Prospective analysis: residential choice and territorial attractiveness
A multitude of complex factors may affect the dynamics of where people choose to live yet little analysis has been done on the determinants of residential choice. With the help of a large on-line survey, the present paper will try to unscramble the criteria of choice used by British citizens with plans to establish their main, secondary or “secondary then main” residence in France within three years time. Such choices are all the more revealing due to this population’s preference for certain host regions over others. The study’s aims, purpose and foci will be presented in its first section, followed by a discussion of its theoretical underpinnings and modes of investigation. We will then examine some initial findings, comparing them with future migrants’ residential biography. We follow this with an in-depth analysis, with no pretence of being all-encompassing. The permanent, temporary or “mixed” nature of a move is a very important criterion in analysing migrants’ residential choice and in determining a typology thereof. Then the choices are examined once the various types of migrations and households have been neutralised. Subsequently we focus on territorial attractiveness by selecting five regions, based on future migrants’ expressed preferences for the first three, and the territorial specificities of the other two. One notable challenge will be to identify potential inter-area competition in light of various factors. These include the arbitrage that future migrants might make, the attractiveness that a region may possess (selective or not), the image they have of different areas, and the migratory imagination, whose not insignificant role requires some decoding.
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