American City Dwellers Love Food, and Want More

These preferences vary by region, however, withBostonians most likely to be enticed by a new restaurant (59 percent) versus New Yorkers (34 percent), whose apparent abundance of choice ranked them lowest on this question. And the majority of people (41 percent) consider food and restaurants to be the most outstanding aspect of cities they love to visit.

Beyond food, respondents also enjoy consumer activities such as shopping and going out to eat (56 percent) the most, followed by programmed events such as farmer’s markets, outdoor concerts and food trucks (45 percent). And they want more: 46 percent of respondents said they want their cities to invest in more community-focused events and attractions such as farmer’s markets, swap meets, and food trucks for their open spaces.

To improve their city’s architectural character, more than half of respondents (54 percent) would like to see their city renovating historical buildings, compared with22 percent who would like more unusual architecture.

When it comes to the built environment, shared public spaces rule the day. Most people remember their favorite city experience taking place in a park or on a street (65 percent) compared to just 22 percent who said that special moment occurred in a private building. This is especially true among New Yorkers.

Reflecting a national trend of cities reclaiming their waterfronts, areas along rivers, lakes, or the ocean are the most popular open spaces across the country (47 percent) compared to 14 percent who prefer small urban parks or 8 percent who like their city’s trail systems.

So, what do Americans hate the most about their cities? Traffic. Overall, 41 percent percent say it’s what frustrates them the most, followed by not enough parking (23 percent) and poor public transportation (14 percent). This provides great opportunity for new technologies to rethink how vehicles can be used more effectively by urbanites, both in terms of commuting and sustainability.

Despite transportation frustrations, 60 percent of city dwellers plan to stay put in the next five years, either living where they do now or in a different part of the city.

SOURCE Sasaki Associates