Categories: Europe

Quality of life in EU cities

The FINANCIAL — The study covers 83 cities in the EU, the EFTA countries, the UK, the Western Balkans and Turkey, for a total of 58,100 telephone interviews. It reveals in which cities people are satisfied with a range of public services and amenities. It captures people’s experience, for example, with crime, and their feelings, for example, if they feel safe walking alone at night. These results are important for policymakers at the European, national and city level. They can help to identify priorities for Cohesion Policy investments and can support policy exchanges as part of the Urban Agenda for the EU.

In 2019, 9 out of 10 people were satisfied with living in their city. In most of the eastern EU cities, the majority thought that the quality of life there had improved over the last five years, while in other cities, most people thought it had remained the same or had declined. In five cities (Athens, Rome, Sofia, Liège and Marseille), less than half the residents felt safe walking along at night compared to over 90 % in the best 10 cities. In virtually all cities, the majority considered them good places to live for immigrants, the elderly and young families with children. More people saw their city as a good place for gays and lesbians than in the rest of the country. In 11 cities, however, only a minority thought it was a good place for gays and lesbians to live.

Less than one in four residents in southern EU cities thought it was easy to find a good job, while less than one in three residents in northern and western cities considered it easy to find a good house at a reasonable price. Residents in larger cities tended to use cars less and public transport more. Overall, three quarters of city residents were satisfied with public transport, although in six cities in Albania, Italy, Cyprus, North Macedonia and Serbia, less than half were satisfied. Satisfaction with the frequency of public transport had the biggest impact on overall satisfaction with public transport.

Eight out of ten city residents were satisfied with their green spaces and public spaces. However, only two out three in cities in southern EU, the Western Balkans and Turkey were satisfied with these. Around 63 % of city residents were satisfied with air quality, noise and the cleanliness of their city, percentages which fell particularly in large cities, capital cities and southern EU cities.

Overall, local public administration has been doing well. On average, three out of five city residents were satisfied with the time taken to resolve a request, easily found online information on local services, and did not perceive any corruption in the local public administration. Despite the good scores overall, several cities still need to improve their administration. In 20 cities, the majority was not satisfied with the speed of the administration, while in 38 cities, the majority thought there was corruption in the local public administration.

The FINANCIAL

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