Cities Want Young Families to Play and Stay
To make this work, there must also be schools that work for these families.
Cities Want Young Families to Play and Stay: New Features Include Parks, Playgrounds and Beer Gardens
By ANNE MARIE CHAKER
Aug. 5, 2014 7:00 p.m. ET
Oklahoma City’s Thunder Fountain Carl Shortt Jr.
Doug and Maureen Towne, who live in Phoenix with their children Autumn, 10, and Ben, 2, have long toyed with the idea of moving to the suburbs. Doug works in nearby Scottsdale. Maureen drives back and forth from the Scottsdale school where Autumn will be entering fifth grade. A move, says Ms. Towne, is “definitely tempting.”
But for now they are staying put. One factor: plans for a $118 million redesign of the Margaret T. Hance Park, which is near their home. There will be a beer garden and restaurant; an 800-foot zip line for adults and children; splash parks with fountains for kids to cool off; and “playscapes” such as climbing walls with rocks and boulders. “If we stay, I know it’s going to be great,” Ms. Towne says.
About a decade ago, the so-called creative class of 20somethings fueled the revival of urban centers by settling in downtown areas mixing condos and coffee shops. Now, as millennials and other urbanites have children, their needs are changing. Cities want to hold on to them by becoming more “playable,” for both children and adults.
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