Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Trends Among Millennials

I’m fortunate to be a part of a solid initiative called Design Alabama. Every year we participate in a Mayors’ Summit, working with five different cities on their most challenging design problems. We just completed our 2015 Summit.

A few interesting nuggets I learned about Millennials trends (people born 1979 to 1996)

  • 31% of Millennials prefer a “core city” and have a stronger inclination toward urban living.
  • 66% say they seek walkable places and town centers, and 33% are willing to pay a premium to be able to walk to shops and amenities.
  • 50% are willing to give up living space in order to live in a walkable neighborhood.

Millennials value diverse neighborhoods, proximity to jobs and fun, with more emphasis on connectedness and life/work balance than their predecessors.

  • 26% do not have a driver’s license, which I found most interesting. The miles driven by ages 16-34 have dropped 40% per capita in the last 10 years.
  • Bicycle trips in the age group rose 24% in ten years and walking is up 16%.
  • 45% report making a conscious effort to replace driving with alternative forms of transportation.

The past is not always a predictor of the future, and trends are just trends. We only know how things pan out by looking in the rearview mirror. That said, we have a diverse group of projects under contract, and I can definitely see some of these trends with our urban projects.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.