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Old 10-14-2014, 01:30 PM
 
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Today it seems that you almost can't succeed unless you have a college degree. As a result, many more young people are going to college as opposed to decades like the 50s, 60s, and 70s, back when you had a fair shot at an assembly line factory job with no degree requirements. It seems also that desire for walkable spaces has increased recently among younger individuals fresh out of college; though this has been debated on this forum, trends of younger individuals moving into previously neglected urban areas suggests so. Now, something to consider is this-most college and university canpuses across the US are reasonably dense and organized areas with all necessities and usually most amenities located within walking distance. Student housing is typically pretty crowded as well and often consists of dense structures, sometimes high rises. College campuses are conditioned primarily for walking, and some even enforce it by banning cars for certain year students.

So the main question here is-do colleges and universities condition today's college-age youth to want walkable spaces? In other words, do college campuses create that desire?
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:38 PM
 
56,582 posts, read 80,870,855 times
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Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Today it seems that you almost can't succeed unless you have a college degree. As a result, many more young people are going to college as opposed to decades like the 50s, 60s, and 70s, back when you had a fair shot at an assembly line factory job with no degree requirements. It seems also that desire for walkable spaces has increased recently among younger individuals fresh out of college; though this has been debated on this forum, trends of younger individuals moving into previously neglected urban areas suggests so. Now, something to consider is this-most college and university canpuses across the US are reasonably dense and organized areas with all necessities and usually most amenities located within walking distance. Student housing is typically pretty crowded as well and often consists of dense structures, sometimes high rises. College campuses are conditioned primarily for walking, and some even enforce it by banning cars for certain year students.

So the main question here is-do colleges and universities condition today's college-age youth to want walkable spaces? In other words, do college campuses create that desire?
I think that is a possibility and to add to what you have said, usually the cities/towns/neighborhoods that many of these college campuses are in are also walkable, with many amenities nearby. So, it is not only the campus, but the community that the campus is located in, may have some influence.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I think that is a possibility and to add to what you have said, usually the cities/towns/neighborhoods that many of these college campuses are in are also walkable, with many amenities nearby. So, it is not only the campus, but the community that the campus is located in, may have some influence.
Yeah, I think the college towns themselves are more important in terms of models that young people idolize than the colleges. Although campuses are generally walkable, due to the period many of them were built out (e.g., during the bad period of mid 20th century urban design) they're often full of modernist buildings which don't create the most inviting atmosphere. I know several were the subject of ridicule on the campus I was on. But everyone seems drawn to the nearby town for recreation, and later as a place to live as an upperclassman or graduate student.

A gentrified city neighborhood, when it comes down to it, tends to pretty much be a college town in a city. Perhaps a little more upscale, because actual city neighborhoods right around colleges tend to be horrible places to live in some ways.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:10 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,004,486 times
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Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Today it seems that you almost can't succeed unless you have a college degree. As a result, many more young people are going to college as opposed to decades like the 50s, 60s, and 70s, back when you had a fair shot at an assembly line factory job with no degree requirements. It seems also that desire for walkable spaces has increased recently among younger individuals fresh out of college; though this has been debated on this forum, trends of younger individuals moving into previously neglected urban areas suggests so. Now, something to consider is this-most college and university canpuses across the US are reasonably dense and organized areas with all necessities and usually most amenities located within walking distance. Student housing is typically pretty crowded as well and often consists of dense structures, sometimes high rises. College campuses are conditioned primarily for walking, and some even enforce it by banning cars for certain year students.

So the main question here is-do colleges and universities condition today's college-age youth to want walkable spaces? In other words, do college campuses create that desire?
It seems like an interesting hypothesis.

I counter that, even given how college attendance has skyrocketed, many of these colleges are much, much older than the Millennials who are looking for urban settings, and Gen X wasn't a slouch in college attendance. So, why would this effect show up now? Why this generation and not others? If colleges have that effect, it should have shown up elsewhere and elsewhen.

I doubt that colleges have any discernible long-term effect on housing preference.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
It seems like an interesting hypothesis.

I counter that, even given how college attendance has skyrocketed, many of these colleges are much, much older than the Millennials who are looking for urban settings, and Gen X wasn't a slouch in college attendance. So, why would this effect show up now? Why this generation and not others? If colleges have that effect, it should have shown up elsewhere and elsewhen.

I doubt that colleges have any discernible long-term effect on housing preference.
I think that the theory has value, and that the reason it's actually manifested in movement towards the city amongst millenials rather then in GenX before us is because the myriad other factors that have to come together and collude for big changes to occur are present now, but weren't then. So while college campuses may have always contributed to the desire, they were never the whole story. So, for example, while a GenX person may have been exposed to the notion in college and saw the benefits of walkability, the high crime rates and crack epidemic in the inner city during their period of history may have convinced them that because of the danger it was not worth it to give this lifestyle a shot.
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
It seems like an interesting hypothesis.

I counter that, even given how college attendance has skyrocketed, many of these colleges are much, much older than the Millennials who are looking for urban settings, and Gen X wasn't a slouch in college attendance. So, why would this effect show up now? Why this generation and not others? If colleges have that effect, it should have shown up elsewhere and elsewhen.

I doubt that colleges have any discernible long-term effect on housing preference.
I think there has always been some interest in urban living, but the number of people interested might have increased?

Anyways, in terms of the universities around here, if I were to rank them in terms of the level of walkability experienced by students


Very high walkability. Basically in the downtowns of large urban cities in very walkable locations.
-University of Toronto St George Campus
-Ryerson University
-University of Ottawa

High walkability. Basically college towns with the campus in close proximity to a healthy small city downtown.
-Queen's
-Wilfrid Laurier University

Moderate walkability. Typically in a more streetcar suburb/inner suburb setting of smaller cities, and will have several businesses near campuses but students will likely want to take the bus to downtown from time to time to go out when they get bored of what's closer and might not have the full range of businesses within walking distance of campus.
-University of Waterloo
-McMaster University


Mediocre walkability. Were usually founded pre-WWII at the edge of small cities and then had suburbs grow up around it. Might not have much within walking distance of campus, maybe just a small strip mall, but will have walkable areas within a couple miles at most.
-Guelph University
-University of Western Ontario
-Carleton University
-University of Windsor



Poor walkability. Some of these have nice natural settings and little traffic within campus often with buildings close together connected by pedestrian paths, but few amenities near campus beyond parks and bus transit. Either in suburban Toronto far from downtown and mostly commuter campuses for students living with their parents in the suburbs, or on the suburban outskirts of small cities.
-York University
-U of T Mississauga
-U of T Scarborough
-UOIT
-Brock
-Trent

Enrolment by walkability

Very high: 127,000
High: 41,000
Moderate: 60,000
Mediocre: 103,000
Poor: 114,000

Mind you, even with most of the places I've ranked as mediocre, you can still live in between the campus and the walkable area and have both more or less within walking distance. And even with the campuses with poor walkability, you'll usually have "housing" (dorms) that is dense and close to "work" (lecture halls/labs) and several amenities offered by the university like gyms and cafeterias, all in an environment that is pretty pedestrian oriented.

Also, I don't know about the US, but I feel like here in Southern Ontario if you go to university outside your hometown, it's typically going to be in a small city (college town) rather than to a big city urban campus like U of T, Ryerson or U Ottawa.

Last edited by memph; 10-14-2014 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:41 PM
 
2,366 posts, read 2,127,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Today it seems that you almost can't succeed unless you have a college degree. As a result, many more young people are going to college as opposed to decades like the 50s, 60s, and 70s, back when you had a fair shot at an assembly line factory job with no degree requirements. It seems also that desire for walkable spaces has increased recently among younger individuals fresh out of college; though this has been debated on this forum, trends of younger individuals moving into previously neglected urban areas suggests so. Now, something to consider is this-most college and university canpuses across the US are reasonably dense and organized areas with all necessities and usually most amenities located within walking distance. Student housing is typically pretty crowded as well and often consists of dense structures, sometimes high rises. College campuses are conditioned primarily for walking, and some even enforce it by banning cars for certain year students.

So the main question here is-do colleges and universities condition today's college-age youth to want walkable spaces? In other words, do college campuses create that desire?

No. Universities have limited space and parking so they have to make use of what they have. I do not believe it is their intention to condition students. Students are more concern about socializing and exams.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by Phyxius View Post
No. Universities have limited space and parking so they have to make use of what they have. I do not believe it is their intention to condition students. Students are more concern about socializing and exams.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that conditioning students is the typical reason schools often have walkable campuses or nearby neighbourhoods, but this can still happen as a secondary effect of planning choices that were made for practical reasons.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:56 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,674,215 times
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
I don't think anyone is suggesting that conditioning students is the typical reason schools often have walkable campuses or nearby neighbourhoods, but this can still happen as a secondary effect of planning choices that were made for practical reasons.
Exactly. I'm not saying this is some big conspiracy where universities do it intentionally to cultivate a walkability culture. I'm just saying that interest in walkable spaces has arisen as a byproduct of increased college enrollment over the past few decades.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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College campuses and college towns are typically the models of what a walkable community should function like. I don't think they are designed that way to condition people to want a walkable neighborhood, I think that is more the result of limited space and not wanting to waste it all on parking lots.
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