当前位置:首页 >> 能源/化工 >>


2008 – Life in the city

Research carried out for Veolia Environnement by IPSOS

Veolia Environnement 36-38, avenue Kléber – 75116 Paris Cedex – France – Tel.: 33 (0)1 71 75 00 00 – www.veolia.com

02 04 05 08 10 13 32 44 48


Design: – January 2008. Photo credits:Veolia photo library, Géraldine Fort, Nicolas Guaérin, Christophe Majani, Jean-Philippe Mesguen, Jean-Marie Ramès – Photodisc. Printed with vegetable inks on Condat Silk paper, ISO 9001, PEFC and FSC labelled, produced with fibre from sustainably managed forests.

“ What is the city but the people?” William Shakespeare, Coriolanus (1607)

This requires both innovation and imagination. Even today, many cities are organized and run on the basis of techniques and methods devised at the end of the 19th century and developed and generalized throughout the 20th century. These approaches must now be revisited, modernized and in some cases replaced to accommodate the new challenges of the urban environment, like climate change, the scarcity of natural resources and health risks, just to name a few. Such an effort will obviously be based on technology, but it will also have to involve an increased capability to anticipate city dwellers’ perceptions, aspirations and expectations. These sociological dimensions will be an essential building block of tomorrow’s cities. It is in this spirit that Veolia has launched the Observatory of Urban Lifestyles, aimed at gaining both a better understanding and a more precise measurement of societal changes, as well as the diversity of urban reality in all parts of the world.

Contributing to a better life in the city

Chairman & CEO of Veolia Environnement

In 2008, for the first time in the history of mankind, more than half the world’s population will be living in cities. The unprecedented pace of urban growth – only 10% of the world’s populations lived in cities in 1900 – is a reason for hope: for centuries cities have been the theater of economic, educational and cultural progress. But it is also a cause for concern as we move into the uncharted territory of giant cities with several tens of millions of inhabitants, of which there will be many more in the next ten to twenty years. That is why the growth of cities must be carefully planned to ensure that it does not spiral out of control with respect to geography and land use, access to services, transportation and the environment. Cities must be planned primarily for the people who live in them, adding to the benefits of physical proximity of people and services, the necessary quality of life in all areas, from strong social ties to mutually beneficial interactions and high quality public services.

The Observatory’s approach is ground-breaking in terms of the scope of the research presented here, and it is also firmly rooted in the activities of our Company, which has always prided itself on being close to the communities it serves rather than a mere manager of systems. We know from experience that to work effectively while respecting the identity of local communities, it is necessary first to identify and measure their aspirations. By the same token, we firmly believe that by collecting the spontaneous expression of city stakeholders today, we are preparing the ground for the sustainable development of our cities tomorrow. It is my sincerest wish that this contribution will be the introduction to an essential debate in which I call on all those concerned, elected officials, businesses and citizens, to participate.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles


A ground-breaking initiative
a thing as the typical urban individual, whatever the context or place where he or she lives? How do you identify the challenges, expectations and aspirations of today’s city dwellers and their relationship with the urban environment? These difficulties were compounded by the fact that it is never easy to ask groups of people from different cultures questions that have to be perceived and understood everywhere by everyone in the same manner. The choice of words, the meaning of phrases, the order of the questions and the quality of translations: everything must contribute to ensuring that interviews are carried out under the best possible conditions. This survey, as ambitious as it may be, was not designed to be exhaustive. It does, nonetheless, contain an undeniable wealth of information; its personal accounts and the numerical data viewed together reflect the depth of peoples’ attachment to their living environment. Beyond this, there is the force of the city’s interplay in the construction of each individual’s persona. The results of this international survey are indeed proof that each individual has a highly personal and profound relationship with the city in which he or she lives.

Mexico City

New York



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles


As often when no pre-existing research on a topic is available for use as a reference, the choice of questions was not without difficulty. Which questions do you ask to arrive at an understanding of how city dwellers experience life in their city? Which questions do you ask to determine whether, beyond local specificities, there is such





Veolia Environnement presented Ipsos with a daunting challenge: to simultaneously question more than 8,500 people in 14 major cities on five continents in order to determine the relationship that city dwellers have with the place where they live, to understand what they are expecting from their city’s development, to summarize their hopes and their fears,and to measure their everyday pleasures and difficulties. This global survey represents a first of its kind that aims at providing an in-depth analysis of the feelings and opinions of Homo Urbanicus,the urban dwelling species that now accounts for over half the world’s population.





Los Angeles



Visionary, but practical

Planetary city and urban planet
Today, 3.3 billion people are city dwellers, that is more than half the world’s population. And the number is steadily rising: each day, more than 18,000 people move to a city. In 2030, 60% of the world’s population will be urbanized and almost all population growth will be concentrated in cities*. This trend towards urbanization, more or less marked depending on the continent, is global in its scope. It seems inevitable. As a consequence of this phenomenon, local authorities and municipalities are having to face new challenges. How are they to control and organize this growth? How can they absorb the influx of people and at the same time retain a pleasant living environment for everyone? How can they reconcile the social vocation of urban space with its economic dynamic? The task is huge. It involves integrating into a global and forward-looking vision the many dimensions of urban management: town planning, development, transportation, security, health and the organization of collective services. And, in addition to the equipment and infrastructure, manage the impact of these changes on city dwellers’ lifestyles. With this faster paced urbanization, the way people live in cities is changing. Their needs and aspirations too. In exchange for their adaptation to urban growth, city dwellers are increasingly demanding more in return. Greater economic, social and environmental performance; greater security, health, transportation options, leisure and comfort. Indeed, if they have come to the city, it’s not by chance: more than ever before, large cities are seen and experienced by their inhabitants as a living and relational system for which they have consciously opted. Is it possible to protect this space while managing its growth? Decision-makers and urban stakeholders are confronted with this question the world over. To manage this crucial issue for the city’s future as effectively as possible, it’s essential to reconcile two approaches: the big picture and a detailed close-up look. The Observatory of Urban Lifestyles aims specifically to contribute to this vision.

For more than 150 years, Veolia Environnement has been providing services that are essential to the quality of life in the city: drinking water and wastewater services, transportation, waste management and energy services. In 150 years, the number of cities with a population of more than 10 million has risen from 3 to 20*. At the same time, the requirements of city authorities have switched from being essentially quantitative to largely qualitative, while the number of city dwellers has never stopped rising. Better quality for a greater number of users: that is the equation that environmental service providers have to solve. Just like the city, the environmental services operator has had to change and adapt, in particular through the provision of increasingly integrated solutions, taking into account the complexity and interactive nature of the problems facing cities. The added value provided by Veolia Environnement to local authorities and users increasingly goes beyond the mere sum of its four main fields of expertise. Veolia Environnement is constantly adding new dimensions to this added value in response to discussions about the issues facing cities, providing its own contribution. The work the Institut Veolia Environnement has been doing for the past six years, in conjunction with the academic and scientific communities, is also contributing to this forwardlooking approach to environmental challenges. The Observatory of Urban Lifestyles aims to provide material to help progress the discussion about the city and the ways these issues can be tackled. By collecting knowledge about how city dwellers experience city living it takes a pragmatic approach to these complex issues, free of any preconceptions, and should help arrive at a better understanding of what those most directly concerned, the city dwellers themselves, have to say about them.

Answering expectations and dreams
Services, infrastructure, leisure and cultural activities… A measurement and analysis method, the Observatory scans the bulk of city dwellers’ activities. It utilizes a solid range of indicators, such as household structure, transportation use or type of dwelling. A vast array of opinions and feelings about wanting to stay in the city and confidence in its future are also quantified. It is all these feelings and expectations expressed by city dwellers and how they are evolving that the Veolia Observatory seeks to understand. To ensure an immediate and lively dimension to the study, it includes numerous first-hand accounts, each of which is a personal vision of life in the city. An anchor point from which to explore further, the Observatory studies are designed to be regularly updated and expanded in breadth and depth. This is a long-term project with a concerted international dimension. Indeed, we invited men and women from several countries, separated by the oceans, borders and cultures but all living within the same context, namely, the city, to take part in this study. In what way are decision-makers interested in the happiness or otherwise, frustrations or aspirations of city dwellers? The survey reveals that it is this mix of feelings that triggers a sense of attachment or aversion, pleasure or resentment, the desire to stay or to leave. In short, the “state of the city” has a direct effect on the “state of life” and vice versa. The Veolia Observatory uses these dysfunctions to set the compass on a positive heading. The survey’s global scope, as well as its regular update, makes it a tool that can be used to provide a direct response to the community’s concerns. The Observatory also provides decision-makers and other urban stakeholders with the bases for a response to certain fundamental issues: how does urban growth influence lifestyles in the world’s large cities? What are the effects of this dynamic on the relation between city dwellers and their city? What are the social, economic and environmental aspirations common to the inhabitants of all large cities?


*UNFPA: State of World Population 2006.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles

A city:
shared disorder
Questions to
Town planning architect What definition can be given of the city today?
N. M.: It’s difficult to speak of the city as an entity: there are several types of cities. Overall, the city is drawn between two natural and contradicting forces: the need to organize or “sort” it, and the need for disorder. The city that I prefer is the city without order, the city that melds surprises with unexpected perspectives, astounding angles of view. Then, of course, the city is life too: it has to be accessible, including by car.

What about the quality of life in these dense cities?
N. M.: A dense city does not preclude quality of life, on the contrary. It is again the job of the town planner to devise constructions so that everyone has, for example, access to light. You have to devise interclimatic spaces with a real opening, even a balcony, for each apartment. Density also makes it possible to free up green areas in the heart of the city, especially “green corridors.” You also have to rethink the city block to release pleasant common areas, make them open units that have a real impact on human relations in the city. What the open block creates is a model of shared space, like in Copenhagen, and it works very well. In the dense cities of the future, the city dwellers will increasingly have to share space in accordance with the following simple principle:“I have the luxury of living in the city, therefore I must accept to share the space.” It’s exclusion that generates violence, sharing reduces it.

For you, what would be the ideal city?
N. M.: A city in which attention is systematically paid to what I call the “spirit of place.” It’s a city that starts with what is there, respects that, and adapts to mold itself as closely as possible with the place, so that a sort of magic is worked. This presupposes a customized solution, doing away with stock, repetitive solutions. It is essential always to place yourself within the context: the design of a city that marries and sublimates the complex mix of ingredients formed by a site, a place, social data, climate, and so on.

How should urban density be managed?
N. M.: Density means more than managing the built surface area. You should not be afraid of it, because in my view it’s the real city, and there are many ways of managing it. In terms of town planning, one of the ways is to build or renovate upwards. In Paris, for example, that would mean doing away with the 37-meter height restriction and erect buildings of up to 20 levels. Tall buildings free up ground space. Managing density also means that in these tall buildings, you truly mix development programs with a “separation of volumes,” that is, you combine office space and housing in the one building. Density also means focusing on the city’s outskirts to include real centers that again mix office space with housing so that people do not have continuously to crisscross the city; in so doing, you at least in part solve the issue of flows.

Founder of Nicholas Michelin
et Associés (ANMA), an architectural and design firm in Paris.

Director of the Versailles School
of Architecture, lecturer at Columbia University and the Ecole d’architecture de la ville et du territoire de Marne-la-Vallée. Main projects since 2000: Drama Center in Tours (500 seats), renovation of the former Flour Exchange in Paris, underground parking lot beneath the Place Charles-de-Gaulle in Rennes, an urban project in Nantes comprising 65 housing units and stores.

What is a sustainable city?
N. M.: Tomorrow’s sustainable city is one where density has been accepted and is harmoniously managed. It’s a city that includes a real mix of functions; it’s accessible and a place where culture plays its role in the sense that it nurtures our social relations. Environmental challenges are of course of prime importance in this sustainable city. We have become aware of these issues today, and now we need to act. In this respect, building upwards is the solution to the environmental requirements for the city of the future: tall buildings expend less energy and have a smaller footprint.

Winner of numerous competitions:
Most recently, ARTEM campus in Nancy, renovation of Strasbourg University library.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles

The importance
of not being Venice
The point of view of
Economist How might you define the city?
R. P.: Obviously, it’s a complex exercise, because to a certain extent, defining the city today is somewhat tantamount to defining life in society. It is nonetheless possible to home in on several structural components that define the city because they are linked to the reason for its existence. First, its economic function: the city is above all a productive space. Linked to the need to control this productive function, the city’s political dimension is then clearly one of its constituent components, which brings in its wake the development of the city’s cultural functions. Finally, the last essential component of the city, again linked to its productive role, is the size of its employment market.

What is your opinion on urban growth?
R. P.: I think that there is a lot of exaggeration and fabulation in this respect. It is commonly accepted that the world’s cities will experience unprecedented, exponential growth. But this point of view needs to be placed in context. In the developed countries first, the bulk of urban growth is behind us. In France for example, the exodus to the cities occurred between 1950 and 1975. In Latin America, the major cities have stopped growing. Of course, there is the case of Chinese and Indian cities. It’s true that these countries are experiencing rapid urbanization. But here again, you need to put what is happening into context and not give into catastrophic prophesizing. If, for example, we look at the figures for urban growth in China, we see that they are comparable to what happened in French or Italian cities post-WWII, the two countries that experienced the fastest rural exodus in Europe, and you also see that this flux was eventually absorbed. Far from being a malediction, urban growth is often a growth factor in itself. This is the case in China today.

And the issue of the environment in cities?
R. P.: I’m optimistic. These are issues we can manage, and which we will manage increasingly well in the future, as the solutions are mainly of a technical order. Take the example of air quality in Paris. Contrary to what people tend to think, it is a problem that is now being resolved. The measurement is increasingly precise. The pollution increasingly contained.

What challenges do you see for these cities?
R. P.: Despite the recent developments that have transformed the urban space, especially those linked to the digital revolution, the city’s constituent components have not changed. The city above all derives its meaning from being a place of production. It has to be developed to maintain this fundamental role. I see a danger today in the generally accepted notion according to which the city should above all be a space devised as a pleasant place in which to live. People are deluding themselves in believing this and there is a real danger that too many of the world’s cities will model themselves on Venice. A city that reneges on its economic role will die. Today, we talk of festival cities, leisure cities and so on, but nothing can take precedence over the city’s prime function.

Doctorate in Economic Sciences. Professor emeritus at Université
de Paris XII.

What makes a city “work”?
R. P.: It’s not possible to give a simple answer to this question. There are many factors that contribute to a city’s “success” insofar as the word actually has any meaning. Transportation is a fundamental issue. The actual size of the job market is directly dependent on mobility. Transportation therefore plays a crucial role for cities based on the so-called “urban sprawl”model. But it is also an issue for “dense” cities that have to rationalize the issue of flows. A way has to be found to optimize urban travel, while increasing its speed and finding a good balance between public transportation and the car. There is no magic bullet solution, but it is a major issue for the future of cities.

Founder and director
of the post-graduate course in transportation at Université Paris XII and the ?cole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.

Assistant Director of the OECD
Environment Directorate from 1974 to 1976.

Consultant to UNESCO, EBRD, UNDP, ADB, World Bank, etc.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles






Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles





5 continents, 14 cities, more than 8,500 opinions
This first wave in the Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles, the 2007 survey was carried out by Ipsos in fourteen cities on five continents.The cities were selected for their specific features in order to establish a diversified panel of lifestyles and cultures. (See Methodology on page 48). The survey was carried out in two stages between September and December 2007. A quantitative study was used to collect homogeneous data used to compare “views of the city” with regard to points as sensitive as the sentiment of attachment or rejection, the ability to meet quality of life expectations, the city’s ideal size and even confidence in its future.

The survey results have revealed six major types of city, each corresponding broadly to similar opinions, lifestyles, expectations and aspirations among the relevant population. London, Lyon, New York and Paris Appreciated above all for their cosmopolitanism, architectural environment, leisure, ease of travel, they are also seen as hectic and polluted, and where stress, traffic jams and noise undermine the desire to love them unreservedly. Chicago, Los Angeles and Sydney Is it because they are less dense or because they are all close to nature? Stress is not a major factor for the population who demonstrate their optimism through the desire to see their children grow up in their city.Their main reservation is traffic jams. Beijing and Shanghai Their inhabitants are mostly very supportive of the city’s economic dynamism, which is a source of pride for them.They are less supportive of the traffic jams and pollution that come with this vitality. Alexandria, Berlin and Prague What the inhabitants of these three cities most like is the possibility of going out, having fun and meeting people, the lively cultural life and the range of sports available.The scope of activity is sometimes tarnished by the downsides of urban life. Tokyo The population is unanimous in its appreciation of the city’s convenience, especially transportation. However, its organization, considered highly rational, seems to come with a certain lack of warmth and friendliness. Mexico City While the broad range of cultural and sporting activities and its economic vitality are appreciated, Mexico City differs from all the other cities in terms of the predominance of negative feelings arising mainly out of safety and urbanization issues.

The majority of city dwellers appreciate their city, even if they constantly expect more and better, even if the stress and underlying anxiety sometimes undermine the prevailing sense of freedom gained from knowing that just a few steps away from your front door, anything is possible and that everything is in reach. And yet, some would like to leave and even more are worried about the city’s future. City dwellers feel all the more concerned by the issues facing the city of the future when their living conditions and more generally, their own personal situation is also at stake. Of course, from one continent to another, one country to another, there are nuances, more or less evident, and essentially attributable to the cultural and socio-demographic makeup of each megacity.

The subsequent qualitative study involved collecting people’s opinions in focus groups to draw a lively and evolving portrait of the city as “experienced” by the 20 to 27-year old respondents.

The analysis of the study results revealed four major topics, each raising one or more sub-issues experienced universally by today’s city dwellers in how they:

? perceive their city; ? live in their city on a day-to-day basis; ? perceive the quality of life in their city; ? express their views and their hopes
for the city of the future, along with their notion of the ideal city.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles



Mixed feelings
City dwellers generally experience mixed, but always intense, feelings about the city. While they may be attached to the city for emotional reasons and recognize its practical aspects, they still have difficulty dealing with the economic and social pressures. Also, while they may describe the city as a place that is oppressive and difficult to live in, they also enjoy its economic and cultural vitality, and ultimately cannot imagine themselves living elsewhere. Urban dwellers are thus at the center of a system of interactions. Their ability to manage these various extremes conditions their degree of contentment with city living.
Freedom comes at a cost
One feeling cuts through all social situations, age groups and cultures: the theoretical freedom to do as you please. The majority of city dwellers do feel a sense of potential freedom. More than eight out of ten respondents, all cities combined, saw the urban space as a world where anything is possible, which, as one New Yorker put it, provides,“access to everything, fast, with everything you want when you want and within easy reach.” Nonetheless, this freedom is heavily tinged with anxiety. The economic requirements of city living, which individuals easily translate using the word “pressure,” immediately undermine the positive notion of “anything’s possible.” Eight city dwellers out of ten, and more than 90% of respondents in New York, Beijing and London, believe that “to live well in the city, you need to earn a good living.” The cost of living is thus the major source of anxiety for most city dwellers.

Friendliness? Beijing, Prague and Tokyo Pleasure? Paris and Shanghai Happiness? Los Angeles and Sydney Pride? Chicago, Lyon and Mexico City Love? Alexandria Excitement? Berlin, London and New York

“In the city, you are never very far from the action, where it’s all happening.”A Sydneysider



Question: What do you like the most about the city where you live? (Check up to 3 answers)
(8,608 respondents)
While the city is appreciated for its vitality, modernity and cultural offering, it is also associated with certain downsides, not least of which are traffic jams, pollution and noise.

Ease of getting around the city Sporting and cultural activities available Cultural dynamism Possibilities for going out, having fun Its economic dynamism The diversity of the population groups Its international renown Personal and property safety The possibilities for meeting people The architecture The cleanness The attention paid to the environment The attention paid to children The attention paid to seniors The attention paid to the handicapped

14% 12% 10% 7% 9% 6% 8% 8% 5% 8% 4% 3 3 10% 9% 6% 20% 19% 15% 17% 14% 12% 14% 11%

22% 23%

36% 35% 30% 26% 24% 23% 22% 20% 19% 19% 14% 12% 9% 7% 5%

Question: What do you dislike the most in the city where you live? (Check up to 3 answers)
(8,608 respondents)

Traffic jams Pollution Noise Dirtiness Poor management of public services Crowds Lack of safety Public transportation problems Stress Anonymity, indifference Lack of sporting and cultural activities Architecture and the lack of buildings Lack of possibilities for going out and having fun

23% 12% 8% 7% 8% 8% 10% 8% 7% 5% 2 5% 1 6% 2 4% 20% 19% 17% 17% 14% 16% 17% 13% 26%


48% 38% 28% 26% 25% 25% 24% 24% 24% 18% 7% 7% 6%

2 5% 1 4%


2nd and 3rd answers


2nd and 3rd answers



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles


Question: When you think about the city where you live, what are the words that best correspond to your current state of mind? (Check up to 3 answers)
(8,608 respondents)

Lost in the crowd
Because of its density and activity, the city is first and foremost seen as a place where you can meet people. More than two thirds of city dwellers see the city as making meeting people easier.This same perception is shared by more than 80% of respondents in Shanghai, Beijing and Chicago. In Tokyo, Sydney, London, Paris and Lyon, people have a more reserved opinion about this aspect. This is because, for many people, cities also create a sense of being lost in the crowd and loneliness. In any event, all cities and all population groups combined, city dwellers lament the poor quality of contact. This superficiality that contrasts with the human density brings out feelings of psychological anxiety and isolation.There is also an underlying fear of total anonymity, translated by the idea that the city is stronger than its inhabitants. This notion was clearly expressed by one Parisian who said,“The city gets along just fine without us. Sometimes, you feel very alone and you tell yourself that if you weren’t there, the city would carry on regardless…”

respondents), Shanghai, Lyon, Paris, New York and Chicago. It is perceived as being of secondary importance only in Berlin, Alexandria and Mexico City. The emotional relation then takes over. Overall, city dwellers are attached to their city, and in their eyes it represents friendliness, pleasure and happiness. Negative feelings are quoted less often; the dominant negative feeling can be summed up by the word “stress.”It is referred to by one fourth of city dwellers and is predominant in Beijing, Mexico City, London and Shanghai. Saturation and feeling unsafe are quoted more marginally.

“It’s really a luxury to know that you can do something if you want, but that you don’t have to if you don’t want.”
A Berliner

Positive feelings Negative feelings Convenience Attachment Stress Friendliness Pleasure Happiness Saturation Lack of safety Pride Love Indifference Excitement Irritation Restriction Hate

86% 54% 51% 29% 26% 22% 21% 19% 16% 15% 15% 14% 13% 11% 11% 8% 3%

Dreaming of leaving
To stay in the city or leave? Raise your children there or not? The shared and at times contradicting responses city dwellers have to these questions illustrate the complexity of the feelings they have for their city. Powerful, ambiguous and sometimes hypocritical, these feelings reflect a visceral attachment to the city. Although 86% say they are satisfied with living in the city, paradoxically, 33% want to leave it as soon as possible. Were people to act on this rejection, Paris would lose one third of its population; London would lose one half; and Mexico City two thirds. In the latter two cities, more than half the population would like to raise their children elsewhere. On the other hand, the desire to live differently in the city is a strong current: one person out of two would like either to move house or area. The proportion of city dwellers not wanting to raise their children in the city is similar to that wanting to leave the city. However, this global consistency masks significant local differences that are at times even contradictory. For example, respondents in Alexandria, Beijing, Berlin, Chicago, Prague, Shanghai and Sydney want to stay in their city and raise their children there. Similarly, those in London and Mexico City want both to leave their city and do not envisage raising their children there. On the other hand, paradoxically, in Los Angeles, Lyon, New York, Paris and Tokyo, more people want to leave the city, but they still want to raise their children there.

“… A city is made up of a series of cities in one.” This reflection, made by an inhabitant of Tokyo, is shared by most city dwellers. The city is not an ordered whole, but a series of intermeshed spaces, segmented and experienced by each person according to his or her lifestyle. A complex space that pulls together functionality (housing, shops, etc.), work and relations (friends or partners), along with economic, cultural and tourism activities. For some respondents, by enabling new types of relations and new consumer activities, digital technology is making the interaction between these various spaces more fluid.

For better or worse
Of course, the city arouses mixed feelings, both positive and negative, that explain the nature and strength of the bond between city dwellers and their city. There is what they love about the city, such as its convenience, the pleasure of living there, the friendliness; and in contrast there is what people hate about city living, such as stress, a sense of indifference or feeling unsafe. In the final analysis, of the all the respondents’ quotations, the number of positive descriptors heavily outweighs the negative perceptions (graph 3). Through this choice of feelings, it seems that overall, city dwellers like their city and enjoy living there despite the occasional downsides they may experience. The city is above all a practical place where you eventually find what you are looking for. This practical aspect is quoted by a majority of respondents in ten of the fourteen cities, especially in Tokyo (75% of

Average number of positive choices: 1.8 Average number of negative choices: 0.9

Love and hate, pride and indifference, the city crystallizes opposing feelings in which the positive aspects always outweigh the negative. It is as if the pleasure of living in the city sweeps aside the difficulties encountered in city living. There were two exceptions to this in the study: Beijing and Mexico City. In Beijing, stress was the overriding descriptor, while in Mexico City, the main factors are feeling unsafe and overcrowded.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles



Choose your lifestyle, put up with the consequences
Whether for pragmatic reasons or because of an attraction for an urban lifestyle, most city dwellers have made a conscious choice to live in a city. Despite this, they do not experience living in the city in the same way in all cities, even if being an urbanite corresponds to an outright and determined state of mind.
Question: Did you choose to live in the city where you now live? (8,608 respondents)
All Shanghai Beijing Los Angeles Paris Sydney Chicago Lyon Berlin London New York Tokyo Prague Alexandria Mexico City

“For me, it’s a choice. And not just for work. There are so many things to do.”
A New Yorker

Question: In general, what percentage of your weekday time do you devote to the following?
(8,608 respondents) Total in hours 24 7 +1 24 7 +1 24 7 +2 24 8 +1 24 7 +1 24 7 +1 24 8 +1 24 8 8 +1 7 +1 7 +1 7 +1 7 +1 7 +1 7 +1 24 24 24 24 24 24 24

All London

The city, a lifestyle choice
For 66% of city dwellers, living in the city is above all a lifestyle choice. It is a way of being, a distinctive characteristic that people see as reflecting positively on them. This motivation seems to be particularly true of the younger generation.The 20 to 25 year olds interviewed in New York claim that they would be bored living outside the city. For a little over one third of the urban population, living in the city is a choice, but a choice that is mainly dictated by family or professional considerations. This perceived constraint affects up to one out of every two people living in Mexico City or London, but fewer than 20% of the population in Beijing, Shanghai and even Berlin.

The battle between passing time and time left
There is little difference between cities in how the average day is spent in a city. Everywhere, people consider “personal” time is insufficient. As a result, all the city dwellers interviewed would like to adjust the balance between their personal and professional lives. During the week, the city dweller sleeps an average of seven hours a night, spends as many hours at work and at least four hours on personal leisure activities. They spend two hours in transportation, and as many hours again on domestic and administrative tasks. These time constraints are seen as a hindrance to social and family relations, which are also viewed as too superficial. This is a core point in the judgment city dwellers pass on their living conditions. A frenetic lifestyle and time governed by external factors: city dwellers are unanimous in wanting more time to themselves. They would spend it sleeping more, if possible an extra hour – or two for Parisians – working less, on leisure activities, or with family and friends.

Paris Lyon Berlin Prague Alexandria Beijing Shanghai Tokyo Sydney Los Angeles New York Chicago Mexico City

25% 75% 4% 96% 8% 92% 21% 79% 21% 79% 21% 79% 23% 77% 24% 76% 25% 75% 28% 72% 30% 70% 32% 68% 33% 67% 38% 62% 40% 60% Didn’t choose Chose

My city, my choice
People live in the city they live in quite simply because they have chosen to live there.This city rather than any other: that is what 75% of all city dwellers claim. A choice made by 81% of people not born in the city where they live and, more symptomatically, by 70% of people who were born in the city where they live. As if to underscore this position,the young inhabitants of Berlin, New York and Tokyo put forward their city as the example of what the ideal city should be.

7 2 4 2 2 – 1* +2 –1 –1 7 2 4 2 2 –2 +3 –1 –1 8 2 4 1 2 –2 –1 +2 –1 7 2 5 11 –1 –1 +1 7 2 5 1 2 –1 +1 –1 8 2 4 1 2 –2 +2 –1 6 2 6 1 1 –1 6 2 4 2 2 –1 +1 6 2 4 2 2 –1 +1 –1 7 3 5 11 –1 –1 +1 6 3 4 2 2 –1 –1 +3 –1 –1 6 2 5 2 2 –1 +1 –1 6 2 5 2 2 –1 +2 –1 –1 6 2 5 2 2 –1 +2 –1 –1 8 2 3 2 2 –1 +2 –1 –1

Work/School Home duties Personal leisure Administrative tasks Transportation Sleep * Difference between the ideal and actual Bar a few minor differences, the city dweller’s standard working day is fairly similar from one city to another: work leaves little time for personal activities.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles


“The average city dweller? Someone who has a long working day, and finds it difficult to do anything else afterwards.”
An inhabitant of Alexandria

Contented overall, underlying dissatisfaction
City dwellers have, therefore, opted to live in a city and have chosen which it is to be. They identify with it, and are even proud of their city. However, they also have to accept the direct constraints, especially with regard to the cost of living and the pace of urban life. As a result, their satisfaction is tempered by frustrations and a degree of resignation. While the overwhelming majority of city dwellers claim to be satisfied with their city (83%), this assessment varies, of course, from one city to another. People are the most satisfied in Chicago and Sydney. At the opposite end of the scale, the satisfaction rate is markedly lower in Alexandria and Mexico City. While attached to their city, urban dwellers are, on the other hand, far less satisfied with their living conditions. Just 22% of the sample claim to be “very satisfied.” The breakdown reveals wide variations between cities: it is 40% in Chicago and Sydney, and falls to its lowest ebb in Prague, Shanghai and Beijing (10%). Also, city dwellers are far from being unanimous in their assessment of their housing and the area where they live. While the majority is satisfied, only one quarter is very satisfied. The most critical on these two points live in Tokyo and Beijing.

respectively. The highest level of home ownership (almost eight out of ten people) is in Shanghai and Beijing (six out of ten people), ahead of Prague, Sydney and Tokyo.The number of renters is higher in Lyon, New York, Paris, Berlin and Los Angeles. Finally, in the study sample, 16% live free-of-charge at home with their parents or friends. In Alexandria, 63% are in this situation; this figure is attributable to the population’s youthful age. On average, housing takes up nearly one third of city dwellers’ monthly income, either for mortgage repayments or rent. This economic fact defines the urban lifestyle, and also affects people’s assessment of their living conditions. At 38%, the highest percentage of income devoted to housing is in New York and Los Angeles.

Train, car, cycle
Public transportation voted most popular: nine people out of ten in Prague, Alexandria, Paris, Shanghai and Beijing. In Mexico City, they alternate between their car and public transportation. The biggest walkers live in Alexandria and Prague. They prefer to cycle in Shanghai and Tokyo (one third of the population). They firmly rely on their car in Los Angeles and Chicago, despite the inhabitants of these two cities being the ones who say they hate traffic jams more than anything else.

Public transportation Car Walk Cycle

66% 53% 41% 16% 4%

Most young people see the city as a place where you live, work and consume the activities on offer. They rarely consider contributing in any way other than through their economic input to the city’s development or improvement. On the one hand, because they feel oppressed by the city’s urban and architectural weight, which they see as being too vast and constricting; and on the other hand, because they see the impact of anything they might do as being too small. Few are involved in the local life; they rarely belong to any associations and some don’t even bother with “small everyday actions” that could help improve the quality of life in the city, such as sorting their waste.

Family life
The average household makeup reveals a clear separation between lifestyles in Western and emerging countries. In the European and North American cities, between one quarter and one third of the population lives alone, compared with just 2 to 4% in Shanghai, Beijing, Mexico City and Alexandria. In these latter cities, the number of people living in the household is therefore logically higher:80% have three or more people, including different generations or a greater number of children, with situations no doubt differing from one country to another. Thus,in Alexandria,34% of households have two or more children. In Shanghai and Beijing, as a consequence of the one child policy, there are no households with two or more children. The high number of people per household in China is attributable to several generations living together under one roof. The proportion of households without any children is more than 70% in Berlin, Paris and Tokyo. Generally speaking, households in Western countries rarely have more than two people.


For most of the people interviewed, economic and social constraints make the city a place for well-off thirty-year olds without children. More generally, there is a predominant fear of seeing the city become a place for the rich only, from which any person not being able to keep up economically and socially would be excluded. When held back by economic constraints, people find it difficult to imagine having a family in the city. And yet, when people leave their city, it is often to go to another city.

Housing absorbs one third of income
Most city dwellers live in an apartment and devote a significant proportion of their income to their home. This finding is common to all the cities studied, give or take several nuances depending on the geographic region. Specific to urban life, 53% of city dwellers live in an apartment. One out of three live in a separate house. The two extremes are Paris and Sydney, where respectively 4% and 61% of the population live in a house. All cities combined, the average number of homeowners and renters is fairly evenly split at 41% and 43%



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles



Quality of life: first things first
What defines quality of life? City dwellers are above all pragmatic and practical. Above all else, two conditions must be present, without which to talk of quality of life would have no sense: an acceptable cost of living and guaranteed personal safety. Then, and only then, do city dwellers refer to other criteria – to which they grant undeniable importance – such as the environment, facilities, organization and services. With a few rare exceptions, all the city residents in the study broadly share this list of fundamentals.

The environment and living conditions are central quality of life issues, and perceived as needing improvement. The city is above all described as a highly polluted space, in particular because of automobile traffic. Air quality is a major area of concern for nine out of ten inhabitants of Mexico City and for 67% of city dwellers on average. “Dullness,”“grayness” and “dirt” are words that are often used in reference to the city. The younger generation feels stifled between the lack of open spaces and the compactness of housing. Against this rather gloomy background, the access to essential services comes off rather better, especially for water, with the level of trust at 59% on average, rising to 73% in Europe and 72% in Chicago.

Cost of living and personal safety: the two fundamentals
City dwellers are unanimous: personal and property safety is a key condition defining quality of life. Mexico City, Los Angeles, London, New York, Chicago, Sydney… safety is seen everywhere as the sine qua non for living well. The cost of living is perceived as equally important. What is the good of having a decent quality of life if you do not have the economic means to access it? This concern needs to be viewed against the weight of housing in the family budget.

“We need more open space, less traffic, better and cheaper public transport… A Londoner that actually works!”A Londoner

Question: Among the following points concerning the quality of life in cities in general, which do you consider to be the most important? (Check up to 3 answers)
(8,608 respondents) For most city dwellers, all cities combined, the quality of life depends first and foremost on the cost of living and safety. In the wake of these fundamentals, the respondents mention other aspects that make their lives more bearable: the quality of the environment, the quality of infrastructure, public transportation, etc. And lastly, factors such as access to cultural and leisure activities.

Cost of living Safety of persons and property Quality of the environment Extent and quality of infrastructure Quality of public transportation Range of cultural and leisure activities Ease of moving around Access to housing Air quality Green spaces Quality of drinking water Clean streets Economic dynamism Noise levels Architecture, physical beauty Number of parking spaces

36% 36% 27% 26% 24% 21% 19% 17% 17% 14% 13% 12% 12% 9% 5% 4%

This concern is most forcefully expressed in Chicago,New York,Los Angeles,Alexandria,Sydney,Berlin and Prague. This dual concern of all city dwellers is echoed in their definition of the priority actions they expect to be implemented to improve living conditions in the city. The lowering of the cost of living is the number one priority of 50% of city dwellers, especially in Paris, Lyon and New York. Completely logically, lowering the unemployment rate is a major concern for one quarter of respondents, especially those in Berlin, Mexico City and Alexandria. The desire for a greater level of personal safety comes immediately behind, ranging up to 49% in Mexico City and 43% in London.This aspiration is in particular expressed by the over 35-year olds.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles


“Air quality and noise are important issues in the city. But first of all you have to be able to afford A Parisian to live there, pay your rent…”A Parisian

There is far less agreement where public transportation is concerned: 46% of city dwellers have reservations about this issue, with concern affecting 50% of the population in Chicago, London, Sydney and Alexandria, and 76% in Mexico City.

Question: Are you personally confident or worried when you think about the future of the city where you live?
(8,608 respondents)

An issue of concern today, safety is also an issue for the future. City dwellers, be they young, active or non-active, from a privileged background or not, all refer to the sense of a constant lack of safety when they look to the more or less long-term future of the city. This sentiment is more dominant in cities like Mexico City and Tokyo. This shared sense of a lack of safety echoes the broader issue of violence in the city, both physical and social. Violence is one of the issues associated with the city, viewed fatalistically as an oppressive but inevitable feature of the landscape, without any responsibility whatsoever being attached to it, or any solutions other than increased surveillance being put forward. Finally, among the environmental criteria, air quality and noise stand out more clearly as issues of concern in all the cities included in the study, with the exception of Chicago.

The next most important priority: the environment
Only after these two minimum conditions have been stated, one might even go so far as to say once the respondents have got them off their chest, do city dwellers talk about their expectations regarding their environment and factors that make their lives easier or more enjoyable. Of these expectations, the criteria they put forward reflect differing local preferences, but the demand is always stated with the same force. At the top of these criteria: the environment is seen as an essential parameter for the quality of urban living. This is particularly true of Shanghai and Beijing, where it is referred to by 50% and 45% of the population respectively, and especially by the younger respondents. More than one third of people living in Alexandria mention the quality of public transportation and the cleanness of streets; for more than half of the inhabitants of Tokyo, it is the ability to get out of the city easily; one Parisian out of five mentions noise and housing availability; nearly one third in Lyon refer to ease of travel. Economic dynamism, referred to less elsewhere, comes through as an essential criteria in the Asian cities. Views on the environment are ambivalent: for example, while almost 60% of city dwellers think that water quality will improve and that cities will have more open spaces in the future, many doubt that there will be an overall improvement in the urban environment (just 44% think there will).

Access to culture, consumption and leisure is a highly appreciated aspect of quality of life, quoted by one out of five city dwellers. While they may not have as much time as they would like to enjoy the activities on offer, city dwellers still see their existence as a positive factor in their urban space, contributing in particular to their city’s international renown. Also, these aspects have significant pulling power for people who have just settled in the city. A city’s ability to meet its inhabitants’ consumer and entertainment needs is perceived with greater confidence. More than two thirds of city dwellers say they are optimistic about the city’s ability to meet their cultural and leisure needs, architectural environment, and the provision of sufficient and quality infrastructure as well as providing a dynamic economy.

All Shanghai Beijing Lyon Chicago Prague Paris Sydney Los Angeles New York Berlin London Tokyo Alexandria Mexico City

35% 65% 15% 85% 20% 80% 22% 78% 24% 25% 75% 28% 72 % 32% 68% 32% 68% 39% 61% 41% 45% 55% 46% 54% 49% 51% 68% 32% Worried Confident 59% 76%

…and justifiable pessimism
Changes to the fundamentals, i.e., personal safety and the cost of living, especially the difficulty in finding suitable housing, are the main factors causing anxiety. Most city dwellers doubt that any improvement is possible in these areas. More than 72% of the respondents said they are pessimistic about the direction of the cost of living. The high cost of living and consumption in the city, especially the weight of housing in the budget – particularly for Parisians and Londoners – are major areas of concern for the future. In the final analysis, the overarching idea is that to enjoy the city in the future to its fullest,you will need even greater financial resources than at present.

In ten of the fourteen cities, at least six out of ten respondents say they are optimistic about the future direction of the quality of life in the city.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles



An uncertain future, a clear dream
How do city dwellers, caught between what they would like to happen and what they think will happen, see the city of the future? Demographic pressure is clearly one source of concern, with the concomitant fear that the city will become more cramped. Overall, in thinking about the future of the city, city dwellers tend to swing from general optimism to individual worries. Although they think that the city in general will change for the better, they are concerned about their individual living conditions. Their ideal city would definitely be friendlier, greener, and have more space, but it would also be very standardized and controlled... almost sterile.

“In an ideal city, things would be perfect. Everyone would be happy, people would reach out to each other, there would be no solitude, no pollution, no cars.”
A Parisian

Everyone in town?
A clear majority (57%) of city dwellers believes that global demographic pressure will eventually have a negative impact on their city and they are very apprehensive about the prospect. They dream of far more friendly cities. However, this concern is in fact very localized: it refers above all to Mexico City (75%), Alexandria (73%), and to a lesser extent Tokyo (70%), all three of which have a very high population density. At the opposite extreme, in North American cities, people are relatively unconcerned about this phenomenon (35%, compared with 28% overall). Finally, the idea that population growth is a good thing is not raised in any of the cities covered by the study. The context is therefore relatively defensive. Even so, however high the level of concern, the respondents still mainly believe that humans will continue to live in cities and in rural areas, even in the distant future. Despite today’s officially accepted projections, only one third of the respondents consider that the day will come when everyone, or almost everyone, will live in cities. Europeans and North Americans are the most skeptical about this

trend. On the other hand, 49% of the inhabitants of Alexandria, 44% of those of Shanghai and Beijing and 45% of those of Mexico City consider that this will eventually be the case. Young people seem to share this view: 46% of 15 to 18-year olds and 39% of 19 to 24-year olds consider that in the future, everyone will be living in cities, whereas just 30% of the over 35-year olds share this view.

Question: Worldwide, the majority of people now live in cities. In the years ahead, cities will experience further massive population growth. In your opinion, what impact will this trend have on the city where you live?
(8,608 respondents)

confidence. Today’s city dwellers express considerable personal concern about their working hours, how they will cope with stress, and the superficial nature of human contacts. Consequently, there is a hiatus between the city that people see as managing to improve as a collective system, and people’s “personal future”, viewed with more trepidation, and the underlying question of “will I be able to keep up with the pace of tomorrow’s city?”

Order and disorder
In city dwellers’ minds, this demographic growth will mostly lead to increased urban density, and it is in fact this that they most often fear. Take for example what this inhabitant of Alexandria had to say about the issue: “If I think of what the city will be like in 30 years’ time, I see a crowd of people, all on top of each other because of a lack of space.” At the same time, the city of the future will be better organized, in particular because of the development of public transportation, and the increasingly rationalized management of equipment and services. In this respect, there is overriding confidence. On the other hand, changes to personal living conditions are not viewed with the same level of

Towards a calmer city
The ranking of city dwellers’ long-term aspirations, implicating the future generations, brings to light those values around which the issues for the future revolve. First, the future generations’ city will have to be safer (35%). At first view, this means personal and property safety, but it is necessary to add an economic or even social aspect to the issue of safety. This concern is particularly high among the inhabitants of Berlin, Prague, Chicago,Tokyo and above all Mexico City (64%).
Positive impact Negative impact No impact




To a lesser extent, people would like the city to be less polluted (24%), with better public transportation (21%) and less stress (20%).



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles


The desire for a city with more open spaces comes next. This desire is particularly strong among the respondents in Paris and Lyon (28 and 35% respectively). Finally, tomorrow’s city must be less densely populated. The Chinese cities in the study stand out in this respect with a response rate twice that of the average.

greater emphasis on the aesthetic which, in addition to the immediate pleasure it would afford, must contribute to relieving the sense of oppression felt in the urban environment, and the integration of environmental standards into building codes, with an emphasis on more natural materials, such as timber, steel, glass, etc. The built environment must therefore be better designed, more ecological and more functional, growing upwards rather than outwards, especially in the view of the younger respondents. A central issue, at the core of urban lifestyles and environmental issues, automobile traffic is widely condemned. Many city dwellers would like it to be quite simply banned. Tomorrow’s city must also be a human city, enabling more authentic, more personal and less superficial relations between its inhabitants.Technological density is seen, in this respect, as a facilitator of contact, providing that it does not lead to a more virtual existence.Wishful thinking? City dwellers,as if trying to convince themselves,call for greater involvement in the city’s life, its social relations and good environmental practices: a paradox for city dwellers who feel so little inclined to become actively involved in their city.

“Tomorrow’s city will be white, green, transparent. A quiet place.”
A Sydneysider

Large or small: the question is open PRIORITY CHANGES FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Question: In your opinion, to make future generations want to stay in the city, what priority changes need to be made? The city in which you live would have to be… (Check up to 2 answers)
(8,608 respondents – 14 cities)

There is no commonly shared view about the ideal size for the city of the future. For a little under one half of the respondents, the ideal size is the same as the size of the city in which they currently live. This is true for a majority of people living in Paris, Lyon, Berlin, Prague, Chicago, Sydney and Tokyo. For the others, they are not entirely happy about the current size of their city. The city of the future should be either smaller or bigger, but not what it is today. The younger respondents would like a larger city (27% of under 35-year olds), which should be viewed against their attraction for meeting others; whereas their elders, who claim to want a quieter life, tend to opt for a smaller city (40% of over 35-year olds).

Safer Less polluted Better served by public transportation Less stressful More spacious Less densely populated Greener Better maintained Cleaner Less noisy More beautiful

Young Europeans in focus groups painted a very cold picture of the city 30 years hence. Entirely focused on the notion of production, it is seen as clean to the point of being aseptic, fluid, and safe to the point of undermining civil liberty. The service company will play a central social role, above and beyond its sole economic purpose. Stepping in to rescue collapsing public services, it will take control of transportation, housing, and even leisure and the human relations of city dwellers, selected for their ability to create wealth.

22% 12% 11% 9% 10% 10% 7% 5% 6% 6% 3% 5% 8% 8% 7% 7% 12% 10% 11% 10% 9%


35% 24% 21% 20% 20% 19% 15% 13% 13% 13% 8%

The ideal city: head over heart
Paradoxically, few dreams seem to surround the ideal city. It seems rather to be based on pragmatic and rational desires integrating several factors. The city is and must remain a place of production for its inhabitants. The notion of a dynamic economy, closely linked with the urban space, is never brought into question. However, this dimension must not be incompatible with the urban environment’s move towards greater clarity, spaciousness and an emphasis on nature, less grayness, pollution and noise. This urban environment, as it is depicted by the city dwellers interviewed, must tend towards the beautiful and the ecological. They all agree there should be a





Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles


Key data
Life No of Population density expectancy inhabitants(1) (years)*(1) per km2(1) Per capita GDP(1)

Annual power consumption*
(kWh/ inhabitant)(1)


Annual CO2 emissions (tonnes/ inhabitant)*(2)

Average bus fare(3)
(full fare (in US$

Average Average price of movie theatre a McDonald’s BigMac(3) ticket(3)
(full price in US$)

Average price of a 80GB I-Pod(3)
(in US$)

(in US$)


Beijing Berlin Chicago London

3,918,000 18,000,000 3,400,000 2,875,000

nc 888 3,812 4,816 4,700 3,041 9,743 3,584 10,292 20,433 2,387 2,804 345 5,655

72 73 79 78 79 78 81 73 78 81 76 73 79 82

4,200 7,800 31,900 43,800 31,800 43,800 31,200 10,700 43,800 31,200 22,000 7,800 33,300 33,100

1,050 1,660 6,620 12,670 5,740 12,670 7,086 1,690 12,670 7,086 5,840 1,660 10,760 7,650

2.2 3.8 9.8 20.4 9.8 20.4 6.2 4.2 20.4 6.2 12.5 3.8 16.3 9.8

1.29 0.19 3.45 2.04 4.14 0.92 2.16 1.58 2.04 2.16 1.18 0.23 2.45 1.77

4.32 12.66 10.79 11.94 18.70 10.07 13.66 6.47 11.22 14.38 8.34 8.63 20.14 15.82

1.68 1.45 3.99 3.41 4.01 3.41 4.02 2.69 3.29 4.09 2.51 1.31 2.95 2.29

387 339 358 270 329 273 373 316 265 373 400 384 396 252

7,685,000 Los Angeles 3,850,000 470,000 Lyon Mexico City 8,610,000 8,145,000 New York 2,145,000 Paris Prague Shanghai Sydney Tokyo 1,185,000 18,670,000 4,300,000 12,369,000

1900 to 2.84 billion in 2007. 93% of e has increased from 220 million in The number of city dwellers worldwid Asia. Between 2000 and 2030, d and more than 80% in Africa and on th is occuring in the developing worl this grow Africa’s from 294 million to 742 milli ased from 1.36 billion to 2.64 billion, these trends, by 2030, Asia’s urban population will have incre As a result of bean from 394 million to 609 million. and that of Latin America and the Carib a and Asia(4) alone. g countries, and almost 70% in Afric city dwellers will live in developin 81% of the world’s

* National averages. ). (1) The World Factbook (updated 2007 (updated 2007). (2) United Nations Statistics Division ted 2007). (3) The Economist, PriceRunner (upda 2007. (4) UNFPA, State of World Population



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles


Because it is young and it is a great place to go out and have fun and meet people, the inhabitants of Alexandria like their city more than the average city dwellers. They do, however, complain about the noise, the cost of living and the high unemployment rate. Despite this, they do not want to leave the city in the near future and want to see their children grow up there. Vision for the future. Optimistic about the improvement to their living conditions, more pessimistic than elsewhere when they think about their city’s future, the inhabitants of Alexandria think that their quality of life would be improved if the cost of living and unemployment were to fall. They dream of a less noisy and even cleaner city, better served by public transportation, and safer. The typical Alexandrians are young and unemployed; they live with their parents along with several other siblings. With low stress levels, they like their city but have doubts about its future.

Berliners are very attached to their city and are happy there. In particular, they appreciate the cultural and leisure activities and opportunities for having a good time. Few want to leave in the near future. Their concerns are focused on the cost of living and combating unemployment; everything else is very secondary. Dirtiness and traffic jams are quoted as being two of the major detractors. Vision for the future. Berliners, especially women and the younger respondents, say they are confident about the future of their city and would like to see their children grow up there. While they are concerned about the city’s economic dynamism and the cost of living, they are optimistic about the future of leisure activities, water quality and housing availability. Their dream would be a safer, less polluted and less stressful city. The typical Berliners are single or have a partner; they have no children. They are employed, rent their home (which absorbs 37% of their income, above the average of the other cities, just behind New York and Los Angeles). Despite their stress, overall, they are satisfied with their city and confident about its future.

9 out of 10 people in Alexandria live in a household of more than 3 people.
They are younger than the average city dwellers (59% are under 35). The proportion of retirees is lower than the average. 34% of the inhabitants of Alexandria have 2 or more children. Their home, when they are not housed for free, takes up 22% of their monthly income. The vast majority use public transportation or walk; somewhat fewer use a car and very few cycle or bike. A vast majority would like to see their children grow up in Alexandria. Just 24% would like to leave the city in the near future.

25% live alone and 39% have
a partner. The population is older than the average: more than a quarter is aged between 45 and 54.

63% are in employment (compared to an average of 67%). 74% have no children (compared to an average of 61%). 8 Berliners out of 10 rent their homes. 65% of Berliners have lived there for more than 20 years.
The majority use public transportation; 53% walk or cycle compared with 46% who drive. A large majority would like to raise their children in Berlin. Just 26% would like to leave in the near future.

was born in Alexandria. stay there.

86% of the population

62% have opted to live


52% ion of the populat

75% to live have opted
or stay there.

was born in Berlin.

While Beijingers are, with Shanghaiers, the city dwellers who most appreciate living in the city, they are paradoxically the least satisfied with their living conditions, especially the surrounding pressures of their district and their housing. Beijing is seen as the most stressful of the cities studied. However, its economic and cultural dynamism, as well as the general sense of safety, are highly appreciated. In fact, very few Beijingers want to leave the city and eight out of ten want to see their children grow up there. Like Shanghaiers, they are worried about the environment and overpopulation, and they are in particular notable for their high level of concern about air quality. Vision for the future Beijing again resembles Shanghai in terms of its being more noticeably optimistic than elsewhere. Eight out of ten Beijingers have confidence in the future of their city, especially its economic performance, as well as improvements to infrastructure and transportation. On the other hand, they are more concerned than elsewhere about the quality of the environment, housing conditions and automobile traffic. They would like their city to be smaller, less densely populated; lowering stress appears to be of more marginal concern. The typical Beijingers are employed,live as a couple with one child in a home that they own. Focused on the quality of the environment and economic dynamism, they tend to be confident about the city’s development, their local area and living conditions,even if they are not entirely satisfied at the present time.

The level of education is the highest of all the cities included in the study. Beijing has a below average level of non-active population (22%). The majority (61%) own their home. After the residents of Shanghai, Beijingers are the city dwellers who devote the smallest proportion of their income (20%) to their home. The vast majority of households (85%) have more than 3 people and 1 child (43%).

Chicago has slightly more inhabitants who are not in employment than the average. 57% are single or live with a partner and 64% have no children.

1 out of 3 Beijingers cycles, and 8 out of 10 also frequently use public transportation.

50% of Chicagoans own their home, which costs them 34% of their monthly income. They tend to drive a lot (76% compared to an average of 53%) to the detriment of public transportation (40%), walking (30%) and cycling (9%). 35% would like to leave Chicago in the near future (compared to an average of 33%).

The residents of Chicago are the most satisfied of all the city dwellers interviewed. They find life is good in their city. In particular, they appreciate the diversity of population groups, the range of sporting and cultural activities available, and the ease of travel. The city mainly elicits positive sentiments in which “convenience,” “friendliness” and “attachment” are the overriding descriptors. When they do criticize it, they refer to traffic jams and the shortcomings of its public transportation. In short, Chicago is seen as an ideal city in which to live and stay for a period. However, 35% still want to leave the city within the near future. Vision for the future The vast majority of Chicagoans are optimistic – far more than the average – about the development of their city and their living conditions. A lack of safety and cleanness do not seem to be significant issues. Concern is focused on the quality of public transportation, the difficulty in parking and the cost of living. Safety and transportation are the two areas where they would like to see improvements in the future. Chicagoans say they are relatively confident about the management of environmental issues. The typical Chicagoans live alone or in a couple, and have fewer children than the norm. They have an average standard of living (intermediate socio-economic bracket). They own their home and mainly travel by car. Very satisfied with their city, they look to the future with confidence.

of the populat 52% in Beijing. ion 92% was born

of the population was born in Chicago.

have opted to live or stay there.
Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles

have opted to live or stay there.



explains for a part the concerns for lack of safety.

While they appreciate its convenience and the many professional opportunities in the city, Londoners complain of stress and overpopulation.This seems to prevent them from taking full advantage of a city that they otherwise perceive as being relatively pleasant with an appreciable range of cultural and leisure activities.They are somewhat less satisfied with their city than the average. London has an above average number of people who do not want to raise their children there and who want to leave.Their main concerns are the cost of living and safety*, and the main two negative issues they raise about their city are overpopulation and pollution, well ahead of noise and traffic jams, far less often quoted than elsewhere. Vision for the future. Londoners view the future with tempered optimism.While they are confident about their city’s economic and cultural dynamism, they are worried about the rise in the cost of living and town planning issues (quality of infrastructure, housing and the cleanness of streets). For the future generations, they would like a safer city, with less stress, better services and less densely populated. The typical Londoners are single or have a partner but no children. Employed, they rent their home. Stressed, they are moderately satisfied with their city but have doubts about its future.

The Lyonese are pleased, proud and highly satisfied with living in a city they describe as practical, engaging and friendly. In particular, they appreciate the ease of travel and the sporting and cultural activities the city provides. Pollution and noise are their greatest concerns ahead of safety. Their worries about the cost of living and housing are also very clear from the study. Vision for the future. Particularly optimistic, the Lyonese are confident about their city’s ability to build on its cultural activities and architecture and to maintain its economic thrust. They are especially confident about the quality of their water, but are more reserved about housing, air quality and especially the cost of living. They would like to see their children grow up in a city that is less polluted, safer, less stressful and greener. The typical Lyonese are employed, earn a decent living (upper socio-economic bracket) and rent their home. They are single or live with their partner and do not have any children. They appreciate their city and, although somewhat concerned about pollution and the cost of living, look to the future with confidence.

2/3of the population is active.
There are far fewer homeowners than elsewhere (35% ) and many more renters (57% ). They devote 30% of their monthly income to their home. The majority live alone or as a couple and more than two thirds (68% ) have no children. The Lyonese mainly use public transportation (57% ), cars (47% ) and walk (41% ). 1 out of 5 Lyonese cycles. 39% would like to leave Lyon in the near future and 69% would like to see their children grow up there.

* London has suffered a serious wave of violence in the past few months, which

The number of inhabitants who rent their home is slightly higher than in other cities (46% compared to an average of 41%). 25% of Londoners live alone and 32% with a partner. Their home absorbs 34% of their monthly income. 74% use public transportation, 43% walk and 37% drive. Very few cycle or use a motorbike. Just 48% want to see their children grow up in London, and 46% would like to leave in the near future.

was born in London.

40% of the population

have opted to live or stay there.

38% ion of the populat
was born in Lyon.

76% to live have opted
or stay there.

Los Angeles is notable for the small proportion of people living in the city who were born there and the shorter term of stay than other cities. Yet, 60% of its residents want to see their children grow up there, and more than eight out of ten claim they are satisfied with their living conditions. In particular, they appreciate the sporting and cultural activities the city offers, its cleanness, safety and the diversity of its population groups.They are more annoyed than elsewhere by traffic jams, without feeling concerned about the low development of public transportation. Vision for the future. Angelinos tend to be optimistic about the development of their city, one fifth of them go as far as to claim to be very confident.Very positive about safety, leisure and culture, they are more ambivalent when it comes to the ease of travel and water quality.The cost of living is a major source of concern. For their children, they would like Los Angeles to be safer and less densely populated and to have more open spaces and a better public transportation system. For Angelinos, environmental issues are well taken care of. The typical Angelinos were not born in Los Angeles and do not intend staying there for very long.They live alone or as a couple and have fewer children than the average. More than one third of their income is devoted to renting their home.They mainly travel by car and are satisfied with the development of their city.

Mexico City struggles to satisfy its population.This is undoubtedly because it does not manage to give them what they want: safety, sufficient infrastructure and a quality environment. They appreciate the leisure activities it provides and its cultural and economic dynamism. However, unlike the other cities, negative feelings predominate: the lack of safety, saturation and stress are frequently raised. Vision for the future. Despite the population’s youthfulness, optimism and confidence are lacking: 68% of Mexico City’s population have no confidence in the city’s future and they are concerned about the cost of living, lack of safety, air quality, the environment and the level of noise. Mexico City dwellers are more optimistic about the development of their living conditions, especially their housing. Improving safety is a priority, followed by lowering unemployment and the cost of living. For their children to want to live there, the city will have to be made safer, less polluted and less densely populated. The typical Mexico City residents are young and their household has one or two children; they are housed free-of-charge.They are not satisfied with their city, which they find lacks safety and is polluted. Pessimistic about the future, they would like to leave the city and raise their children elsewhere. Because of Mexico City’s demographic structure, the typical city resident is more often than not female, as women outnumber men in the city.

The high number of retirees explains the near 40% proportion of non-active members of the population. Half of them rent their homes and, as in New York, they devote 38% of their monthly income to it, the highest rate among the study panel. More than half of Angelinos live alone or as a couple and 65% have no children. Just 18% use public transportation, and 9 out of 10 travel by car.

41% would like to leave Los Angeles in the near future, but the majority would like to see their children grow up here.

20% on was of the populati
born in Los Angeles.

79% to live have opted
or stay there.

The population is young and predominantly female. 49% are younger than 35. 75% of the population is in employment and there are fewer retirees than average. Many are housed free of charge. 1 out of 4 inhabitants rents his home, which absorbs 29% of monthly income. 80% live in a home of more than 3 people. 51% have at least 1 child. 65% use their car most of the time, 64% use public transportation and 27% walk. Very few cycle or use a motorbike. More than half do not want to raise their children there, and would like to leave Mexico City in the near future.

of the population was born in Mexico City.

have opted to live or stay there.
Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles




New Yorkers perceive their city as both exciting and stressful. They appreciate the dynamism and diversity of the population groups that live there. They are overwhelmingly satisfied (87%), especially with the ease of getting around and the city’s cultural life and leisure activities. However, it is considered expensive, so the cost of living is an acute issue here. Safety does not seem to be a problem, unlike traffic jams and stress, quoted as two of the city’s negative aspects, ahead of pollution and crowds. Vision for the future. The majority of New Yorkers are confident about the future of their city, especially its ability to provide quality public transportation and personal and property safety. They are much more pessimistic about the evolution in housing possibilities and the cost of living. According to them, New York will have to become less stressful and better maintained to remain attractive for the next generation. The typical New Yorkers are single, have no children, rent and are relatively well off. They are stressed, but like their city and look to the future with optimism.

Prague would appear to be a city that is pleasant to live in; it is appreciated by its inhabitants the vast majority of whom want to stay and raise their children there. They find everything they need in the city to live well on an everyday basis: public transportation, public services, leisure and cultural activities and opportunities for going out and meeting people.The only downside: the city is perceived as being saturated, resulting in too much traffic and “too many people.”This creates a sense of insecurity and fear for the environment. Prague is the city where the problem of parking is most often quoted. As for the other cities, the main concern of Prague’s inhabitants is the cost of living. Vision for the future. Prague residents are more optimistic about their city’s future than the average city dweller, in particular with regard to its ability to retain its cultural and architectural heritage, its infrastructure and water quality.They are more optimistic about the cost of living, cleanness and air quality.They would like their children to grow up in a safer, less stressful and less polluted city. The typical Prague residents have a partner and one child. Employed, they own their home.They find their city is saturated, but overall are satisfied and confident about the future.

More than half of New Yorkers live alone or with a partner and a majority (68%) have no children. The majority of New Yorkers are tenants (56%). Their home absorbs 38% of their monthly income. New Yorkers use public transportation (65%) and cars (48%); they walk less and very few cycle. 42% of them would like to leave the city in the near future, yet 63% would like their children to grow up there.

The percentage of the active population is above average, as is the proportion of 55 to 70-year olds and retirees. The Prague household has on average a couple with 1 or 2 children. The majority own their home, which absorbs 35% of their monthly income. In Prague, the vast majority use public transportation (92%); they also use their car or walk. Cycling is also popular.

was born in New York.

58% ion of the populat

have opted to live or stay there.

76% want their children to grow up in Prague, and just 22% would like to leave the city.

68% on of the populati

67% to live have opted
or stay there.

was born in Prague.

Cultural activities are the main criteria defining quality of life for Parisians, and they are the prime reason for their satisfaction. Parisians seem to be happy in their city, to which they are very attached despite the stress it causes them, especially among the under 35-year olds. Unlike in most cities, concern is focused more on combating pollution and noise rather than the lack of safety. As elsewhere, the cost of living and housing are seen as major issues. The percentage of Parisians wanting to leave or not raise their children there is a minority but it is still above the average. Vision for the future. Parisians seem to be particularly confident about the future of their city. Most think that things will improve in the years to come, even if many doubt that their income will keep pace. They all agree that Paris will become increasingly expensive. If future generations are going to want to stay in Paris, it will have to be less polluted, less stressful, and safer… as well as less noisy. The typical Parisians are single or have a partner but no children. Active and well-off, they rent their home. Despite the stress, overall, they are satisfied with their city and are confident about its future.

The inhabitants of Shanghai are very attached to their city even if their satisfaction lacks a certain conviction. In particular, they complain about traffic jams, pollution and stress.The reasons for liking their city are different from those of the other urban dwellers: while they place less emphasis on the cost of living, they appreciate the safety of their city and, above all, its economic dynamism and its international renown.They are also very concerned about environmental issues and overpopulation. Vision for the future. Shanghai residents are twice as optimistic than the average with regard to the future development of their city and their living conditions. Nine people out of ten have confidence in the city’s economic dynamism. They agree less on the number of car parking spaces, noise and air quality. Many believe that combating pollution and overpopulation would improve their quality of life. For future generations to want to stay in the city, the current generations feel the city should be less densely populated, less polluted, have more open spaces and parks. The typical Shanghaiers were born in Shanghai.These active members of the population live with their partner and have one child.They own their home in which they have lived for less than ten years. Concerned about the quality of the environment and economic dynamism, they are nonetheless very confident about the city’s future development, their district and living conditions.

The percentage of seniors and active population is above average. One third of Parisians live alone and 71% have no children. The population has many more renters than everywhere else (55%) and far fewer homeowners than the average (31%). Their home takes up 29% of their monthly income. The vast majority of Parisians use public transportation (80%) or walk (39%). Car usage is well below average (26%); 15% cycle.

There are slightly fewer young people but less than half the average of people are not in employment (18%).

81% have a university degree (a very high rate, similar to Beijing). 78% own their home (compared to an average of 43%) and devote only 17% of their income to it (the lowest proportion of the cities in the survey).
Very large proportion of homes with just one child (50% compared to an average of 23%). Shanghai residents are the city dwellers most likely to cycle or use a motorbike. Only 17% wish to leave their city and 88% would like to see their children grow up there.

63% would like to see their children grow up in Paris and 36%
want to leave in the near future.

33% on of the populati
was born in Paris.

79% to live have opted
or stay there.

of the population was born in Shanghai.

have opted to live or stay there.
Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles




Sydney is a pleasant city to live in. it is clean, relatively quiet and unanimously liked by its residents. They claim to be satisfied with their living conditions, housing and area. In particular, they appreciate the cultural and leisure activities the city offers, the diversity of people and, have an above average opinion of the city’s safety and cleanness. On the downside, there is an evident lack of public services, in particular transportation. Vision for the future. Sydney’s inhabitants are very optimistic about the development of their city and their living conditions. They do, however, fear a deterioration in public services, especially public transportation and infrastructure. Housing is also a source of concern. For the future, Sydney’s population would like to see a drop in the cost of living, an improvement in safety and transportation. For their children, they would like to see the city have better public transportation. The typical Sydneysiders were not born in the city, have opted to live there, and intend to stay there. They are average city dwellers in terms of their family situation and socio-economic category. They own their home (which absorbs 30% of their income), and mainly travel by car. They are satisfied with their city and look to the future with confidence.

A slightly lower educational level than the average (53% have an intermediate level of education).

52% own their home and devote 30% of their income to it. 59% have no children and 13% only one child.
They use pubic transportation less than in other cities and 73% prefer to drive.

The city as they see it has been photographed by the respondent city dwellers. Their visions are clear-sighted and demonstrate a degree of tenderness, focusing on what they like: a garden, the sea, the city’s beauty as seen from the sky, the tranquility of a small street. They showed us an urban space that was very welcoming and revealed to us their desire to see these moments they have caught last forever: peaceful human relations, a positive diversity of population groups, an environment that is open to nature. In short, a kaleidoscope that reveals one single desire – a need even – for harmony and peacefulness.

28% would like to leave Sydney in the near future and 74%
would like to see their children grow up there.

was born in Sydney.

48% of the population

or stay there.

79% have opted to live

The inhabitants of Tokyo have a utilitarian relationship with their city, which they above all appreciate for the ease of travel and, to a lesser extent, for its economic dynamism. Overall, they are less satisfied with their housing and their district than elsewhere, and twice as often than average say they feel unsafe. They also complain about dirtiness and a disappointing architectural environment. Generally speaking, their attachment to their city is not very strong and is above all linked to the convenience it provides them. Vision for the future. The inhabitants of Tokyo are among the city dwellers who have the least confidence in the future of their city and are the least optimistic about the future development of its architecture and water quality. Above all, they would like more open spaces and cultural activities. To their mind, Tokyo will have to become greener and more attractive if it is to retain the future generations. The typical Tokyoites were not born there and have opted to live in the city. They own their home. They have no children. Tormented by a perceived lack of safety, they are not very optimistic insofar as the development of their city is concerned and do not want to stay there all their lives.

The proportion of middle classes (44%) is twice as high as the proportion of upper classes (19%).

8 out of 10 Tokyo residents live in a 2 person household and more than 30% have at least 1 child. The majority own their home. Housing takes up just 25% of their income.
They cycle twice as much as the average and use their car less than anywhere else.

3 people out of 10 in Tokyo say they want to leave their city, and more than half (64%) want their children to grow up in Tokyo.

39% on of the populati

was born in Tokyo.

68% to live have opted
or stay there.


Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles



New York







Mexico City


“ The ideal city is an open city, full of light and space. With large houses or apartments…”

An inhabitant of Alexandria



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles

Los Angeles





A typical urban dweller or many different types?

The results of Veolia Observatory 2008 survey make it possible to sketch the portrait of the average city dweller. Apart from the differences revealed by this approach, the analysis of lifestyles brings into sharp contrast the differences in how people actually live. People do not live in cities in the same way in Asia or Central Europe, Africa or in North America. In developed or emerging countries, there are significant shifts depending on whether you are young or old, male or female, the ranking of values, priorities, aspirations and the perception of the city’s future. City by city, the Observatory identifies the anchor points, drivers and hindrances in people’s relationship to their city. After all, the sound management of this relationship is a major issue for any city of the future that wants to remain attractive and dynamic. And as this relationship is constantly evolving, the task of the Veolia Observatory is to continue to monitor it closely.

A relatively unrealistic self-portrait
When they describe themselves as they are now or in the future, city dwellers are at times very blunt. The sharpness of the contours, and above all its discrepancy with the current reality, give the impression that they do not really see themselves as made for city living, as they do not have the necessary profile or resources. The typical city dweller as seen by his peers is thirty-something, single and childless. He or she lives within a dense but superficial social network. They are seen in the near future as a pawn in the race towards productivity, living in a uniform and cold environment. Within this context, the city is represented as a place of exclusion, where there will be no room for families and children, society’s most disadvantaged and the more elderly. In fact, the reality from the Observatory’s findings is quite the contrary. It reflects a diverse urban life far removed from what is depicted by those who live in the city. Two thirds of the urban population is active and includes more employees and workers than executives and professionals. The majority are over 35, except in Alexandria and Mexico City. Generally speaking, city dwellers have few children; indeed, two thirds have no children. Yet, most live in households of three or more people. These averages conceal differences between cities that are in fact indicators of local lifestyles and cultures. A detailed reading of the survey results shows a marked divide between the city dwellers in developed and emerging countries. Socio-economic conditions contribute strongly to the way each person depicts his or her city and the feelings he or she has towards it.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles



Lack of safety, a latent and universal feeling
The sense of a lack of safety is a constant concern. The 30-year projection reveals violence as the most sensitive issue. Today latent, it becomes a source of anxiety. In reaction to this anxiety, the city of the future is described as a place saturated with cameras. The desire for more light can be decoded as the wish for greater spatial reliability.

Caught between aspirations and needs
The self-portrait of the city dweller reveals an ambivalent love-hate relationship with the city. While they are quick to criticize their living environment, they are very supportive of the fact that everything they need or want is within easy reach. Potential hyper-consumers, they complain about the cost of living and are actually very restrained where their activities are concerned, as they are largely focused on work and transportation issues. They define the city as a place where you meet people but are critical of the superficiality of relations and feel isolated. They also regret seeing themselves reduced to anonymous numbers in an environment over which they have very limited control. City dwellers are therefore people who have difficulty in managing their contradictions. In most cities, they also appear to be drawn between the desire to leave and the need to stay, by the desire not to raise their children there and on the contrary the desire to provide them with the best the city can offer. The city is an ideal setting for projecting both one’s hopes and anxieties. The population density and sheer size of cities exacerbate the need to express negative feelings even though the majority of city dwellers claim to be satisfied with their life in the city.

The environment under challenge
City dwellers are increasingly concerned about the management of the environment, especially with regard to traffic, air and water quality, and green spaces. Even if it does not seem to be a sufficiently important factor to undermine the desire to live in the city, the current level of dissatisfaction weighs heavily on how people perceive the urban space.

Transportation, a key factor in city life
Transportation is one of the main concerns of city dwellers. While they highly appreciate the ease with which they can get from one place to another, they also hate the traffic jams that are a feature of cities. The desire to control the number of cars in cities appears to be one of the main issues for the future, and can even go so far as a call for the banning of cars from the city altogether.

Culture and leisure, defining attachment
Cultural and entertainment activities are an important qualitative factor for city dwellers. Culture in particular is a factor in a city’s international renown that is highly appreciated. It makes the city a dynamic space, attractive to the outside world and fosters a sense of pride in belonging to the city. In the final analysis, the Observatory’s conclusions are reassuring. Even if they are critical and concerned, city dwellers are far from wanting to opt out from their cities and they have the impression of being among the privileged, even if they see this situation as being unstable or a source of anxiety. Improving the living conditions and boosting the attractiveness of the city dweller’s status are priorities for the city of the future. Will population growth allow these demands to be met? City managers and authorities must therefore come up with answers to these challenges. To help them to make informed choices, Veolia Environnement is happy to make this Observatory available to them. The survey will be completed by others, at two year intervals, enabling an extension of the scope to other cities and exploring the issues and problems identified in more depth. Veolia will also be inviting all city stakeholders and experts in the field to join in this initiative by contributing their own input.

Four major concerns about life in the city: cost of living, safety, the environment and transportation
The Veolia Observatory has highlighted four points that are perceived as major issues today and for the future by all the city dwellers in the sample, all cities and population respondents combined.

Unanimous concern about the cost of living
The cost of living is, along with safety, the prime criterion used to assess the quality of city life. It is also seen as the first factor liable to significantly improve living conditions, ahead of safety issues even. Economic anxiety transcends all national divides, and leads to a demand that is closely tied to the notion of economic success. In all cities, there is the fear of seeing the city organized, even more than it is today, as a place for the wealthy, from which all individuals that do not fit the mold of economic and social success would be excluded.



Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles

The quantitative phase
The survey was managed over the Internet by Ipsos panel members. In Prague and Alexandria, because of relatively low Internet access among households, the survey was done face-to-face at the respondents’ homes.

The qualitative phase
The qualitative phase of the study was conducted with focus groups of young city dwellers with an above average socio-cultural and economic level. In each city, with the exception of Lyon, Beijing and Los Angeles, a focus group of eight young city dwellers, men and woman, in employment and aged between 20 and 27 was questioned. In New York, Paris and London a second focus group was questioned. It had the same characteristics as the first but the socio-cultural background was more modest. In Alexandria, two mini focus groups of 5 people each were set up , in order to question men and women separately.

The sample of respondents included 8,608 people aged from 15 to 70 years, in the 14 cities covered by the survey as follows: Alexandria: 614 – Beijing: 625 Berlin :633 – Chicago: 607 London: 617 – Los Angeles: 600 Lyon: 608 – Mexico City: 611 New York: 606 – Paris: 620 Prague: 606 – Shanghai: 628 Sydney: 630 – Tokyo: 603

Each sample was compiled using the quota method reflecting the available socio-demographic data (sex, age, profession and sector in most cases).