Understanding territorial differences and scale effects when evaluating housing conditions using census data: the case of Portugal

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The EU development strategy for the next decade (Walsh, 2012) has as a strategic priority the identification of mechanisms for enriching quality of life and reducing social-spatial inequalities. For that, rather than focusing exclusively on economic growth, regions should enhance place resilience and reduce their vulnerability at various scales (Murphy and Scott, 2014). One fundamental scale is that of housing and related services. Indeed, for the past two decades a large array of factors have contributed to increase the housing problems and vulnerabilities of European countries, such as the decline of public investments, the restructuring of social services’ systems, the reduction of the consumption capacity, and also the internal disparities and domestic policy decisions that eventually led to the most recent economic crisis (Carballo-Cruz, 2011, Dellepiane Avellaneda and Hardiman, 2010, Eichengreen et al., 2014). In the countries of Southern Europe in particular (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), housing bubbles have burst (notably in Ireland and Spain, see Dellepiane Avellaneda and Hardiman, 2010, Whelan, 2014, Carballo-Cruz, 2011), youth unemployment, dissatisfaction and emigration have dramatically increased (Cairns et al., 2014), and severe austerity measures have been implemented (Murphy and Scott, 2014). These and other factors have led to decreases in levels of happiness, life satisfaction and quality of life (Anderson et al., 2012, Bell and Blanchflower, 2011), have affected employee job satisfaction, commitment, and self-regulation (Markovits et al., 2014), and have had increasing social risks, for vulnerable groups as immigrants, low waged workers or youths (Cairns et al., 2014) and in terms of poverty and social exclusion (Frazer and Marlier, 2011).
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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