Interesting – yeah, when I think unfortunate zoning in my context, I think of a big fence that’s basically keeping the poors out of the SFH affluent zone. I didn’t consider that a general allusion to speculation/zoning might conjure up a totally different assumption in the American context. Though it totally makes sense given the housing meltdown you guys experienced!
Sidebar: you’re definitely right about the houses that are a five minute bike-ride from downtown being nice. I’m local to Vancouver, and I always kind of assumed that one day I would grow up and have one of those houses for my own – lots of wistful daydreaming. But now I’m an adult (at least on paper), and it’s just so clear that clinging to the urban SFH in our context is driving a widening divide between the haves and the have-nots. Maintaining those lovely quiet neighbourhoods is actually at the real expense of those who work in low and medium income jobs.