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Towards a paradigm shift in the residential appeal policy of the Brussels-Capital Region

Pour un changement de paradigme dans la politique d’attractivité résidentielle en Région de Bruxelles-Capitale
Voor een paradigmaverschuiving in het woonaantrekkelijkheidsbeleid van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest
Hannah Berns, Emmanuelle Lenel, Christine Schaut et Gilles Van Hamme
Cet article est une traduction de :
Pour un changement de paradigme dans la politique d’attractivité résidentielle en Région de Bruxelles-Capitale [fr]
Autre(s) traduction(s) de cet article :
Voor een paradigmaverschuiving in het woonaantrekkelijkheidsbeleid van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest  [nl]

Résumés

Cet article se penche sur une des questions centrales de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale depuis son origine en 1989 : celle de la migration de ses classes moyennes vers la périphérie. Après 30 ans, le constat de l’échec des politiques visant à fixer les ménages moyens au sein de la RBC est patent. Nous montrons que cet échec résulte à la fois d’une erreur dans la cible (les ménages moyens avec enfants) et de moyens (l’accent mis sur la propriété), niant la réalité de la ville comme espace de transition : d’une part, les ménages moyens avec enfants ne représentent qu’une fraction modérée des départs et particulièrement difficile à maintenir dans un environnement urbain dense ; d’autre part, l’accès à la propriété ne semble guère un moyen efficace pour fixer les populations. Nous proposons dès lors un changement de paradigme : prenant acte de la ville comme espace de transition, il s’agit de s’interroger sur les groupes que la RBC pourrait chercher à attirer et les moyens pour y arriver.

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Notes de la rédaction

In order to see the figures in a better resolution, go to the article online and click on “Original” below it.

Financing: Anticipate – Innoviris

Texte intégral

Introduction

1The issue of the “outflow” of the middle classes to the outskirts has been at the heart of political concerns since the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR) was formed in 1989. In 2019, the context was very different (the population has been growing significantly since 1995), but the objectives remain very similar according to the current government's policy statement:

  • 1 “Déclaration de politique générale commune au gouvernement de la RBC et au collège réuni de la Comm (...)

“...keep the vital forces in the Region and attract the talents of tomorrow. Access to home ownership should be further facilitated in order to anchor the middle class in the Region in the long term... These reforms should be aimed at keeping an active and dynamic middle class in Brussels and attracting them... The Region will pursue an ambitious and proactive housing and urban revitalisation policy... A favourable tax regime as regards registration fees will be introduced for owners who buy a new, single home in BCR, in order to anchor the middle class in the long term.”1

Figure 1. Evolution of the proportion of PIT in the total Brussels regional revenue from 1995 to 2019

Figure 1. Evolution of the proportion of PIT in the total Brussels regional revenue from 1995 to 2019

Sources: General presentations of the revenue and expenditure budgets of the Brussels-Capital Region for budget years 1995-2019

2The very strong consistency of this concern on the part of the Brussels authorities is rooted in the BCR funding mechanism, which was initially based largely on personal income tax (70 % of its funding in the beginning [Zimmer, 2002: 14]). With successive state reforms, however, this proportion has been greatly reduced. In recent years – with the exception of the period of the health crisis, which was very atypical – it has fallen below 30 % (Figure 1). In addition, a national solidarity mechanism has been put in place to reduce the fiscal capacity differential due to differences in per capita income between regions. This mechanism accounted for 8 % of the Brussels budget revenue in 2019. This results in increased fiscal autonomy for the Region, which is reflected in the growing proportion of property taxes in regional revenue. An upward shift in the social composition of the population would therefore not alter regional revenue drastically, given the declining weight of personal income tax, the limited differences between income categories with respect to this tax, and the (future) reform of the national solidarity mechanism, which will result in a tax gain as the population increases.

  • 2 For a review of the neighbourhood effect and thus the potentially positive effects of social mix, s (...)

3In other words, the regional desire to keep (or attract) the “middle classes” appears to have less and less fiscal motives, and this is reflected in the general policy statement of the current government, which emphasises the need for social mix, the attraction of the vital forces supposedly belonging to the “middle” classes, the reduction of car congestion linked to commuting, etc. The purpose of this article is not to discuss in detail the merits of these different motives2. Instead, it affirms and explains the failure of the policy to keep the middle classes in Brussels.

Figure 2. Evolution of the internal net migration of the Brussels-Capital Region, 1966-2019

Figure 2. Evolution of the internal net migration of the Brussels-Capital Region, 1966-2019

Source: INS

4Indeed, the observation is disarming: after 30 years at the top of the political agenda, BCR is still struggling to retain its “middle classes”. The net migration has been structurally negative for decades and has even deteriorated over the past 15 years (Figure 2).

5This article examines this failure, developing the hypothesis that it is due in part to a shortcoming in terms of both targets and means. By preferentially targeting “middle class” households with children (without defining the boundaries), BCR seeks to retain a category which is actually unlikely to stay. Furthermore, it favours access to ownership as a means of anchoring them in the region in the long term. This mechanism denies the reality of the city as a place of residential transition. Yet this is a long-standing fact in urban sociology. For example, in studying the processes of social disorganisation/reorganisation associated with the staggering demographic and physical growth of the city of Chicago at the beginning of the last century in connection with industrialisation and the massive arrival of economic migrants, Burgess [1925] showed that the latter tended to settle in “urban areas” which were more and more on the outskirts of the city as their social and economic conditions improved.

  • 3 The Résibru research project (2016-2020), funded by Innoviris as part of the Anticipate programme, (...)
  • 4 The data come from Statbel and include the residential trajectories of residents in Belgium as well (...)

6The potential of the city centre to attract households undergoing biographical transitions – rather than stable households – still exists, as confirmed by the data we collected as part of our research on residential trajectories in the Brussels metropolitan area3. The objective was to study the diversity of households leaving the Region and their residential behaviour, and to determine what differentiates them from the households which stay or settle there. The quantitative survey based on almost exhaustive individual data (between 2001 and 2015) allowed the migration profiles of households leaving or staying in BCR to be identified4. The qualitative survey complemented and enriched this approach by exploring the main factors in the decision to stay or leave among these profiles, through comprehensive interviews with 99 BCR residents and ex-residents (Appendix 1).

7The article has two main parts. Using quantitative and qualitative data, the first part closely examines the migration between Brussels and its outskirts, as well as the reasons for part of these movements through a comprehensive analysis. The interpretation of these data allows us to discuss the regional residential appeal policy in terms of its objectives (is attracting the middle classes a realistic objective in light of the observed behaviour?) as well as its means, which are mainly related to taxation, access to property and urban renewal. We also show that, contrary to popular belief, a greener and more open environment does not encourage the “middle classes” to settle in the city.

8In the second part, we present two approaches for reorienting the regional residential appeal policy: i.e. to consider the city as a place of transition in the life cycle rather than of residential stabilisation, and to focus on household profiles whose residential needs and expectations are more in line with dense urban environments. We propose realistic approaches based on our observations, in order to rethink this policy according to more specific groups which are more likely to settle in the city for some time.

A. A questionable policy in terms of targets and means

1. Middle-class households with children are far from being the only ones to leave the city

9Breaking with the academic literature – which has emphasised for decades that the process of peri-urbanisation is associated with the middle and/or upper classes – some authors have shown recently that in Brussels things have changed [De Laet, 2018; De Masschaelk et al., 2015] and that the working classes are also leaving BCR. The departures are far from being limited to households with children.

10As a first approximation, we propose a classification of the Belgian population into three main categories (Appendix 2): the working classes, belonging to the 30 % of the population with the lowest socioeconomic level, the wealthy classes as the upper 30 %, and the middle classes as the remaining 40 %. Based on this definition, middle-class households with children represent only about 15 % of the total population leaving Brussels for the rest of Belgium, and about 10 % of the corresponding households. In other words, if the regional residential appeal policy focuses exclusively on these households, 85 % of the population is left out, as well as 90 % of the households which leave Brussels.

Figure 3. Internal migration from the Brussels-Capital Region

Figure 3. Internal migration from the Brussels-Capital Region

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

11Three elements help to explain this result. Firstly, even if among the different categories of outgoing households, those with children are the most numerous in terms of households (just under 30 %) and even more so in terms of population (just under 50 %), they are still far from being the only ones, as many other types of household leave Brussels. Secondly, the relative weight of the middle classes in Brussels is clearly lower than at national level (slightly less than 30 % in BCR compared to 40 % in Belgium). This is also the case for the upper classes (slightly more than 20 % compared to 30 %), and it is obviously the opposite for the working classes (slightly less than 50 % compared to 30 %). The “recruitment” base of the outgoing middle classes is therefore quite restricted. Thirdly, although the tendency to leave Brussels is higher for the middle classes (all households combined), there is only a slight difference in comparison with the other classes: the annual exit rate is about 3,6 % for the former, compared to 3,2 % for the upper classes, and still 2,7 % for the working classes (Figure 3). In short, while these rates do show a bell-shaped profile (centred on the 6th decile), the bell has a fairly flat curve. In passing, it should be noted that this profile shifts towards the upper classes if we eliminate the effect of the age structure, as there is an over-representation in the middle classes of ages at which outward migration is more frequent (ages 30-44). All households combined, the middle classes only represent a third of the departures, compared to more than 40 % for the working classes.

2. There is little room for manoeuvre to stabilise more middle-class households with children in BCR

12The weight of middle-class households with children within the residential exits outside Brussels does not justify the preferential attention they receive. Several elements suggest that these households are particularly difficult to stabilise in BCR: their early departure; the significant number of return migrations after a period in Brussels; and the characteristics of the environment of their destination. Let us take a closer look at these three elements.

2.1. Statistical findings and hypotheses

2.1.1. The more affluent the households, the earlier they leave the city

Figure 4a. Pace of internal outflows from the Brussels-Capital Region, according to year with respect to the year of birth of the first child in the household

Figure 4a. Pace of internal outflows from the Brussels-Capital Region, according to year with respect to the year of birth of the first child in the household

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

Figure 4b. Proportion of households which left the Brussels-Capital Region when their first child reached 18 years of age, taking the year of birth or 5 years before as the reference year

Figure 4b. Proportion of households which left the Brussels-Capital Region when their first child reached 18 years of age, taking the year of birth or 5 years before as the reference year

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

  • 5 Standardized exit rates (without the age structure) are already higher than average five years befo (...)

13Although they are far from being the only ones to leave the city, middle-class households with children do so more than average. If assessed using age-specific exit rates observed between 2007 and 2015, the probability of having left the city by age 18 for a first-born resident of Brussels at birth is 40 % for the middle classes, compared to 35 % for the upper classes and 31 % for the working classes. But the middle and upper classes do not only leave Brussels more than the working classes: they also leave earlier. Of all first-born children who left the city before age 18, 43 % had already done so by age 6 in the working classes, compared with 50 % and 57 % in the middle and upper classes, respectively (Figure 4a). It can be assumed that in addition to having more financial means to implement their decisions quickly to leave the city – contrary to less well-off categories which need time to accumulate the necessary resources – some middle-income and well-off households also make this choice earlier. This hypothesis is reinforced if we take into account that part of the residential migration linked to an increase in the size of households is done in anticipation, or in any case even before the birth of the first child (it is obviously difficult to establish a definite link between the two in statistical terms). Across all deciles, and even after taking the effects of the parental age structure into account, exit rates in the years before the first birth in the household are not only significantly higher than average, but also higher than the rates observed after the birth. But while this difference is quite moderate for the working classes, it is much greater for the middle classes, and even more so for the upper classes (Figure 4b). Let us assume, for example, that early exits due to family growth can take place up to five years before the first birth5, and that the first-born child can therefore leave the city before being born, as a “child in the making”. Among the children who “leave” the city before age 18, half of them do so before age 3 for the working classes, before age 1 for the middle classes, and even before birth for the upper classes (Figure 4a: curves starting at age -5). This suggests that among the growing households which leave the Region, a significant proportion – which increases as the socioeconomic level increases – decide to leave the city without living in the city with children for a significant period, not being able to experience the advantages and disadvantages. In this case, it is understandable that the possibilities of stabilising such households in the city are particularly low.

2.1.2. A significant part of outward migration occurs as part of residential trajectories structured by residential conditions before children move out

14Because of the long-standing process of peri-urbanisation in Belgium, which has been massive since the 1960s, it can no longer be summed up as urban populations moving to new areas due to a change in their aspirations, but instead, it simply translates into suburban rooting over several generations. Therefore, for many people, outward migration from BCR corresponds to a return to their primary place of residential socialisation, rather than an escape.

Figure 5a. Internal exit rate from the Brussels-Capital Region, according to socioeconomic level and parents' place of residence

Figure 5a. Internal exit rate from the Brussels-Capital Region, according to socioeconomic level and parents' place of residence

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

Figure 5b. Division of the territory used for the destinations of outward residential migration outside the Brussels-Capital Region

Figure 5b. Division of the territory used for the destinations of outward residential migration outside the Brussels-Capital Region

Source: own calculations based on data from the main public transport operators (TEC, STIB, De Lijn, SNCB)

15Thus, among Brussels residents aged 20 to 50 who no longer live with their parents, the tendency towards outward migration is about three times higher for residents with at least one known parent living outside the Region than for those with none (Figure 5a). An analysis of the destinations of outward migration strongly suggests that this trend is associated with a return to the residential environment prior to when children moved out (see the 22-area breakdown in Figure 5b): in 40 % of cases, the destination area corresponds to that of the parents' residence, which is six times more than in the case of random choice (6,4 %). Therefore, assuming that these movements are only a secondary result of an unsatisfactory experience with living conditions in Brussels, it seems unlikely that urban policies can have much influence on them. Of course, “return” migration does not happen automatically and can be more or less late. As we shall see, new Brussels residents may choose a location in the city centre on a long-term basis, in opposition to the dissuasive experiences they had previously had in relatively isolated places disconnected from urban services. The tendency for new Brussels residents to leave Brussels is nevertheless dominant: according to a cyclical table (based on the years 2007-2014), among those aged 20, 69 % will have left the Region within ten years (and 63 % among those aged 25).

16Finally, it should be noted that when the parents' origin is taken into account, the increasing tendency to leave Brussels according to income no longer exists: it even decreases slightly for those who have a parent living outside Brussels (green curve in Figure 5), probably in connection with financial means which allow them to access desired housing conditions more easily, even in the city. The tendency to leave BCR more in the upper and middle deciles is therefore strongly related to the fact that these deciles contain a larger proportion of inhabitants with parents who do not live in Brussels.

2.1.3. The environment of the suburban destination depends on socioeconomic level

17If we exclude the inhabitants born to parents who are known not to live in Brussels – who are difficult to retain, as we have just seen – the upper and middle deciles together represent only 28 % of the total outgoing population, and 31 % of the corresponding households. If, in line with regional priorities, only the middle classes are considered, these figures drop to 19 % and 20 %; and if only couples with children are considered, these groups represent only 8 % and 5 % of the total outgoing population and households.

Figure 6. Tendency to migrate to the low-density outskirts or to dense areas outside the outskirts, from the Brussels-Capital Region, according to socioeconomic level and parents' place of residence (2008-2015)

Figure 6. Tendency to migrate to the low-density outskirts or to dense areas outside the outskirts, from the Brussels-Capital Region, according to socioeconomic level and parents' place of residence (2008-2015)

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

18It is also reasonable to assume that it should be easier to retain populations which choose residential environments with relatively urban characteristics when they leave the Region. First, those whose parents live in the outskirts and for whom the move to Brussels is transitory, generally tend to choose locations in the sparsely populated outskirts more often than all of the others, and less often dense urban environments outside Brussels and its outskirts (Figure 6). The opposite is observed among residents whose parents do not live in the outskirts (i.e. often in dense or very dense environments).

Figure 7a. Characteristics of the places of arrival for residential migrations from Brussels-Capital, according to socioeconomic level and parents’ place of residence

Figure 7a. Characteristics of the places of arrival for residential migrations from Brussels-Capital, according to socioeconomic level and parents’ place of residence

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

Figure 7b. Characteristics of the places of arrival for residential migrations from Brussels-Capital, according to socioeconomic level and parents’ place of residence

Figure 7b. Characteristics of the places of arrival for residential migrations from Brussels-Capital, according to socioeconomic level and parents’ place of residence

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

19For the others, there is a correlation between socioeconomic level and the environment of the suburban destination (Figure 6): parallel to the rise in deciles, the neighbourhoods they move to have characteristics which are less and less typical of urban environments. This is the case, for example, for tranquillity (Figure 7a), as well as for the efficiency of public transport services and the accessibility of facilities (Figure 7b).

  • 6 The absence of parents referenced in the database can be explained by the death of both parents bef (...)

20The inhabitants without parents in the database, among whom populations of foreign origin are overrepresented6, are quite clearly distinguished from those with parents in Brussels, due to a higher tendency to migrate to distant dense urban areas (Figure 6). Often hastily assimilated to the working classes on the basis of their origins, the outgoing middle classes associated with immigration thus seem to have a specific migratory behaviour, and more often than the others, they choose destinations which are more urban or remote. Paradoxically, this leads them to settle in areas which are not as well connected to the Region and its labour market (Figure 7b), for example in the former Walloon industrial belt or in small Flemish towns. Given the relative similarity of the environments of departure and arrival, one can assume that the main reason for departure in this fraction of the middle classes is the cost of housing and not the search for a greener environment.

2.2. Insights into residential motivations through interviews

21The interviews we conducted shed light on and document the motivations behind the residential behaviours described above, beyond the sole question of the cost of housing in Brussels, which remains a central motivation within all of the categories of the population studied. On the one hand, they allow us to understand that the greater number of early departures among (relatively) well-off families is linked to the importance of experiences while living with parents in shaping their residential expectations. On the other hand, in the middle and upper classes, they suggest that leaving Brussels often corresponds to a desire for a radical change of environment, which is less often the case among the disadvantaged households interviewed.

2.2.1. The significance of references acquired while living with parents

22As Grafmeyer [2010: 35] points out, on the one hand, the residential decisions of households depend on “resources and objective constraints of all kinds which define the scope of what is possible for them; on the other hand, they depend on the social mechanisms which have shaped their expectations, judgments, attitudes and habits, and consequently, what they consider desirable.” The interviews shed light, first of all, on the new decisions which arise within the middle and upper classes at the start of parenthood, in connection with changing needs in terms of domestic space and relationship with the local environment [Feijten et al., 2008; Thomas, 2013]. For the individuals concerned, leaving Brussels at this point in life often represents a way to access residential conditions similar to those of their childhood when they lived outside the Region or within it, which are felt to be better for the development of their children than the conditions they have economic access to in BCR.

“My parents are both from farming backgrounds, so I played in the fields during the holidays, helped with the harvesting and had a huge amount of freedom, and so to me, this place [new house] is not the true countryside – there are fields not far away, we can go for walks, we have a garden and it's still quiet, apart from the planes. There is not the peace and quiet that my grandparents or my parents had. But it's a good compromise [...]” (Sophie, 38, project manager in vocational training, Sterrebeek).

“For me it was all about having space. [...] And it's true that throughout my life, when I was a child and when I was young, I always had the opportunity to have a lot of personal space – I really had a floor all to myself as a teenager – so I kind of aimed to have the same sort of space. For my little girl, for me, for my spouse, not to feel restricted in our living space” (Stéphanie, 41, employee in socio-professional integration, Tubize).

23On the whole, these people are car owners, and many of them continue to work in Brussels, considering the commute to be an acceptable price for a better quality of life in the outskirts. The ability to telework also makes this decision easier.

24As for the people from the suburbs, beyond the simple search for a certain type of housing and residential environment, they often feel an attachment to their native region and its identity. When they relocate there, they justify their choice as a desire to be in a known environment and a social fabric with family and sometimes friends whom they had moved away from, but also to pass on a regional attachment and affection for the places of their childhood or a heritage.

“[...] something I've realised lately is that there is also the aspect of passing something on to one's children. Because for example, we walk past the secondary school which we both went to, we show our child and it has an impact on him and he asks when he will go, or we drive past the Bayard horse and take pleasure in explaining it to him. We have the impression that we know so much about where we live, and that interests them because they know that there is a connection. [...] we can share our history. And there we were, taking out a book at the library on the Bayard horse – he loves this story, this legend. We are passing our heritage on to him. [...] It's not a determining factor, but it's nice. I want him to be anchored in Namur more than in Brussels, where I always felt like an outsider” (Mathilde, 35, employee in research promotion, Wépion).

25The reasons for returning are sometimes more pragmatic. In particular, there is a desire to revive intergenerational solidarity with parents who have stayed in their native region, in order to have a “safety net” for childcare.

“It must be said that the house is next to my in-laws and that we thought that in the long term we would have help with the children. They are at the school in Sterrebeek, so they are not far away. They never go to the crèche – my parents-in-law are there. They pick them up, so we're much more relaxed if we are in traffic jams... I find that in terms of my mental health, I'm very lucky because if my children are ill, I know I can call my in-laws. My parents live in Lillois, which is 20 minutes away, so I know I can count on them” (Sophie, 38, project manager in professional training, Sterrebeek).

2.2.2. A desire for a radical change of setting

26As we have seen, the majority of households from the lower classes move to dense urban areas in Belgium which are similar in nature to their original Brussels environment. On the other hand, the vast majority of those from the upper-middle and upper classes move outside the Region to less dense and greener areas. The interviews show that the latter households associate these areas with a better quality of family life. The changes in lifestyle which begin with the onset of parenthood lead these individuals to revise their criteria regarding the quality of life, based on new “spheres of daily life which are prioritised” [Thomas, 2013]. As they no longer take advantage of what the city has to offer in terms of culture and leisure (bars, restaurants, theatres, etc.), expectations regarding the local environment often change in favour of natural spaces and playgrounds, peace and quiet, safety and an environment which is generally considered “healthier”. The urban environment which they used to value suddenly or gradually becomes less attractive or even inhospitable to them.

“I didn't have the same expectations anymore. Obviously when I was in Saint-Gilles it was fun to go out for drinks and do this and that. I think that when my daughter arrived it obviously changed a lot in terms of what I used to do much more regularly and was less interested in doing later, and so the fact that all of that wasn't available mattered less to me” (Stéphanie, 41, employee in socio-professional integration, Tubize).

“[About his former home in Saint-Gilles:] It was hell! I was working at home and there were 25 to 30 sirens a day above or below in the street. When you take your child to school or to the crèche, there is always a siren screaming in your ears – with your little one who is barely a month old! It's already hard on you, and for a child who is less than a month old... That and the pollution” (Paul, 35, consultant, Wépion).

27On the other hand, for the disadvantaged households interviewed, the move to the suburbs is motivated more by the desire to access housing which is more in line with their needs in terms of living space but is inaccessible with their income in BCR, than by a change in residential environment. Since the housing available in less dense areas is larger and more expensive than that in dense areas, for example in working-class areas (Vilvoorde, Dender valley, industrial Hainaut, etc.), their possibilities for moving are limited to dense urban areas outside BCR. New locations may also be linked to a specific opportunity, such as social housing or access to a special school. However, as Sarah De Laet [2018] has shown, these economic and housing benefits of peri-urbanisation are sometimes accompanied by significant day-to-day challenges such as distance from work and loss of support and social networks.

28The interviews also suggest a greater attachment among these individuals from the lower classes to the urban environment, its lively atmosphere and amenities such as public transport and recreation facilities. The fairs, the Atomium, the Grand Piétonnier and the Grand-Place were mentioned regularly, especially by single mothers, as factors influencing the attractiveness of BCR.

“Despite my partner's income, we could not have afforded to rent a house with at least 4 bedrooms in the private sector! And for social housing in Brussels, we were told that it would be a ten-year wait. [...] But as much as I like the peace and quiet – it's something I didn't know – I will always miss the city: going out, the trams... It's hard to explain. I think it's the constant liveliness in the city and the shops... Even if my partner has a car, he works a lot and I'm all alone here! There is a bus, but not often, so... I don't drive yet, I'm learning and I'm trying to be independent” (Marie, 32, unemployed, Ghlin).

“I liked Brussels, the Heyvaert neighbourhood, because that's where I arrived from Africa. I didn't want to change, but the house was small, with one bedroom and a living room, and I had two children. [...] Afterwards I looked for work and I couldn't find it, and as my brother lives here and I spoke Dutch a little, he suggested that I work there [in a factory in the region]” (Josiane, 44, worker, Mol).

29In conclusion, the interviews confirm, on the one hand, the early desire for a different living environment among middle- and upper-class households leaving BCR. The price of property in Brussels often plays a role in “discovering” this wish at a time when the growth of the household leads to new criteria regarding residence and quality of life. On the other hand, they reveal the existence of outgoing households – often with lower incomes – which have clearly more urban attachments.

3. The relevance and effectiveness of the tools designed to keep the middle classes in the Region need to be verified, in particular access to property

30Several measures have been placed at the heart of the regional policy on keeping the middle classes in the city, such as facilitating access to property or developing a residential offer which meets the demands of households tempted by the green outskirts from the point of view of their environment, among other things. There are many questions about the relevance and effectiveness of these measures.

3.1. Greener environments are not enough to keep people from leaving

Figure 8a. Internal migration rates from Brussels-Capital, according to parents' place of residence and type of residential environment in Brussels

Figure 8a. Internal migration rates from Brussels-Capital, according to parents' place of residence and type of residential environment in Brussels

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

Figure 8b. Internal migration rates from Brussels-Capital, according to socioeconomic level and parents' place of residence

Figure 8b. Internal migration rates from Brussels-Capital, according to socioeconomic level and parents' place of residence

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

  • 7 For want of anything better, the variable used here is a summary of the assessment obtained from re (...)

31With respect to housing supply, it would be useful to ask these questions by comparing the tendency to leave the Region according to the different characteristics of residential environments (Figures 8). For example, if we characterise the residential environment in terms of green space, the results seem very paradoxical at first sight: leaving aside residents who are unlikely to be retained because they have parents in Belgium who do not live in Brussels, exit rates tend to rise with the quality of green space in the places of residence of origin, for the same socioeconomic level7. This does not mean, of course, that the green spaces in Brussels are repellent. The hypothesis can be made that some of the residents most likely to leave Brussels prefer greener residential environments than the average before leaving the Region. These environments are not able to retain them but are still less distant from their aspirations, and therefore tend to “select” an over-representation of residents who are “waiting” to leave. This mechanism plays a role in the context of residential preferences structured by the characteristics of the parental residence before children move out. At the same socioeconomic level, green residential environments are all the more sought after by young people when they no longer live with their parents if they have lived in these environments before, even if it means leaving Brussels in order to satisfy their wishes. A longitudinal follow-up confirms the selection effect noted above, showing that before their departure, those who eventually leave Brussels also choose greener residential environments on average than those who stay in the Region (Figure 9).

Figure 9. Whether or not children end up migrating outside the Region, according to how green the parents' neighbourhood of residence is (increasing from left to right), how green the neighbourhoods of residence in the Region are after children move out, and socioeconomic level

Figure 9. Whether or not children end up migrating outside the Region, according to how green the parents' neighbourhood of residence is (increasing from left to right), how green the neighbourhoods of residence in the Region are after children move out, and socioeconomic level

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

32Two difficulties must therefore be taken into account in terms of urban planning. Firstly, green residential environments are far from consistently keeping populations within the Region: they are also preferential environments for part of the populations waiting to migrate to the green outskirts. Secondly, an expansion of the housing supply in very green environments cannot be implemented on a large scale in a dense urban area and could lead to the creation of additional demand with the next generation due to the residential preferences which would be formed.

3.2. Facilitating access to home ownership does not guarantee residential rooting

3.2.1. Statistical findings

33Statistically, it is quite clear that the tendency to leave Brussels is much lower among home owners (2 % compared to 3,7 % for tenants). Although at very different levels in terms of departure, this trend is seen in all categories of residents: whether or not they have parents in Brussels, home owners leave the city about half as much as tenants. However, this is not enough to say that home ownership contributes to keeping households in Brussels.

34On the one hand, reverse causality is possible: the purchase of a home can also be interpreted as the consequence of a prior wish to remain in one's home permanently. This is also true for residential movements within BCR: home owners move almost three times less frequently.

Figure 10. Home ownership rates at departure from BCR and at arrival in the outskirts, according to household type cross-referenced with income or age, around 2011

Figure 10. Home ownership rates at departure from BCR and at arrival in the outskirts, according to household type cross-referenced with income or age, around 2011

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

35On the other hand, migration out of Brussels is very far from being consistently linked to access to property. Overall, 46 % of outgoing households own the homes at their destination (Figure 10). In other words, a little more than half of the households remain (or become) tenants when leaving Brussels. This percentage also varies greatly depending on the type of household. Only a minority of single-parent households (24 %) and single people are homeowners (after exit). The proportion is highest among couples with children (59 %), but with very strong variations according to socioeconomic level: only 37 % for the three lowest deciles, compared to 90 % for the three highest; and 69 % for the middle classes (deciles 4 to 7).

36Moreover, the vast majority of households which own a home in the suburban area were already home owners: for example, 90 % of well-off households with children own their new home, and 70 % of them already owned their home in Brussels. All households combined, the proportion of former tenants who become home owners when they leave the city is 20 %, while the other 80 % remain owners or tenants. In view of these data, it is doubtful that home ownership is a driving force behind peri-urbanisation, as is often assumed.

37Finally, it should be noted that approximately one third of housing in Brussels is owned by people who live outside the Region. This suggests that some of the households which were home owners before they left become landlords after they leave Brussels. As only a small part of the consumer demand of these households benefits the Brussels economy, a significant proportion of property income undoubtedly escapes the regional economy through this mechanism.

3.2.2. Subtleties and insights from the interviews

38The interviews shed light on the major statistical findings presented above, and also provide us with some subtleties. They show first of all that for many households – but not all – access to property is a deep-seated aspiration, in particular in order to be able to purchase a home independently, and to have material and psychological security or something to pass on. Peri-urbanisation often makes it possible to satisfy this wish, given the lower costs of property. They also suggest that most of the time, staying in the rental sector is not a choice, but the result of difficulties – first of all financial – in realising the wish to become a home owner, even in the outskirts. This aspiration is precisely what drives home ownership policies, but it says nothing about the effectiveness of these measures in keeping populations in the city, as we have shown through the systematic review of data in the previous section. However, the interviews also revealed that some people have not internalised this home ownership ideal, in particular because they were not exposed to it in their youth, as their parents were always tenants themselves. They describe being a home owner as a source of stress and constraints linked to the “pressure of a bank loan”, the “anxiety of being in debt in the long term”, the possible discovery of “hidden defects” or the concessions which would have to be made, for example with respect to holidays. Still others make the deliberate choice to rent, often temporarily, seeing it as the most appropriate residential option for a recent reconfiguration of their household (couple separating, family reconstitution, etc.).

39Moreover, many of the home owner couples interviewed – with or without children – have a “small steps” residential strategy as highlighted by Chauvel [2006]. For them, this strategy consists in buying a first home (often a flat) in Brussels soon after the household is formed, largely thanks to financial contributions from their families, and then a second or even a third larger home in the outskirts when the household grows and their economic means increase. Some even anticipate leaving Brussels as of the first purchase. This strategy may explain the relatively large proportion of outgoing households which were already home owners before migrating out of BCR, as seen above (and at the same time, the relatively small proportion of those who become home owners) (Figure 10). This also makes it possible to understand why green environments can have high rates of exit to the outskirts: they are probably often chosen by individuals who are part of this progressive exit strategy towards greener and quieter environments as of their first purchase.

40For less well-off individuals, on the other hand, the purchase of a first home in the outskirts is more in keeping with an individual strategy of security through housing in a more uncertain economic context, for example to ensure a decent “pension” in the face of a fading social security system. It can also be the result of a desire for social differentiation, by making it possible to distance themselves geographically and symbolically from the working classes in their neighbourhoods of origin.

41Finally, the interviews suggest that staying in the rental sector may be the result of unfulfilled expectations, and that access to home ownership is far from being the only driver of outward migration. Many households leave the city for other reasons. It therefore does not seem fitting to make home ownership the main instrument of residential appeal in BCR.

B. Rethinking the city as a place of transition

42In response to these findings, we propose a change of focus in regional residential appeal policies. Based on the rigorous data analyses presented above, this section focuses on favouring a policy which addresses the unmet needs of categories of households which are potentially drawn to the city, rather than reinforcing the appeal for certain “desirable” categories which have little desire to stay in the city. It is based on two complementary ideas: on the one hand, viewing the central city as a place of residential transitions linked to biographical episodes and, on the other hand, taking into consideration these households in biographical transition, which are looking for an urban environment without necessarily being able to access it.

Figure 11a. Brussels and national net migrations at equal levels of appeal for the neighbourhoods (according to observations of the entire region) for single-parent households

Figure 11a. Brussels and national net migrations at equal levels of appeal for the neighbourhoods (according to observations of the entire region) for single-parent households

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

Figure 11b. Brussels and national net migrations at equal levels of appeal for the neighbourhoods (according to observations of the entire region) for elderly people

Figure 11b. Brussels and national net migrations at equal levels of appeal for the neighbourhoods (according to observations of the entire region) for elderly people

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

43Firstly, the failure of residential establishment policies for middle-class couples with children is due to structural obstacles which appear to be difficult to overcome, except perhaps for certain Brussels households whose residential expectations are not yet influenced by suburban models. These policies are also part of a static conception of the city, which does not take into account the urban residential needs related to certain temporary biographical phases (separation, independence, etc.). However, these temporary episodes play a very important role in the flows to and from urban centres, especially for individuals who did not grow up in Brussels. The intensity of these flows is such that at all ages before 50, the average length of stay in Brussels is less than half of the remaining life expectancy of residents (and less than a third before age 30) (Figure 11). Policies could address these cross-flows better by recognising their transient nature, and by meeting the corresponding residential needs better. This involves having to identify them.

Table. Net migration according to household continuities or changes

Type of household before and after migration

RBC exits

RBC entries

Net migration between BCR and the rest of the country

Total number of people Brussels

Exit rate (%)

Entry rate (%)

Net migration rate (%)

Negative net migration

Integration into a larger household

Single person forming a couple

2219

830

-1389

14949

14,8

5,6

-9,3

Members of a single-parent household who start living as a couple with children

1373

384

-989

9671

14,2

4,0

-10,2

Single person entering a non-collective household, without being a parent, spouse or child

833

346

-487

7735

10,8

4,5

-6,3

Neither child nor parent nor spouse becoming a spouse in a couple with children

227

137

-90

1187

19,1

11,5

-7,6

Other than a child (once again) becoming a child with his/her parents

1604

685

-919

5041

31,8

13,6

-18,2

Neither child nor parent entering a collective household (residential homes)

415

269

-146

1756

23,6

15,3

-8,3

Stable household

Couple with child(ren)

11223

2399

-8824

445232

2,5

0,5

-2,0

Couple without children before migration

3580

1130

-2450

153466

2,3

0,7

-1,6

Single-parent household

2736

1734

-1002

141571

1,9

1,2

-0,7

Single person

2565

1885

-680

205741

1,2

0,9

-0,3

Neither child nor parent in a non-collective household

633

428

-205

36311

1,7

1,2

-0,6

Other: with negative net migration

512

286

-226

5989

8,5

4,8

-3,8

Positive net migration

Children moving out

Child becoming a single person

518

2544

2026

4771

10,9

53,3

42,5

Child becoming a spouse without children

740

1884

1144

3341

22,1

56,4

34,2

Child entering a non-collective household, without being a spouse, parent or child

526

896

370

2573

20,4

34,8

14,4

Household in dissolution

Parent with child(ren) becoming a single person (with child(ren) living with the other parent)

217

539

322

2290

9,5

23,5

14,1

Neither child nor parent nor spouse, in a non-collective household, becoming a single person

535

1032

497

9014

5,9

11,4

5,5

Member of a household with parents and child(ren), which becomes a single-parent household

731

841

110

12140

6,0

6,9

0,9

Separated spouse from a couple without children

728

762

34

9276

7,8

8,2

0,4

Neither child nor parent nor spouse, in a non-collective household, becoming a member of a childless couple

274

349

75

2033

13,5

17,2

3,7

Other: with positive net migration

176

343

167

8366

2,1

4,1

2,0

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

44As expected, the analysis of migratory movements in Brussels according to life stages shows positive net migration when children leave home or after household dissolution (table), both of which are associated with a decrease in needs in terms of housing size and an increase in dependency on amenities outside the family sphere (services and equipment, places for socialising, etc.). Symmetrically, the net migration is largely negative during the stages of integration into a new household being formed, the return of children to the parental home (after separation, for example) or for entry into a residential home. It is also negative to a lesser extent for stable couples with or without children, and even (though even less) for stable households in general. In short, residential movements appear to be strongly structured by biographical episodes.

45Secondly, a more careful analysis suggests that Brussels does not meet the needs of households whose residential expectations are compatible in principle with the regional urban environment. Our quantitative and qualitative analyses allow us to put forward some typical profiles of individuals showing affinities towards the urban environment which do not appear to be taken into consideration sufficiently by regional policies.

46For example, both the elderly and single-parent households are likely to be dependent on facilities and services which are more readily available in the city. Moreover, whether it is due to an adjustment to their needs or a lack of financial means, their residential demand favours relatively small dwellings such as flats, frequently in the rental sector. Even among households in these groups which leave Brussels, the size of the new dwelling differs very little from that of the previous dwelling. With regard to single-parent households in particular, the interviews showed a certain appreciation of the city centre, especially for those with low incomes. The people interviewed underline the resources – sometimes indispensable – which the city offers with respect to daily activities, such as the proximity of shops, schools, places of leisure and living spaces in general, access to public transport which favours the independence of all family members, and the possibility of being part of a social and local support network.

Figure 12. Length of stay in Brussels of Brussels residents, in years and as a percentage of their remaining life expectancy (according to 2001-2015 trend tables)

Figure 12. Length of stay in Brussels of Brussels residents, in years and as a percentage of their remaining life expectancy (according to 2001-2015 trend tables)

Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)

47However, by selecting the most appealing characteristics for these two categories of households in Belgium with respect to the local net migration (Appendix  3), and then typifying the neighbourhoods on this basis, it appears that for a comparable level of theoretical appeal, the Region shows a much lower net migration than expected (Figure 12). Yet the Region's lack of appeal towards these urban households does not seem to be a priority concern to date. Should we therefore not consider reorienting urban policies to meet this type of latent demand as a priority, as it takes up little space and is well adapted to the amenities of the city, rather than continuing to focus our efforts on households which are much more difficult to satisfy in an urban context and which take up much more space?

48Other categories of households could be the object of special attention, as their residential behaviour does not indicate a desire for a suburban type of environment. First of all, let us mention certain highly educated and cultivated fractions of the middle classes whose well-known fondness for the liveliness of the city centre [Bidou, 1984; Butler, 2003; Bacqué et al., 2015] was confirmed by the interviews, and thus the differentiation in relation to those who choose the suburbs. But there are also middle categories which are taken into account less by regional policies, in particular upwardly mobile categories with no biographical ties outside BCR.

Conclusion: towards a paradigm shift?

49Regional residential establishment policies have not been successful in recent decades. They have focused on access to home ownership for the middle classes and in particular for households with children. The fiscal motivation behind this policy direction has largely lost its relevance, given the evolving sources of funding for BCR. It therefore seems necessary to us to reorientate regional appeal policies, which could be guided by three principles.

50First principle: the city – and in particular Brussels within its institutional limits – appears to be a place of residential transition for a large part of its resident population. This reality should be fully accepted, with corresponding temporary residential needs and expectations taken into consideration more, thus targeting categories which are potentially (and temporarily) drawn to the city.

51This implies – and this is a second principle – that the main focus should no longer be on couples with children, especially those whose socioeconomic profile indicates that they are tempted by the green outskirts. At the same time, we suggest meeting the residential needs and expectations of other categories of people who value dense urban environments, including those in the middle classes who are excluded from the housing market.

52Finally, a third principle is to emphasise residential situations other than individual home ownership. In particular, more attention should be paid to the rental sector in order to meet the wide variety of temporary residential needs. Cohousing also deserves to be supported where there is a demand by specific populations. These are the elderly and single-parent families, who see in it the possibility of having a larger living space and of being included in a local social network, as well as the highly educated and well-off households for whom it represents a means to achieve a better way of life in Brussels [Lenel, Demonty and Schaut, 2020].

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Bibliographie

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Annexe

Appendix 1. Socio-demographic and economic characteristics of the people interviewed

The 99 people interviewed are mostly French-speaking and are between the ages of 25 and 73. 76 of them were BCR residents at the time of the interview and 23 were not. They can be divided into five household profiles:

  • Young independent people (between 25 and 35 years old), with low, middle and high incomes (19)

  • Families with higher education degrees and school-age children, with middle and high incomes (30)

  • Single-parent families with low and middle incomes (17)

  • Disadvantaged immigrant families in a promotional residential trajectory (17)

  • Members of the international elite, usually couples with children (16)

Appendix 2. Middle classes and estimates of socioeconomic level

Documenting the residential behaviour of the middle classes obviously requires an operational definition of the middle classes.

This is hardly self-evident. The term is in fact very often used without much of a definition, and remains rather vague even in regional policy texts. This flexibility is advantageous when it allows the concept to be used according to the message being conveyed. However, it poses real difficulties when it comes to discussing results obtained on the basis of common criteria, which requires a minimum of clarity regarding the choices made.

The socioeconomic classification used in this article (mostly in the form of deciles) was established on the basis of the following principles:

  1. An individual socioeconomic index was first calculated for all individuals who had completed their studies, summarising the following three dimensions through a linear combination resulting from a summary analysis (PCA): an income dimension (based on individual taxable income); an education dimension (based on the level of education); and a wealth dimension (for want of anything better, reduced to occupying or having occupied their home as owners – based on the 2001 and 2011 censuses – with the number of rooms taken into account).

  2. For individuals for whom this index could not be calculated (in particular for those who had not yet completed their studies), a replacement index was assigned whenever possible on the basis of the parents' indices (including when they were no longer part of the same household).

  3. Both income and access to home ownership vary according to social class, but also according to age. Similarly, the socioeconomic significance of a given level of education varies greatly according to generation (an upper secondary degree, for example, reflects a very different social level depending on whether it was obtained in recent years or 60 years ago, when far fewer students achieved that level of education). In order to approximate a classification which reflects a person's belonging to a social group rather than his or her situation within the life cycle, individuals were classified into 10 deciles within their own generation, on the basis of their socioeconomic index. Each cohort was therefore divided into 10 groups of equal size (except for the older generations, where the numbers in the lower deciles become relatively smaller due to higher mortality).

The middle classes will be defined here as the populations belonging to the four deciles of intermediate socioeconomic level, i.e. deciles 4 and 5 (lower middle classes) and deciles 6 and 7 (upper middle classes).

Even if it has a sociological basis (in particular by taking into account a dimension of cultural capital – level of education – and another of economic capital – income and, to a very limited extent, assets), this is obviously an extremely crude definition. It is defensible only from a purely operational perspective, with a view to statistical processing.

Appendix 3. Determining the appeal of neighbourhoods for single-parent households and people aged 60-80

For people aged 60-80, the following characteristics were selected (based on observed migratory movements to and from the neighbourhoods): the proportion of flats, the proportion of rental housing, the quality of services (health, professions, culture), the condition of pavements, and the distance (on foot or by public transport) to shops and to specific facilities (libraries, swimming pools) considered as markers.

The relationship between each of these variables and the net migration was then modelled, and a summarised appeal variable was derived for each neighbourhood by PCA on the basis of the theoretical net migrations expected as a function of the various characteristics. Finally, the neighbourhoods were classified into percentiles and deciles according to their appeal.

The same approach was taken for single-parent households, but using an adapted set of variables (crèche facilities rather than health services, etc.), and processing recognised single parents and assumed single parents separately (single person, parent of a child living in a single-parent household).

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Notes

1 “Déclaration de politique générale commune au gouvernement de la RBC et au collège réuni de la Commission communautaire commune. Législature 2019-2024”, 2019

2 For a review of the neighbourhood effect and thus the potentially positive effects of social mix, see for example Marissal, Van Hamme [2017]; Slater [2013]; Musterd, Anderson [2006]. For a review of policies to attract the vital forces, see for example Vivant [2006].

3 The Résibru research project (2016-2020), funded by Innoviris as part of the Anticipate programme, was conducted for four years in partnership by IGEAT (Université libre de Bruxelles) and CESIR (Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles). The comprehensive interviews and their analysis were conducted with the help of Cynthia Dal and François Demonty. We would like to thank them.

4 The data come from Statbel and include the residential trajectories of residents in Belgium as well as a number of social characteristics.

5 Standardized exit rates (without the age structure) are already higher than average five years before the birth of the first child.

6 The absence of parents referenced in the database can be explained by the death of both parents before the observation period (2001-2015), but it is often related to the fact that the parents do not reside in the country during this period (this is obviously the case of parents who remained abroad), or that there is no administrative trace of the relationship. The absence or presence of referenced parents can obviously only be indicative on average. In addition to the issue of deaths, parents residing in Brussels may have been (and often were) born abroad.

7 For want of anything better, the variable used here is a summary of the assessment obtained from residents in 2001 regarding the more or less satisfactory nature of the green spaces near their homes. The results are quite comparable if we consider the presence or absence of gardens instead of facilities in green spaces.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Evolution of the proportion of PIT in the total Brussels regional revenue from 1995 to 2019
Crédits Sources: General presentations of the revenue and expenditure budgets of the Brussels-Capital Region for budget years 1995-2019
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 115k
Titre Figure 2. Evolution of the internal net migration of the Brussels-Capital Region, 1966-2019
Crédits Source: INS
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 23k
Titre Figure 3. Internal migration from the Brussels-Capital Region
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 203k
Titre Figure 4a. Pace of internal outflows from the Brussels-Capital Region, according to year with respect to the year of birth of the first child in the household
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 116k
Titre Figure 4b. Proportion of households which left the Brussels-Capital Region when their first child reached 18 years of age, taking the year of birth or 5 years before as the reference year
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 187k
Titre Figure 5a. Internal exit rate from the Brussels-Capital Region, according to socioeconomic level and parents' place of residence
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 130k
Titre Figure 5b. Division of the territory used for the destinations of outward residential migration outside the Brussels-Capital Region
Crédits Source: own calculations based on data from the main public transport operators (TEC, STIB, De Lijn, SNCB)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 480k
Titre Figure 6. Tendency to migrate to the low-density outskirts or to dense areas outside the outskirts, from the Brussels-Capital Region, according to socioeconomic level and parents' place of residence (2008-2015)
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 80k
Titre Figure 7a. Characteristics of the places of arrival for residential migrations from Brussels-Capital, according to socioeconomic level and parents’ place of residence
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-9.png
Fichier image/png, 93k
Titre Figure 7b. Characteristics of the places of arrival for residential migrations from Brussels-Capital, according to socioeconomic level and parents’ place of residence
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-10.png
Fichier image/png, 115k
Titre Figure 8a. Internal migration rates from Brussels-Capital, according to parents' place of residence and type of residential environment in Brussels
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-11.png
Fichier image/png, 33k
Titre Figure 8b. Internal migration rates from Brussels-Capital, according to socioeconomic level and parents' place of residence
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-12.png
Fichier image/png, 34k
Titre Figure 9. Whether or not children end up migrating outside the Region, according to how green the parents' neighbourhood of residence is (increasing from left to right), how green the neighbourhoods of residence in the Region are after children move out, and socioeconomic level
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-13.png
Fichier image/png, 247k
Titre Figure 10. Home ownership rates at departure from BCR and at arrival in the outskirts, according to household type cross-referenced with income or age, around 2011
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-14.png
Fichier image/png, 70k
Titre Figure 11a. Brussels and national net migrations at equal levels of appeal for the neighbourhoods (according to observations of the entire region) for single-parent households
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-15.png
Fichier image/png, 173k
Titre Figure 11b. Brussels and national net migrations at equal levels of appeal for the neighbourhoods (according to observations of the entire region) for elderly people
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-16.png
Fichier image/png, 104k
Titre Figure 12. Length of stay in Brussels of Brussels residents, in years and as a percentage of their remaining life expectancy (according to 2001-2015 trend tables)
Crédits Source: Own calculation based on STATBEL data (DGSEI)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/docannexe/image/6223/img-17.png
Fichier image/png, 67k
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Hannah Berns, Emmanuelle Lenel, Christine Schaut et Gilles Van Hamme, « Towards a paradigm shift in the residential appeal policy of the Brussels-Capital Region  »Brussels Studies [En ligne], Collection générale, n° 172, mis en ligne le 09 octobre 2022, consulté le 03 décembre 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/brussels/6223 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/brussels.6223

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Auteurs

Hannah Berns

Hannah Berns is an assistant and doctoral student in geography at Université libre de Bruxelles. She is currently working on a doctoral thesis on the processes of popular production of space in Charleroi.
Hannah.Berns[at]ulb.be

Emmanuelle Lenel

Emmanuelle Lenel is a professor of sociology at Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles. She conducts research at Casper and Cesir, mainly on the transformations of housing and public spaces in Brussels and their effects on the surrounding neighbourhoods. In 2021, she published Une architecture communautaire contemporaine : idéologie, spatialité et appropriations du modèle du cohabitat in SociologieS. She is also interested in “enabling” environments in the areas of mental health and education.
emmanuelle.lenel[at]usaintlouis.be

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Christine Schaut

Christine Schaut is a professor at the Faculté d’Architecture la Cambre-Horta at ULB and a member of the Sasha research centre. Her main research interests are the study of how contemporary urban public action references are put to the test by territories and their users, architectural professions from a gender perspective, the (new) value put on their practices and the processes of attachment to collective architecture and its material equipment.
Christine.schaut[at]ulb.be

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Gilles Van Hamme

Gilles Van Hamme is a professor of economic geography at Université libre de Bruxelles. His work focuses on the economic and social dynamics of the Brussels area.
gilles.van.hamme[at]ulb.be

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