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Top 5 city issues to watch in 2018

Published in Toronto Sun
By Sevaun Palvetzian

The tinsel is down, resolutions are intact (for now) and the biggest sales of the year are over. As we hunker down for the long days of winter, here are five urban issues to track closely in 2018:

Smart cities: With projects like Google’s Sidewalk Labs hitting our shores, it’s easy to get swept away. Yes, imagining the city of the future is exciting, but projects like this also raise concerns about privacy and data ownership. All sectors are in the market of data collection but are our policies smart enough to keep up? Watch for governments to play a rapid game of “catch-up” in data management in 2018.

Opioids, Canada’s growing crisis: The legalization of pot dominated the 2017 news cycle, but a larger drug story will be making headlines in 2018. Far more people are dying from opioid-related reasons than car accidents – and numbers are rising at alarming rates.

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Generation Z, job revolutionaries: Millennials may be the largest generation to walk the planet, but eyes will soon be moving to the next cohort, Generation Z.

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How long can the glue hold? Our cracks are showing and our infrastructure is aging out. By 2031, the GTHA’s population is projected to increase by 30 per cent.
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Ballot Box Battleground: The politics of division isn’t new, but thanks to social media and newsfeed algorithms, voices inside the echo chamber have never been louder.

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