Movilidad residencial y sedentarismo en contextos urbanos

Supervised by:
  1. Joaquín Susino Arbucias Director
  2. Pedro Castón Boyer Director

Defence university: Universidad de Granada

Fecha de defensa: 29 September 2017

  1. Clemente J. Navarro Chair
  2. Rosa María Soriano Miras Secretary
  3. Carmuca Gómez Bueno Committee member
  4. José Feria Toribio Committee member
  5. Philippe Cardin Committee member

Type: Thesis


Abstract Mobility is one of the subjects with greater scientific production and projection. Although the attention paid by international or internal migrations is greater, urban residential mobility, understood as all changes of residence which occur within the same context or space of life, is a field of research increasingly present within the urban sociology and geography. Residential mobility has different effects on urban configuration and reconfiguration. Suburbanization, gentrification, relegation or intra-urban segregation are phenomena that cannot be understood solely on the basis of the physical characteristics of the neighborhoods or communities, the characteristics of the real estate market or other structural factors. These elements are relevant, but to achieve an understanding of the processes of urban reconfiguration, we must include and analyze the residential decisions of the people and groups that carry out such phenomena. Academics, motivated by the big urban changes that have taken place in the last decades, has been paying increasing attention to understanding why people decide to move and why they do it where they do, but the explanation of immobility has been underestimated and relegated to the background. Hence, while our knowledge about the motives behind the changes is rich and extensive, the theoretical and empirical corpus dedicated to immobility is still scarce. At the international level, more attention is beginning to be paid to the explanation of permanence, but in Spain, a country in which residential immobility is high, there are few studies focused on the questions of why people stay? Or why do they do it where they move? This thesis analyzes residential mobility and immobility in an urban context, the metropolitan area of Granada, paying special attention to the role that different factors can play in the residential and spatial roots. With two data sources, the last three Population and Housing Censuses and a Population Survey conducted by the IDR for the city council in 2008 and based on multivariate analysis techniques widely used in the study of (in) mobility at the international level but little applied in urban Spanish contexts, this study aims to answer different questions concerning urban residential behavior. In the first part, which includes chapters 1-4, we conduct a conceptual and methodological debate. What do we mean by mobility and urban sedentariness? What is the role of spatial and temporal dimensions in understanding residential behavior? How to capture and measure (in) mobility with available sources? Which methods and analytical techniques should we chose? This first block sets the stage for further analysis. In the second part (Chapters 5 and 6) we review the characteristics of the context - metropolitan area of Granada - as well as the phenomenon of study - mobility and immobility. From a socio-spatial perspective, we are interested in knowing the evolution of the urban structure of Granada, its neighborhoods and its metropolitan crown, as well as analyzing how the patterns of (in) mobility have evolved as the city has changed. With aggregated data, this block contextualizes the object of study of this thesis. In the third part (Chapters 7-11) we focus on the analysis of (in) mobility with individual data, focusing on the factors that motivate spatial (im)mobility decisions. But we also try to understand the role played by these factors in past (in) mobility trajectories and future (in) mobility expectations and desires. The role of life course, social position or residential career are basic factors to analyze. But we also focus on factors that link people to places they live in different ways: place attachment, the presence and composition of the family network in the neighbourhood or perceptions on spatial environment. The last chapter of this block is devoted to the structural factors that trigger (in) mobility, specifically, we analyze the effect of the economic crisis on decisions. In the final part (Chapter 12) we summarize the results and perform a reflection that serves to connect the findings and open new lines for future research. We underline two ideas about the main results of this thesis: (i) the scarcity of databases as well as their limitations impede in-depth approaches. If we want to advance in the knowledge of urban (in) mobility, the commitment to build longitudinal bases and specific surveys is a necessity and urgent challenge to be faced in the near future by our country as well as other Mediterranean countries; (ii) more than talking about mobility and immobility, we should talk about mobilities and, above all, immobilities. Decisions to stay at the same home or neighborhood are not disconnected to the social experience that people accumulate in such places. Beyond the impossibility of moving due to scarcity of resources (which may be the key of the reproduction of families and groups in the urban space), or because a context of deep economic recession, the emotional and instrumental ties created in the immediate context of the neighborhood, arise as bond key elements for understanding past, present, and future residential choices.