Residential satisfaction and intention to move: the case of Prague’s new suburbanites
ŠPAČKOVÁ, P., DVOŘÁKOVÁ, N., TOBRMANOVÁ, M. (2016): Residential satisfaction and intention to move: the case of Prague’s new suburbanites. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 98, č. 4, s. 331-348.
Suburbanization has been a particularly significant process in transforming the metropolitan regions in Central and East European countries in the past two decades. Many critics emphasize the negative consequences of suburbanization, such as a low level of residential environment quality, and some of them anticipate that suburbanites’ expectations would remain unfulfilled. Moreover, a growing body of literature describes the tendency for reurbanization and discusses the importance of back-to-the city moves. Few authors, however, have paid attention to the empirical evidence of the residential stability of suburban areas. Therefore, this paper seeks to investigate the relationship between the quality of the suburban environment, the everyday life experiences associated with suburbia, and reurbanization tendencies. Various aspects of residential satisfaction and intentions to move in the medium term were analysed using data from a questionnaire survey which was carried out in three case study sites within Prague’s hinterland. In addition, major differences between groups of potential “stayers” and “movers” were examined to reveal key factors which lie behind intentions to move from current suburban homes. The results suggested a relatively high degree of stability and a reasonable overall satisfaction of new suburbanites with their residential environment. They also indicated that trigger moments in the decision-making process were more closely related to the changing needs of households than the wider residential environment. Based on the research results, we were able to hypothesize that (1) a strong out-migration from the suburban zone is rather unlikely in the near future, and (2) only a small proportion of new suburbanites are likely to engage in the reurbanization process.