How Kitchener-Waterloo is fast becoming an 18-hour city
An 18-hour city has the following:
- Population growth, particularly young people
- Job growth, particularly in tech
- Good transit (a high percentage of non-auto commuters)
- A vibrant, densely populated downtown
- Low crime
- Regional distinctiveness
- Unlike 24-hour cities like Toronto, New York, London, or Berlin, 18-hour cities are cheaper to live and do business in.
There are generally two ways 18-hour cities emerge.
- Rural populations congregate to form an urban centre. Winnipeg, could soon be one as it’s home to more than half of the entire province of Manitoba
- Reverse population shift in which people seek the savings and space of suburban living. Eventually these suburbs develop their own identity and attract the fun and culture to disrupt the home-work-supermarket routine.
Tale of two cities
Mississauga is well on its way, though it might be just as expensive as Toronto when it arrives.
More to definition is Kitchener-Waterloo, which combines the regional distinctiveness characteristic of slow-emergent 18-hour cities with the tech jobs and schools to lure bright young minds from the GTA.
Good real estate
A 2016 study of 18-hour cities in the United States revealed that economic and cultural growth led to a significant increase in property value.
In fact, 18-hour markets emerged as superior performers in the residential sector, with returns exceeding those in 24-hour cities.
Look for cities with a large-scale public transit vision to thrive as the “link between transit infrastructure and real estate development is expected to grow closer in the years to come,” according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Future 18-hour cities
- Quebec City
Most notably, the Millennial exodus from Toronto to the suburbs and satellite cities means places like Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, and Mississauga are on the verge of 18-hour status.
Source: Toronto Storeys
Kitchener-Waterloo neighbourhood link