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In a recent survey by coUrbanize, people younger than 50 are more supportive of new housing development than respondents older than 50. In addition, half of survey respondents younger than 50 think that more transit-oriented housing would increase affordability compared with 32% of respondents older than 50.

Forty-five percent of the younger group also believe that market-rate housing would increase affordability in their neighborhood compared with 28% of those older than 50. Both groups view workforce housing equally, with 42% agreeing it increases affordability.

In keeping with their positivity for development, the younger group of respondents (57%) is more likely to believe they can have an impact on the creation of affordable housing than those older than 50 (51%). However, this group is less likely to attend a public meeting regarding a new development project or plan. In the past year, half had attended an in-person or virtual meeting compared with 61% of respondents older than 50.

“Planners have long viewed the public meeting as a flawed process that gives disproportionate power to a small group of the community, often homeowners,” says Karin Brandt, CEO and founder of coUrbanize. “However, moving the meetings to Zoom has not been the silver bullet for increasing engagement that many believed it would be at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“It’s encouraging to see that people under 50 want to effect change in their communities. But younger people are busy with jobs and families, and don’t have the time to take high-bar civic actions. That’s where online community engagement comes in by lowering the bar to participation,” Brandt continues.

According to coUrbanize, only 10% of all survey respondents say they get their information about planning and development projects from public meetings. No matter if the meeting was public or virtual, 71% of participants say their opinions about a new development project or plan did not change after attending a meeting.

As a technology company that powers community engagement in real estate development and planning, coUrbanize conducts an annual survey of its platform’s registered community members. This year’s survey, conducted in August, gathered the responses of 2,051 individuals.