The bad news is Decatur is struggling to attract young residents to the city. The good news is it is doing something about it.
Our population is aging, partly because of a slow exodus of young people. As explained in a recent story in The Daily, many find housing, entertainment and social opportunities to be inadequate.
It has the potential to be a spiraling problem. The fewer young professionals who live in Decatur, the less attractive it is for others.
City leaders, though, are not just observing the unfortunate trend. They are working to encourage developers to add upscale housing options, including condominiums and loft apartments. Investments in commercial districts, especially downtown, have attracted restaurants and bars. The addition of the North Alabama School of Fine Arts will add an important cultural component to a city that long has had a one-dimensional, blue-collar reputation. The state-of-the-art cinema coming to Decatur Mall will add an entertainment option.
All of us want Decatur to be the sort of town that lures our children back. We’re not there, but we are taking positive steps.
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