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Youthful cities: Canada has work to do

At a time when Likes, Listicles and happy faces pass for analysis and opinion, it’s refreshing to know there’s still value in going deep — especially on issues that will have long and far-reaching impact on all of us.

One such example is today’s release of the first comprehensive ranking of Canadian cities around infrastructure and resources that make our cities attractive to youth — (the YouthfulCities Index). NATIONAL is a partner with YouthfulCities in bringing this work to the public.

The YouthfulCities Index (think the Economist’s Livable City Index) evaluates 13 Canadian cities across 121 indicators and delivers 1,586 data points; looking at everything from Transit (kilometres of bike lanes, operating hours of public transit, commuting time from airport to downtown), to Employment (youth unemployment rate, number of new jobs created in the past year, number of employment centres), to Affordability (minimum wage, cost of a dozen eggs, consumption tax rate).

The Index is data rich and should prove valuable to policy makers, employers, planners and civic leaders who need to engage with and employ today’s youth (defined here as 15-29 year-olds). This is not a simple top 10 list; there is information and learning to be gleaned throughout this report.

We are just at the beginning of massive changes in our cities related to immigration, mobility and the changing nature of work. Youth have the longest view and should drive many of these conversations. It makes sense we start with a better understanding of their priorities and let those voices be heard.

As an employer in the creative economy with offices in most of the cities represented in the Index, we at NATIONAL have skin in this game. We hope to further and stay part of the conversation about youth and cities and what this means for Canada in the months and years ahead.

Our business depends on it.