Residential choice of knowledge-workers in a 'startup metropolis': the role of amenities, workplace and lifestyle
Knowledge-workers belonging to the super-creative core of the creative-class are considered a mean to induce economic growth and to sharpen the regional competitive edge. Driven by the key-role of housing in attracting and retaining knowledge-workers, most studies focus on the residential choice of knowledge workers at the inter-metropolitan level. In contrast, empirical evidence and analysis at the intra-metropolitan level are scarce. This study focuses on investigating the tradeoff among location amenities, workplace and lifestyle in the residential choice of knowledge-workers at the intra-metropolitan level. The importance of this issue derives from the key-role of housing as enabler for attracting and retaining knowledge-workers, and from evidence regarding the contradicting role of knowledge-workers both as catalysts to urban revitalization and as contributors to urban sprawl. Consequently, understanding the determinants of knowledge-workers' residential choice is essential for suggesting policy measures to attract and to retain knowledge workers, while promoting sustainable urban development. Multinomial logit and nested logit models are estimated for the location choice within the metropolitan area. Residential alternatives include several community types in the metropolitan core and surrounding concentric rings. Considered amenities are municipal socio-economic ranking, municipal investment in education, housing density, population composition in terms of age and creative occupations, and land-use shares allocated to public open spaces, culture and sport, public services, healthcare, education and industry. Workplace attributes are location and self-reported commuting time to work. Lifestyle is viewed from a holistic perspective encompassing lifecycle stage, work-role and leisure consumption, subject to available budget and level of mobility. The proposed model is applied to 837 observations of actual housing choices collected by means of a custom-designed web-based survey. Survey respondents consist of knowledge-workers in high-technology and financial business services, who work and reside in Tel Aviv metropolitan region, also known as 'the startup metropolis'. The empirical results reveal the relative importance of location amenities, workplace location and lifestyle in the residential location choice of knowledge workers. Relevant policy directions are suggested and discussed.
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