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Challenging and Interlinking Quality of Life with Social Sustainability in European Cross-Border Suburban Regions: An Empirical Survey in Bratislava-Lower Austria and Burgenland, and Salzburg-Bavaria

Pavla Štefkovičová and Andreas Koch
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Pavla Štefkovičová: Department of Regional Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia
Andreas Koch: Department of Sociology and Social Geography, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 11, 1-23

Abstract: The relatively dynamic population growth in suburban municipalities in some European border regions caused by cross-border suburbanization poses challenges for maintaining and promoting the quality of life of residents and the social sustainability of municipalities. The aim of this paper is to provide insights into these issues based on our own empirical research conducted in the border regions of Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Bavaria, which are affected by the cross-border suburbanization of Bratislava and Salzburg. Empirical results illustrate a “cherry-picking strategy” of a high proportion of residents, i.e., choosing selectively the best options of both worlds to improve or maintain their quality of life. These strategies refer to housing decisions, satisfaction with the social neighborhood and the environment, functional patterns of daily activities, and local engagement. Although most respondents rated community relations positively, the coexistence of different social groups would benefit from their deeper integration into the community life. Residential satisfaction in terms of quality of life can foster a sense of belonging and thus contribute to the social sustainability of cross-border suburban regions.

Keywords: quality of life; social sustainability; cross-border suburbanization; border regions; Austria; Germany; Salzburg; Bratislava (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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