Communities facing urban depopulation: exploring people’s environmental preferences. A case study of Lisbon, Portugal

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Abstract

This study focuses on the relative importance for resident’s wellbeing of different attributes of the living environment, namely urban typology, population density, green space type, green space quality, community and security, in the context of urban depopulation.

The study used conjoint analysis, a methodology for comparing preferences, in three neighbourhoods in the Portuguese capital city. A total of 130 participants were recruited to take part in this study, based on whether their residential neighbourhood was growing in population (N=49) or depopulating (N=44); or whether they were searching for a new house at the moment (N=37).

The results showed that residents of depopulating neighbourhoods value the presence of a friendly community more than the other participants and were less negative about high population densities. House buyers valued environments with good quality green spaces significantly more than the other two groups.

These findings suggest that a friendlier community and the quality of its green spaces are key attributes in encouraging current dwellers to remain, and in attracting new residents to move in. These two attributes are known to be relevant factors for overall citizens' quality of life, health and wellbeing; they should, therefore, be given particular consideration in any intervention in depopulating contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)288 - 308
Number of pages21
JournalCities and Health
Volume6
Issue number2
Early online date10 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • living environment
  • wellbeing
  • urban depopulation
  • conjoint analysis
  • community

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