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Multifamily Housing and Resident Life Satisfaction: Evidence from the European Social Survey

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  • Nessa Winston

    (School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin)

Abstract

Much of the literature on sustainable communities and compact cities calls for higher density housing including multifamily dwellings. Some case studies suggest problems with such dwellings. However, rigorous comparative research on this topic has not been conducted to date. This paper draws on a high quality, comparative dataset, the European Social Survey, to analyse a) the quality of multifamily dwellings in European urban areas, b) the characteristics of residents of these dwellings, c) their life satisfaction compared with those living in detached housing and d) the relative importance of built form in explaining life satisfaction. One of the main findings from the multivariate analyses is that built form, including residing in multifamily housing, is not a statistically significant predictor of life satisfaction when you control for standard predictors of life satisfaction (e.g. health, employment and income) and housing and neighbourhood quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Nessa Winston, 2015. "Multifamily Housing and Resident Life Satisfaction: Evidence from the European Social Survey," Working Papers 201515, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201515
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201515.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Suzanne Vallance & Harvey C. Perkins & Jacky Bowring & Jennifer E. Dixon, 2012. "Almost Invisible: Glimpsing the City and its Residents in the Urban Sustainability Discourse," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(8), pages 1695-1710, June.
    2. Roger Andersson & Lena Magnusson Turner, 2014. "Segregation, gentrification, and residualisation: from public housing to market-driven housing allocation in inner city Stockholm," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 3-29, March.
    3. Elizabeth Burton, 2002. "Measuring urban compactness in UK towns and cities," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(2), pages 219-250, March.
    4. Alan Mace & Peter Hall & Nick Gallent, 2007. "New East Manchester: Urban Renaissance or Urban Opportunism?," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 51-65, January.
    5. M. Sirgy & Terri Cornwell, 2002. "How Neighborhood Features Affect Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 59(1), pages 79-114, July.
    6. Iwata, Shinichiro & Yamaga, Hisaki, 2008. "Rental externality, tenure security, and housing quality," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 201-211, September.
    7. Glen Bramley & Sinéad Power, 2009. "Urban form and social sustainability: the role of density and housing type," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(1), pages 30-48, January.
    8. Ed Diener & Ronald Inglehart & Louis Tay, 2013. "Theory and Validity of Life Satisfaction Scales," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 112(3), pages 497-527, July.
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    Keywords

    Quality of life; built form; housing density; life satisfaction; compact cities;

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