Generationed City is an interdisciplinary research project housed in the School of Planning, Faculty of Environment, at the University of Waterloo. The project includes several graduate students, collaborators and affiliated researchers at institutions in the United States and Canada.
Raison d'être: Project Purpose
Professor Markus Moos founded Generationed City in 2014 to contribute to the research and public dialogue on generational change, Millennials, and youthification in cities in particular, and on youth, aging and ageism in general. The project focuses on the generational dimensions of housing and labour markets, hoping to advance our understanding of the unique challenges faced by different generations in the context of contemporary economic, demographic, and societal change.
Much of the research we are conducting at the moment focuses on young adults and Millennials. But the overarching focus of the research is to bring age and generation into the debates and research on the factors shaping social/spatial divisions and economic opportunities along with (not instead of) the more traditional factors considered such as income, class, gender, race, ethnicity.
Our intent is not to argue that age and generational status are somehow more important that other factors shaping society—our aim is to suggest that we need to pay closer attention to how current employment and housing challenges are impacting different generations since we are living in a context of rapid societal change that makes generational differences more pronounced.
So what? Or, why is this research important?
Studying the housing and employment challenges of the youngest generation entering housing and job markets is a bit like watching the canary in the coal mine—the young will be the first experiencing the loss of benefits, for instances, as union jobs are replaced with contract positions. We know that challenges facing young adults have heightened and generation and age have become more important factors of social division. Learning more about the challenges facing different generations from our research helps to develop evidence-based policies that are responsive to the needs of different age groups and the pressing social and economic issues confronting them.