Deciding where to live: case study of cohousing-inspired residential project in Prague

Abstract

In addition to the still significant suburbanization process, the Prague metropolitan area is also seeing the emergence of reurbanization. While existing studies in this field are mainly concerned with the resulting spatial patterns, the present work focuses on the process of selecting a new place of residence. This topic is of significance because of the importance of reflecting residents’ requirements and ideas in urban planning. The Alfarezidence residential project was inspired by the notion of cohousing and is located in the inner city. The aim of the study was to explore reasons that led participants to choose Alfarezidence, the alternatives they considered and the role Alfarezidence’s specific characteristics played in the decision-making process. A series of deep semi-structured interviews were conducted, and the results show that no participants chose Alfarezidence because of cohousing. Instead, they perceived the common areas, small scale and spatial layout to be desirable aspects; furthermore, accessibility, architectural layout, and character were also key to the decision-making process. Proximity to the workplace was also particularly important in prioritizing Alfarezidence over alternative family housing in the suburbs.

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Fig. 1

Source: Author, map layers: ČÚZK (2019)

Fig. 2

Source: UNIT Architekti (2012)

Fig. 3

Source: Author

Fig. 4

Source: UNIT Architekti (2012)

Notes

  1. 1.

    Prepared by the Department of Socioeconomics of Housing of the Institute of Sociology at the Czech Academy of Sciences.

  2. 2.

    JKA Cohousing (Jiran Kohout Architekti) began as an architectural studio based in Prague that was interested in the concept of close neighbourhood living. Recently, it has transformed into an international architectural office called UNIT Architekti.

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Acknowledgements

This article was prepared using funding provided by the Charles University Grant Agency under Project No. 1434218 entitled ‘Selection of a new place of residence of inhabitants of the Prague metropolitan region’. It was also prepared with the support of funding from the Czech Science Foundation for Project No. 16-20991S entitled ‘Spatial Mobility, Everyday Life and Personal Ties: The Case Study of Women in Prague Metropolitan region’. Finally, this work has been supported by Charles University Research Centre program UNCE/HUM/018.

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Horňáková, M., Jíchová, J. Deciding where to live: case study of cohousing-inspired residential project in Prague. J Hous and the Built Environ 35, 807–827 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-019-09714-7

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Keywords

  • Cohousing
  • Inner city
  • Residential mobility
  • Residential preferences
  • Prague