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Fordist Housing Behaviour in a Post-Fordist Context

Keywords: fordism , post-fordism , urban changes , young adults , housing behavior , constraints , Belgian cities , Brussels

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Abstract:

As recent socio-demographic, economic and cultural changes affected and complicated the transition phase of youngsters to adulthood, it is particularly interesting to investigate in what way this affected their housing trajectories and changes the socio-spatial structure of cities. In the literature, two of such changes, gentrification and suburbanisation, are usually analysed separately. In this paper however, we explore these changes as alternatives for young adults and explain on what criteria youngsters may choose for one or the other in the case of the Brussels metropolitan area. The paper first details the spatial distribution of young adults and the households they live in. We then focus on the motivations and strategies young adults set up to approach their preferred place of living, taking the changing macro-social context into account. Our findings are young adults housing preferences didn’t change that much compared to those of their parents and their place of living during their youth. Nevertheless, the changed context brought up new restrictions and difficulties, forcing specific groups of young adults to look for alternatives to their preferred place of living. Five new strategies emerge from this and explain the coexistence of gentrification and suburbanisation: suburbanization in itself, living on a higher distance of the city centre, second-class (sub)urbanization, delay of independent living and postponement of ownership.

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