In recent years, the young, educated and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet, all is not well. The very same forces that power the growth of our great cities have generated a crisis of gentrification, rising inequality and increasingly unaffordable urban housing.
The new urban crisis is different from the older urban crisis of the 1960s and 70s. That previous crisis was defined by the economic abandonment of cities and their loss of economic function. But the new crisis is, in many ways, an outgrowth of urban success. The predicament can be seen in the dramatic growth in housing prices and the even more dramatic decline in housing affordability, especially in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. In both, the median price of a detached single-family home will now set you back easily over $1-million.
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