The Advantage of ‘Near’: Which Accessibilities Matter to Whom?
This paper explores people’s preferences for living close to destinations such as work, service, leisure and social activities, satisfaction with the proximities offered by their residential location, as well as more general residential satisfaction. The paper draws on the literature on accessibility, residential choice and residential preferences, and is empirically based on a survey targeted at individuals aged 20-64 in the Swedish population. The results suggest that ‘proximity preferences’ are structured by both practical and social rationales. Preferences also differ to varying degrees between groups with respect to gender, age and type of residential environment. Selfreported distances are short for virtually all destinations except those relating to social relations. People’s satisfaction with their residential location relative to their everyday life accessibility needs is also explored in regression analyses. The findings imply that residential location satisfaction is related to type of residential environment, dwelling type/tenure, whether the respondents had considered moving to increase the proximity to certain destinations, and their level of satisfaction with the distances from home to various destinations.