Adaptation : transforming existing transit systems for Millennials
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The Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, has a different philosophy than previous generations when it comes to transportation and housing. According to Shyam Kannan, vice president at RCLCO, a leading real estate advisory firm, Millennials are drawn to neighborhoods in city centers and inner suburbs because “they are convenient and have a sense of community and character” (Broberg 2010, p. 2). Phineas Baxandall, a senior policy analyst for transportation reform (2013, p.12), says there is a ‘structural shift rooted in changing demographics’. Millennials are driving less and expecting pedestrian-oriented transportation in their neighborhoods to supplement driving to their daily activities. Transit networks in Midwest cities must become pedestrianoriented to encourage Millennials to retain their residency, otherwise Millennials will move to cities such as Chicago that have transit-oriented neighborhoods. Adapting: Transforming Transportation for Millennials will act as a prototype for cities with populations between 100,000 and 500,000 that are lacking a complete streets approach to transit-oriented development. Complete streets are defined as streets that work for all users, not just those using a car. For neighborhoods to see the feasibility and necessity in shifting transportation infrastructure towards a complete streets approach, they need to see potential design solutions and reasoning behind the switch. This thesis addresses the changing importance of vehicular transportation for individuals now and in the future. Can eighborhoods in Midwest cities with populations of 100,000 to 500,000 adapt their current transportation systems to meet the pedestrian-focused public transportation needs of Millennials and future generations? Research and analysis will prove that cities, such as Minneapolis can adapt their neighborhoods to encourage Millennials to retain and increase residency. Results could lead to future developments of efficient pedestriancentered transportation infrastructure in small to mid-sized cities across the United States.