Survey: Urban dwellers drawn by food

Boston - Food is a major driver of the American urban experience. According to a new survey of residents of six major U.S, cities by design firm Sasaki Associates, 82% of urbanites appreciate their city's culinary offerings, and a new restaurant is the top reason the majority of them (46%) would venture to a new part of their city.

This is compared to 25% of people who are incentivized by a new store and 16% by a sporting event. These preferences vary by region, however, with Bostonians most likely to be enticed by a new restaurant (59%) versus New Yorkers (34%). And the majority of people (41%) consider food and restaurants to be the most outstanding aspect of cities they love to visit.

Working with an independent research firm, Sasaki developed "The State of the City Experience," which surveyed 1,000 people living and working in one of six cities: Boston, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, and Washington, D.C. Beyond food, respondents also enjoy consumer activities such as shopping and going out to eat (56%) the most, followed by programmed events such as farmer's markets, outdoor concerts and food trucks (45%). And they want more: 46% 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.

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