New York, they used to say, was a city in which the rich and the poor lived cheek by jowl. And, golly, they did back then. New York also used to produce things. Pianos, for instance. A century ago, New York was one of the biggest piano manufacturers in the world. Where once we had foundries and factories on Manhattan island, men now make muffins. New York has arguably become the quintessential 1 percent city, a city that has been so given over to the rich that you now have to be rich to live here. Or not live here: New York’s also a preferred destination for foreign money spent on vast, lifeless apartments in the sky that are occupied a couple of weeks a year at most. Somewhere along the way, New York became all about money.
A quote from Graydon’s Carter’s editorial in the April Edition of Vanity Fair. It is fascinating and tragic when we watch cities lose their vibrant mix of socio-economic backgrounds and become “1 percent” cities. Many think Vancouver will suffer a similar fate.
Urban planners need to have more conversations about how to preserve socio-economic diversity in cities - the failure to do so can be seen in the suburbs, where you have gated communities on one end of the spectrum, and ghettos on the other.