Suburbanisation: a European
In Europe, many urban residents still
aspire to the ideal of having a house
and a garden – the advantages of city
life with a sense of space, clean air and
nature. From 1961 to 2011, Europe’s
suburban population increased by 54%
more than its urban population, while
its rural population actually declined.
There are variations in this trend, with a
few countries, especially in Central and
Eastern Europe (CEE), still seeing higher
levels of urban growth.
The trend towards suburbanisation is
principally due to people’s demand for a certain quality of life, combined with
the economics of housing and other lifestyle
- Space: 33% more people report
shortage of space in urban vs suburban
areas, and lack of space is a
major cause of dissatisfaction with
a person’s dwelling.
- Cost: the cost of housing per square
metre is on average 42% higher in
urban than in suburban areas.
- Pollution: 48% more people report
having problems related to outdoor
pollution in urban areas as compared
with suburban areas.
- Noise: 39% more people report
having problems related to noise in
urban areas as compared with suburban
There are, of course, trade-offs to be
made. For example, access to public
transport is considerably easier in urban
areas than in suburban areas. But
they seem to be trade-offs people are
willing to make.