The New Economy
The New Economy is simply this: When communities invest in cross-generational Quality of Life assets and infrastructure, their economies grow. Period.
Quality of Life investment bolstered by arts, culture, recreation and livability standards makes daily life more enjoyable, increases social cohesion and is good for the economy.
According to a report from the National Governor's Association, Quality of Life investments create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases.
Six Quality of Life Principles for the New Economy
Impact Partners, LLC developed Six Core Quality of Life Principles for the New Economy based on cross-generational market data, geographic and population health trends, livability standards, and economic development policy. Communities that want to ignite their local economies should consider investing in the following Six Principles, taking generational characteristics into consideration:
- 1. Affordable Housing
- 2. Access to Transportation
- 3. Safe Neighborhoods in Every Zip Code
- 4. Health and Wellness Services
- 5. Retail and Services
- 6. Social Cohesion via Place Making (Arts and Culture)
Is Your Community Preparing for the Plurals?
Magid Generational Strategies™ released a summary of their findings and white paper back in 2012 on what they identified as the next generation post-Millenials- the Plurals. The market research firm postulates this new emerging generation is ethnically, racially, culturally and religiously diverse. Plurals are "hopeful and proud" of the country's increasing diversity and say they want their social circle to be even more diverse than it is today. Plurals are predicted to be cynical and skeptical reflecting bitter politics that has dominated the news during their young lives. Plurals will force communities and the economy to accommodate demands for telecommuting, flexible hours, childcare and round-the-clock access to technology.
Is Your Community Attracting or Losing Millennials?
According to research by the Pew Institute, 24.7 percent of the American population are Millennials, one percent more than the boomers – research by Barron’s puts the gap closer to seven percent. To ignore this generation’s massive buying power would be a big mistake. Though the trend of young professionals ditching suburbia for dense coastal cities is somewhat over-hyped, it is happening. In large part, that’s because those cities are offering something many young Americans want — walkable, sustainable, urban communities. The strong economies of dense urban communities are both an attraction to, and a result of, the large numbers of educated young people who want to live there so badly they will pay a high premium to do so.
Are You Prepared for the Aging of America?
While a lot of attention is placed on the young Millennials, the demographics of the United States will change dramatically during the next 25 years as more baby boomers reach their 60s, 70s and beyond. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of Americans age 65 or older will swell from 35 million today to more than 62 million by 2025- nearly an 80 percent increase. As people grow older, they often become less willing or able to drive, making it necessary to depend on alternative methods of transportation. Unfortunately, the United States is currently ill prepared to provide adequate transportation choices for our rapidly aging population. Alternatives to driving are sparse, particularly in some regions and in rural and small town communities. As the number of older people increases, so too will their mobility needs. How the nation addresses this issue will have significant social and economic ramifications.