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The Generation Z world : Shifts in urban design, architecture and the corporate workplace


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Gen Z is expected to surpass Millennials in number by 2020 and potentially represent 40 per cent of consumers in the US alone. By 2030, 20 per cent of the workforce will be Generation Z (Gen Z) (see Figure 1). They differ from Millennials in substantive ways. They represent changes to all aspects of corporate real estate (CRE) through their expectations in the workplace, retail, residential, cultural and lifestyle environments. To begin to understand the shifts in urban design, architecture and the workplace this generation will lead, this paper begins by listening to Gen Z on their own terms. A frame of reference outside this lens would miss their perspective and how it rightfully presents their relevant world view, goals and aspirations that will impact CRE. Through presenting data, trends and metrics, the paper addresses technology, transportation, uses and new building typologies, and the impact this new generation will have on evolving cultural and social norms that inform tomorrow’s environments. We present five foci for design and decision making and the features behind them to discover how this emerging population may influence today’s real estate strategies and tomorrow’s real estate value propositions.

Keywords: Gen Z; authenticity; changing workforce flexibility; choice; convenience; future cities; future mobility; integrated/interactive world; placemaking; urban/ building technologies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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