cities are well-suited for young professionals fresh out of college, but rising property prices in cities such as New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco make it difficult to buy a home, let alone make monthly payments on an apartment. A two bedroom apartment in New York would cost nearly triple what it would cost in Denver. With a millennial population, which happens to be greater than the baby boomer population, that prefers renting over homeownership, living in smaller cities is becoming a more affordable and practical option. While “24-hour cities” have their appeals, “18-hour cities” seem to be luring in more millennials because of lower prices and other attractions.
Cities like Denver are starting to attract millennials not only with their more affordable prices, but with an urban feel that also features outdoor activities. Young professionals in Denver enjoy rock climbing and skiing, but they also enjoy combining their work life with their everyday life. Developers in the area are starting to gear their choices to millennial preferences, with open floor plans, flexible workspaces, and loft apartments. With a city that has everything in one area, it is hard for a millennial to refuse an “18-hour city” like Denver. Denver also features a growing bike culture, with Denver commuters biking to work at 11 times the national average rate. A healthy city culture is starting to lure millennials in, but Denver is not the only growing city to attract millennials.
Pittsburgh is another burgeoning city, and has shifted their focus from steel and manufacturing to healthcare, technology, and finance, making the city more appealing to the younger generation. Since Pittsburgh already contains a great work sector, developers in the area are working more on areas outside of work. Pittsburgh’s Strip District is a mixed-use complex that will contain 300 apartments, offices, retail, and restaurants. The main caveat is pleasing the current residents just as much as the people the city is trying to attract. After “18-hour cities” start attracting more millennials, the cities will want to cater to the next generation, so the city has the potential to become a “24-hour city”.