The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in widespread predictions about the death of cities. Data show that the largest U.S. cities experienced a population decline during the first year or so of the pandemic, while urban poverty and income inequality have risen and public transportation usage is dropping. Yet polling shows that people — especially young people — are still moving to cities, and rents in some urban areas continue to spike. Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Nashville, Tenn., and other midsized cities are seeing an explosion of people moving in from bigger, higher-cost locales, such as the San Francisco Bay Area and cities in the Northeast, leading to the rising housing costs in those areas. So while the shift to remote and hybrid work, changing traffic patterns ...

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