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What about the Soul of the City?: Applying a resident perspective in four Swedish Cities
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1750-3726
2017 (English)In: Romanian Journal of Regional Science, ISSN 1843-8520, E-ISSN 1843-8520, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 36-61Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper contributes to existing literature by developing a quantitative method for analyzing the city soul – a concept here used to study cities’ distinguishing features. The method is based in theory and tested by means of a survey, in which ~2,500 households in Sweden answered questions about their city. Results from e.g. regression analysis indicate significant relationships between the perceived strength of a city’s soul and the residents’ relation to their city as well as their perceptions of its characteristics. Particularly, the city soul seems to be linked to feelings of pride, attachment and belonging and to city characteristics related to art, beauty and stories about the cities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Regional Science Association International , 2017. Vol. 11, no 1, p. 36-61
Keyword [en]
place identity, urban amenities, city perceptions, residential satisfaction
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Civil Engineering
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-214968OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-214968DiVA, id: diva2:1146817
Note

QC 20171004

Available from: 2017-10-04 Created: 2017-10-04 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Livable and Sustainable Cities: Explorations of the City Soul and Energy-Efficient Housing based on Swedish Data on Citizens’ Preferences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Livable and Sustainable Cities: Explorations of the City Soul and Energy-Efficient Housing based on Swedish Data on Citizens’ Preferences
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Contemporary cities face many challenges, none the least from an urban planning perspective. Global climate change and urbanization is putting pressures on planning for combatting and adapting to, e.g., a warmer climate and an increased need for housing in already dense environments.

The aim of this thesis is to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of residents’ opinions and preferences regarding various aspects of city livability and sustainability. Two of the papers discuss energy-efficient housing and two the identity/soul of the city and its neighborhoods. The papers are empirically oriented and rest on relatively large quantitative materials of Swedish data. The database used in the first two articles contains around 77,000 observations of single-family homes. The residential survey used in the two final papers was sent to a random sample of 6,600 residents in four cities, resulting in 2,573 respondents.

Regression is the primary analytical method and the results indicate a preference for sustainable housing, in terms of a price premium on heat pumps (attributes that both reduce the energy consumption and are easily observed in the house). It is further suggested that the perception of a strong city/neighborhood soul is linked to positive relations to the city and to positive perceptions of its physical characteristics. In particular, feelings of attachment, belonging, and pride as well as perceptions of aesthetics, arts, and symbols, seem to be linked to a strong city/neighborhood soul.

The presented research contributes to related literature through providing insight to Swedish residents’ preferences and opinions concerning energy-efficient housing and the city/neighborhood soul. It is shown that a citizen perspective based on carefully designed databases and appropriate analytical tools can be used by planners to gain new insights supporting urban livability and sustainability efforts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. p. 34
Series
TRITA-SOM, ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2017-07
Keyword
Attractive cities, place identity, green housing, urban planning, quantitative studies, residential satisfaction
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-215196 (URN)978-91-7729-501-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-26, Sal Q2, Osquldas väg 10, KTH, Stockholm, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20171004

Available from: 2017-10-04 Created: 2017-10-04 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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