The Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, has recognized that a key to making future cities thrive is attracting and keeping young people, according to DC Street Blog. We’ve known for a while that developing your city or town to be attractive to the ‘creative class’ is correlated with a strong economy. The problem is that housing prices are a challenge for young people. Governor Patrick is creating a state policy to address that, and at the same time focus development near transit on places to live, rather than park-and-ride lots that sit empty half the day. The housing envisioned is also designed to be appropriate for seniors, the other growing demographic who would like a more urban and transit oriented living option.
This past week I was in Baton Rouge to work with CDMSmith as they assist the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development on a new long-range plan. We had a day to talk about future scenarios. Participants in the session highlighted the need for development and transportation policies and infrastructure that would help them keep highly educated young people in the state. Most leave now, they said. The might want to see what Massachusetts is up to.