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Cities could become inequality traps

Oct 20, 2016 | News

(20 October 2016) – Governments should rethink urban housing, transport, schooling and jobs strategies to ensure that cities do not become inequality traps, according to a new OECD report.

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Looking at cities – defined as metropolitan areas with at least 500,000 inhabitants – in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United States, ‘Making Cities Work for All’ finds that in all countries with the exception of Canada the average inequality level is above the national average.

Cities with the highest inequality in the countries studied include Bari (Italy), Brussels (Belgium), Calgary (Canada), Miami (United States) and Santiago (Chile).

When policies for urban housing and transport are poorly coordinated, they can increase segregation and restrict upward mobility for city dwellers.

But smarter planning of public services can help lower-income households thrive in cities affected by sky-rocketing house prices.

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