do people aspire to the new proximities ?

do people aspire to the new proximities ?

aspirationsurban morphologiesproximities
spatial data analyticsclustering


Marc-Edouard Schultheiss

Luca Pattaroni

Vincent Kaufmann




43% of the population desire tranquillity rather than proximity

The new proximities are gaining popularity in large urban areas, advocating a walkable, green city that encourages socializing and caring. But a question arises as to whether the ideals of urban planners embodied in these proximities meet the residential aspirations of individuals.

The objective of this research is to identify, characterize and quantify how people value and leverage residential strategies. The paper argues that residential choices are not only functional or rational, but also imbued with beliefs, feelings or social proximities. Based on a series of residential criteria (Data Domotopia, 2022), five residential strategies are identified by means of latent variable analysis: proximity, tranquility, elitism, tradition and conviviality. These strategies serve as a basis for a longitudinal analysis, a spatial analysis and a clustering analysis. The results reveal intrinsic characteristics to residential strategies. First, there is stability in the composition of residential strategies over time, although malleable to adapt to changing conjuncture. Second, residential strategies show different patterns in their spatial distribution, ranging from total randomness to high degree of urban centrality. Third, some strategies appear to work together, and others in opposition, when associated with urban morphologies.

Mapping of the residential strategies per subsector
Mapping of the residential strategies per subsector

Main results

  • From 16 residential criteria to 5 residential strategies and 5 archetypical ways of living
  • Among 5 strategies:
    • 2 tend to be more functional (proximity and elitism)
    • 2 are characterized by the social quality of the environment (tradition and conviviality)
    • 1 is rather sensitive (tranquility)
  • Strategies remain stable over time, while keeping room for adaptation to the conjuncture
  • Dense amenities attract people aspiring for proximity and conviviality
  • Retirees on the one hand, and young educated families on the other hand, tend to fall in very distinctive archetypical ways of living
  • 43% of the population aspire rather for tranquility than functional proximity