Increased demand for a higher quality of life

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In an accelerated stressful working environment emphasizing profits and performance, more and more people, especially in Western Europe, feel the need to find peace when they are back home. Quality of life becomes as important as wealth and home becomes the place to enjoy and to rest. This implies that more and more people like to live in a comfortable, private, spacious enough place in a clean, green, quiet and safe environment with good infrastructures for them to enjoy conveniently but in peace their free time.

Enablers:

- Aging population – mature and wealthy “responsible adults”: there is a significant part of the population moving from the “young professional” stage to the “parent” stage. When single and young active, one may enjoy the buzz of living in the city center, being close to friends, enjoying going out, with a proximity to culture and events. Getting older, the conventional social norms of getting married or / and having kids create different needs such as finding a bigger, quieter and safer place with good educational infrastructures to raise children, and / or building on long-term future by acquiring a property.

- Rethinking current way of life after the crisis: when the over-profitable banking system collapsed, some awareness about our financial system (incentives for profits) can reset some ways of thinking about how we lead our life and can therefore challenge the unnecessary race to over-profits and materialism achievement. This could favor a thinking based on quality of life and sense of enjoyment.

- Non-affordability of city center housing: the square meter price in city centers is higher than in the surburbs, making property acquisition more difficult there.

- Traffic congestion, noisy and stressful environment in cities: this is accelerating the fatigue of being in the city and increasing the need for a quieter place to live in.


Inhibitors:

- Reduced access to property because of: • Financial crisis and impacts on loans: with the recession, fewer mortgages have been allowed and fewer families could buy a house. This could lead to people living in temporary residences (rented), either in the suburbs or in the city center. • Increased unemployment / poor economy: no or low income diminish choice of living standard for households.

- long-distance or long-commuting time between work and home: spending time to commute everyday affect the quality of life and the compromise to live close to work may be done.

- poor transportation infrastructures in the surburbs or country side: this is the paradox of wanting everything at the same place – quietness, space and good network transportation, which cannot always be solved.