Why is Suburbia Struggling so Hard to Survive?
A few years ago if you asked someone what success looked like they would recite the American Dream - large house, white picket fence, and freshly manicured lawns. Now the ideals about success have transformed as people are changing the way they shop, where they eat, and what they want in their homes. If these trends continue it will be the end of suburbia as we know it.
With the advent of online shopping, there have been multiple repercussions. Not only are people opting to avoid the retail experience, they are also then not visiting the casual-dining chains that are inside the malls.
Since people aren't going to the malls, the longevity of big box stores like Macy's, Sears, and JCPenney have been jeopardized. In recent years, there has already been hundreds of locations that have been closed and more suspected closures are on the horizon.
Though malls are gathering the most attention for their decline, other industries are equally being affected by the trends of millennials. These include sports entertainment venues (golf courses, tennis courts, etc), casual dining locations, and the real estate market.
Millennials don't hold the same values as older generations and want convenience and efficiency above everything else. They desire living in apartment building, cooking their own meals (or getting fast food), shopping online, walk-ability, and riding their bike.
In order for suburbs to still be desirable to the new demographic, urban planners must rethink the landscape and design of suburbs in order to adapt them to fit modern needs. This means more bike lanes, better sidewalks, bike paths, and more apartment buildings. It will ultimately lead to a blurred distinction between suburban and urban landscapes as millennials will cause both to adapt to their needs.