This quote has stayed in my head since the moment I heard it. As millennials, we're used to struggle and bad endings (not speaking politically here). This is the "9/11" generation. The "War on Terror" generation. The "recession" generation. The "student loan debt" generation. The "suburban sprawl generation". The "rent's too d*** high!" generation. The prodigies of the "single parent and divorce" generation. The internet, video games and rap music raised us.
We've been in conflict for most of our lives. Fleeing our parents suburb with a bachelors degree in hand, setting out for concrete pastures and revitalizing cities across the country. Places that a generation ago would've been seen as dangerous and unlivable are now buzzing with new life and younger populations. We've reversed our parents' paradigm of "live further, live bigger" and embraced "live closer, live smaller". But these changes signal something more.
It signals that jobs, how close we live to them and the importance we place on them are eclipsing the need for an extra half bath, more closet space and time spent with family and friends. We've oriented our lives to center around jobs and not our private lives. While every generation has worked hard, no other generation has spent more time being "connected", mostly through the internet, and with as high of expectations in the workforce than the millennial generation. We're a poorer, less upwardly mobile generation that either live at home with mom and dad or in struggling urban centers. In fact, NJ millennials stay living with their parents on average on a much higher rate in New Jersey than in any other state in the country. The ones that are able to get out are finding themselves in less than desirable neighborhoods that they try to make work for them, working a job making less than they should and less than their parents made before them.
These are changing times. A new presidency comes into fruition in only 3 days. We have a unique opportunity to see the "successes and setbacks" of rolling back the EPA, transportation policy and other regulations and what that will do to local, regional and national planning initiatives. We have talk of a "New Deal" for inner cities and changes in immigration and climate change policies that will shape up the future of the next 4 years. I look forward to these successes and setbacks and the impact they'll have on planners, policy analysts, engineers and the entire land use field.