Satisfied but thinking about leaving: The reasons behind residential satisfaction and residential attractiveness in shrinking Portuguese cities

Barreira, A. P., Nunes, L. C., Guimarães, M. H., Panagopoulos, T. (2019)


Creating liveable cities is a policy priority, especially for cities that are experiencing population loss. A decline in the number of inhabitants is commonly associated with low levels of residential satisfaction. However, such a supposition does not often find empirical support in shrinking cities. In the present study, we identify variables that influence the level of residential satisfaction, as well as those influencing residential attraction (captured by the intention of current residents to leave their city in the near future). The study is based on a face-to-face questionnaire administered to 701 residents in four shrinking Portuguese cities. As expected, lower levels of residential satisfaction lead to an increased intention to leave the city. The results also show that the variables explaining residential satisfaction mostly differ from those explaining residential attractiveness. The specific characteristics of each city influence citizens’ assessment of residential satisfaction, but the variables impacting residential attractiveness are universal.

Keywords: Shrinking cities; residential satisfaction; residential attractiveness; intention to move out; Portuguese cities

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