Raising children in the inner city: still a mismatch betwen housing and households?
In an article published in Housing Studies, Terje Wessel and Erik Bjørnson Lunke investigate whether first-time parents in Oslo have become more loyal to urban living.
Recent research suggests that inner-city parents have become more loyal to urban living. If this is true, it is certainly good news for compact-city policies, which incorporate residential stability as part of the package. We investigate this issue with empirical evidence from Oslo, using longitudinal data for first-time parents with native and non-native background. Our first analysis tracks two parental cohorts, from 1995 and 2005, over 10 years, and shows that non-native parents have become less stable, whereas native parents have the same stability in both periods. A second observation is that native parents, and only this group, are more stable in areas with spacious dwellings. Finally, we also show that parents who leave the inner city, especially non-natives, increase their representation in low-rise houses. The results as a whole indicate that minority integration and compact-city policies may collide. They also indicate that Oslo, despite green city awards, has failed to create stable inner-city communities. We conclude with policy recommendations.