Reports of a “city death” due to the Covid crisis have been greatly exaggerated, according to a survey of Parisians and Londoners that found little change in people’s satisfaction with urban life or plans to move in the future. next.
The report of King’s College London and the Université de ParisBased on a survey conducted in April and May, it found that cafe, club and restaurant closures, lockdowns, and home work had not dampened residents’ enthusiasm for the two capitals.
Compared to a pre-pandemic survey in 2019, the study found little change in the proportion of Londoners and Parisians planning to leave, greater satisfaction with local services, and a majority who believe their capital will recover, albeit slowly.
“The pandemic has forced a change in the way we live our lives, and that has had a particular impact on cities, with offices left empty or minimally used for long periods of time,” said Kelly Beaver of the pollsters. Ipsos Mori.
“The ‘decline of the city’ does not seem to take sufficient account of the opinions and beliefs of the people who live in them, most of whom are happy with where they live. The future of London and Paris as great capitals seems certain. “
The survey showed that 56% of Londoners were satisfied with their local services, such as schools, transport and police, a big increase from the 37% recorded in 2019, while levels of satisfaction with services in the Paris metropolitan area increased from 41% to 51%.
People’s satisfaction with their local area as a place to live was almost unchanged in Greater London at 63% from 64% two years ago, and highest in Paris (59% from 53%). While slightly more Londoners said they planned to leave in the next five years (43% versus 37%), the proportion of Parisians was almost unchanged (45% versus 44%).
Most Londoners (66%) and Parisians (57%) said they thought their city was likely to recover from the Covid crisis, although most also expected the recovery to be slow rather than fast (57% in London and 58% in Paris). .
“At a time when the pandemic has called into question the future of urban life, it is comforting to see that the ‘death of the city’ feared by some has not manifested itself,” said Jack Brown, London studies professor. at King’s College.
The survey also revealed “shared and specific challenges” for the two cities, Brown said. London seems to be seen as a place of great economic opportunity, but tougher for the less well off, the elderly, families and women. Parisians feel that social cohesion is still a problem in their city and they are more negative about immigration. ”
Over 60% of London residents said they thought immigration from outside the UK has had a positive impact on the capital, compared to 27% of Paris residents who said the same about immigration from outside the UK. France.
Yet 84% of its residents considered London to be largely a place for the rich; only 63% of Parisians said the same about their city. In contrast, Parisians (34%) were more than twice as likely as Londoners (14%) to say that their capital was good for the poor.
Similarly, 53% of people in greater Paris said they felt their city was a good place to live for families, compared to 43% of Londoners, and 50% of Parisians said their city is good for seniors, compared to 31% of Londoners. .
Among homeless people, Londoners (89%) were more likely than Parisians (76%) to accept that property was too expensive for them, but 73% of Londoners thought their city was a good one. place to start a career. versus 51% in Paris.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism