There’s been a lot of fanfare about Amazon’s announcement that it’s looking for a city to host its second headquarters. Mayors across North America have spoken out to say that their city deserves to win, but that will require big incentives that may not pay off in the long term — and that’s even before considering how HQ2 will make inequality and the housing crisis in whichever city wins much worse.
Many of the cities in the running already have unaffordable housing prices that governments have shown themselves unable to deal with because they refuse to invest in new public housing. Instead, tech companies are proposing a solution: the revival of the neofeudalist company town. I shouldn’t even need to explain why this is a terrible idea.
However, even with the issues major cities are facing, they’re still capturing economic growth and, if it wasn’t already obvious, studies show they provide a better quality of life than rural areas. The walkability of cities leads to healthier citizens and people who are more social because of the much greater number of people in their vicinity.