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While our current pandemic and the economic fallout from it won’t lead to the end of cities, these intertwined crises will lead to subtle and nuanced changes in both urban and suburban America, mainly accelerating demographic and economic shifts that were already underway. One set of forces, enabled mainly by newly acquired fears of crowded buses, trains, stores and parks—a kind of collective enochlophobia—will act to pull some people, mainly families with children, out of urban centers and into their suburban and rural peripheries. This is nothing new: Families have been gravitating away from the most expensive cities for some time now.

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