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Urban Audit - Perceptions of City Life in the United Kingdom and Europe, 2012

Released: 23 July 2014 Download PDF

Foreword

Urban Audit is a European Commission sponsored project to provide comparable data on urban areas. The 2012 Perception Survey, complementary to the quantitative data, interviewed people in 79 cities (of which 6 are in the UK), asking what they think about many issues, including their city’s built environment, cultural facilities, pollution, and safety. This article looks at data for cities to assess how typical or otherwise perceptions in UK cities are compared with other European cities.

Summary

The survey asked people which three issues were most important for their city. Health services, education and training, and unemployment were noted as the most important issues by the highest proportion of people in the UK, who generally rated these higher than other European respondents.

The UK had low percentages of people who thought that air pollution was an important issue for their city, markedly lower than other European cities. The same was true of noise.

The survey asked about satisfaction with municipal services. UK respondents were typically more satisfied with health services than those in other European cities. Satisfaction ranged from 77% to 91% across UK cities compared with a European median of 75%.

UK respondents’ satisfaction with the state of the streets and buildings was lower than with other facets of UK cities. Cleanliness was also an aspect with which UK respondents were less satisfied, although not unusually so, compared with other European cities.

The aspect of UK city life with which the highest proportions of people expressed satisfaction was the availability of retail shops, and this was true for other European cities as well. Satisfaction with the noise level was also high in the UK, both in absolute and relative terms.

The survey also asked about people’s attitudes to aspects of city life. Although more than 60% of UK respondents believed foreigners to be good for their city, this was mid to low ranking compared with Europe overall. Similar proportions of UK respondents agreed that foreigners who lived in their cities were well integrated, but on this occasion the results were high compared with the rest of Europe where there was typically lower agreement that foreigners were well integrated.

The proportions of people who agreed that it was easy to find a job in the UK in 2012 were between 19% and 34%, although this was not unusually low compared with other European cities; however, more than half of respondents in all UK cities said they were satisfied with their own personal job situation.

Most people surveyed in the UK expressed satisfaction with the financial situation of their household in 2012. All UK cities were above the European median.

All UK cities were above the European median in agreeing that their city was committed to fight against climate change, with measures such as energy efficiency and green transport.

Introduction

Urban Audit is a European Commission funded project whose aim is to measure and improve city life by understanding our urban environments and sharing experiences1. Comparable data on a variety of themes are collected by individual nations and supplied to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), for publication.

In parallel, Eurostat run a perception survey every three years to complement the quantitative data collected by Urban Audit. This aims to measure quality of life in major European cities by asking people what they think about issues such as their city’s built environment, cultural facilities, pollution and safety. 

The 2012 perception survey interviewed around 41,000 people in 79 cities chosen by Eurostat. The UK cities featured were Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, Manchester, and Newcastle upon Tyne. The surrounding area of Manchester (Greater Manchester) was also included, as were the surrounding areas of Athens, Lisbon and Paris. The survey included the capital cities of all countries covered, apart from Switzerland.This report looks at data for cities to assess how typical or otherwise perceptions in UK cities are compared with other European cities. It includes comment and charts over three themes: what is important to UK city dwellers, how satisfied they are with various municipal services like sports centres, shops and public transport, as well as UK respondents' attitudes to various aspects of city life such as the presence of foreigners2  and the availability of good housing at a reasonable price. These are placed in a European ranking, with contextual information such as whether the size of city, or geographic situation appear linked to a particular aspect of its residents’ lives.

Comparisons are based on responses to individual questions in this survey and do not imply that the cities are comparable in other respects. Sometimes these comparisons are between the UK cities and sometimes within a European context. It must be noted that the findings may differ from other surveys, particularly given the sample size - around 500 people per city. The sampling error is estimated by Eurostat to be no more than +/- 4.5 percentage points from the true population with a 95% confidence interval. Similarly, in order to gain comparable results across national borders, with different languages and cultural references, the questions may be less complex than those in other surveys. Nonetheless, this survey is a unique resource in covering such a large geographic area and, subject to some caveats, can be a useful insight into some aspects of perceptions of city life.

Names of cities are shown in their local form except when there is a well known English version. Definitions of capital cities and geographical groupings are taken from Eurostat. The median3 is used in this report as a typical value against which to measure specific cities.

For more information on the perception survey, including methodology and a list of the questions and cities covered in the survey, please see Annex A.

Eurostat classifies towns and cities by size and this is detailed in table 1.

Table 1: Classifications of towns and cities by size

Eurostat label Name in this report Size
Small 50,000 – 100,000 inhabitants 
Medium 100,000 – 250,000 inhabitants 
Large 250,000 – 500,000 inhabitants 
XL  Very large 500,000 – 1,000,000 inhabitants 
XXL  1m – 5m 1,000,000 – 5,000,000 inhabitants 
Global  Global More than 5,000,000 inhabitants 

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Most cities in the survey are the ‘core city’ as defined by Urban Audit. This coincides with the administrative boundaries of a municipality.

Manchester, Lisbon, Athens and Paris also have responses from the wider surrounding area known in Urban Audit and this report as the ‘greater city’.

Please refer to the full Urban Audit database

 

Notes for Introduction

1 For more information see the ONS Urban Audit User Guide
2The definition of ‘foreign’ is according to the perception of the respondent
3The median is the middle value of a series of values when listed in size order. If the number of items is even the median is taken to be halfway between the middle pair of values. In this report it indicates the typical European response to the perception survey questions

 

Issues which were most important to city residents

The Urban Audit perception survey identified 10 issues that are of particular interest to city dwellers and form the basis of much European urban research and policy. Respondents were asked to choose up to three of these which they thought most important for their own city. Figure 1 shows the four issues which were most quoted in the UK and the percentage of respondents who placed them in their top three1.

Figure 1: Most quoted important issues

UK cities, 2012

Figure 1: Most quoted important issues
Source: Eurostat

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Health services, education and training, and unemployment were noted as among the most important issues by the highest proportion of people in most UK cities, and were generally rated important more often in the UK than by other European respondents. In London more people put housing rather than unemployment in their top three, but the proportion of responses was very close at 38% and 36% respectively. Health services were quoted as a priority by at least half of respondents in all UK cities. Belfast, at 61%, had the highest proportion of people who quoted health services, placing them as the only UK city in the top fifth of European cities on this issue.

Education and training were among the most important issues for all UK cities, with a narrow range of responses, from 47% of respondents quoting it in Newcastle upon Tyne, to 54% in London and Glasgow. Unemployment was stated as among the top three issues by at least a third of people in all UK cities, rising to nearly half of people in Belfast, Newcastle upon Tyne and Glasgow.

UK opinion showed some variation against European attitudes on what was considered to be important. The UK had low percentages of people who thought that air pollution was one of the three most important issues for their city. Newcastle upon Tyne at 5% was, in fact, the lowest in Europe, with the next closest city being Bialystok, Poland at 7%.

All UK cities except Manchester, at 15%, were among the fifth of European cities where the fewest respondents believed air pollution to be a top issue for their city, with most UK cities being well below the European median of 18%. Concern on this issue was considerably more marked on the continent, with 24 cities having a least a quarter of their residents stating it was one of the three most important issues for their city. Figure 2 shows which issues were perceived most differently in the UK compared with European cities.

Figure 2: Widest percentage point differences in the perceived importance of issues

UK cities and European median, 2012

Figure 2: Widest percentage point differences in the perceived importance of issues
Source: Eurostat

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Noise was also of small concern in UK cities, ranging between 5 and 7% of respondents saying they felt it was an important issue in their city. This placed all UK cities low in the European rankings for placing noise among their top three issues.

When considered against the rest of Europe there were some notable responses in the UK. All UK cities were towards the top ranking of European cities for considering education and training to be an important issue alongside cities including Reykjavik, Iceland and Zurich, Switzerland. London appeared in the top fifth of European cities for considering housing to be of high importance, along with other very large cities including Munich, Germany and Paris, France.

Safety was quoted as being an important issue by at least a quarter of people in all UK cities. However, the figures were mid to low ranking compared with Europe as a whole. Of the UK cities in the survey, London had the highest percentage of respondents who placed safety among their top three issues for the city, but at 31% it was not unusual compared with a European median of 29%. Belfast, Cardiff and Glasgow were among the fifth of European cities with the fewest people expressing safety as a top concern.

Road infrastructure was also of relatively low importance in London and Belfast, compared with Europe, with around a 10th of people putting it as one of their top concerns for the city.

Table 2 shows the data for all UK cities.

Table 2: Most quoted important issues, percentage of respondents who quoted each option in their top 3

UK cities, 2012

  London Glasgow Manchester Greater Manchester Cardiff Belfast Newcastle upon Tyne European median
Health services (%) 54 50 50 57 54 61 53 44
Education and training (%) 54 54 52 51 52 50 47 40
Unemployment (%) 36 48 44 38 37 47 47 40
Housing (%) 38 31 26 24 27 27 29 21
Public transport (%) 32 20 27 27 29 25 29 24
Safety (%) 31 25 28 30 25 24 26 29
Social services (%) 13 18 16 17 19 19 17 18
Road infrastructure (%) 9 17 13 17 22 10 15 19
Air pollution (%) 12 8 15 11 8 8 5 18
Noise (%) 7 5 6 5 5 5 6 8
Don't Know/Non applicable (%) 2 2 2 3 2 2 3 2
 

Table source: Eurostat

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Notes for Issues which were most important to city residents

  1. Options: Safety / Air pollution / Noise / Public transport / Health services / Social services / Education and training / Unemployment / Housing / Road infrastructure / Don’t Know or Non Applicable.

Satisfaction with health and education services

The Urban Audit perception survey asked respondents to express their satisfaction levels with the facilities and features of their city. The figures here are totals of those who said they were very or fairly satisfied. Satisfaction with various aspects of city life varied widely throughout Europe on most questions asked in the survey, particularly air quality and cleanliness. UK cities had a much narrower range of responses to most questions, and were generally towards the middle and top of the European rankings for levels of satisfaction with most individual city features.

Health and education services

Satisfaction levels with health care services, doctors and hospitals were high in the UK. They ranged from 77% in London, a little above the European median of 75%, to 91% in Newcastle upon Tyne, which was in the top fifth of European cities. More than half of respondents in Newcastle upon Tyne said they were very satisfied with health care services in their city. Satisfaction with health services was very varied in Europe, from 27% in Athens, Greece to 95% in Groningen, Netherlands. All European cities in the dataset are shown in figure 3.

Figure 3: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the health services in their city

European cities, 2012

Figure 3: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the health services in their city
Source: Eurostat

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Satisfaction levels with schools and other educational facilities were mid to high ranking in most UK cities compared with Europe. Belfast and Newcastle upon Tyne were in the top fifth of cities surveyed at 84% and 81% respectively. This was an aspect of city services that saw wider differences within the UK. With 63% of London respondents stating that they were satisfied with schools and other educational facilities, the UK capital was lower than the European median of 70%; although other very large European cities had similar satisfaction levels to London.

Figure 4: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the schools and other educational facilities in their city

European cities, 2012

Figure 4: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the schools and other educational facilities in their city
Source: Eurostat

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Satisfaction with physical environment

Streets, buildings and public spaces

Satisfaction with the state of the streets and buildings in UK cities ranged from 64% in Glasgow to 72% in London, Belfast and Cardiff. These values were mid ranking compared with Europe, which saw a wide range of responses from 22% of respondents expressing satisfaction with the state of the streets and buildings in Naples, Italy to 92% in Zurich, Switzerland. Although typical compared within Europe the UK results for satisfaction with the state of the streets and buildings were markedly lower than with other aspects of UK cities. Across all UK cities a relatively high proportion of respondents, at least 10%, said that they were not at all satisfied with the state of the streets and buildings.

Figure 5: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the state of the streets and buildings in their city

European cities, 2012

Figure 5: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the state of the streets and buildings in their city
Source: Eurostat

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Cleanliness was also an aspect with which UK respondents were less satisfied than with other features of their city. The range of responses in the UK was wider on this issue than others, from 53% in Glasgow to 73% in Cardiff. Within Europe there was also a wide range of responses, with satisfaction about cleanliness as low as 11% in Palermo, Italy and as high as 95% in Oviedo, Spain.

Figure 6: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the cleanliness of their city

European cities, 2012

Figure 6: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the cleanliness of their city
Source: Eurostat

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The Urban Audit perception survey asked people whether they were satisfied with public spaces such as markets, squares and pedestrian areas. Respondents in UK cities expressed fairly high satisfaction levels in absolute terms at between 74% in Newcastle upon Tyne and 87% in Cardiff, but were mostly mid to lower ranking in Europe where higher proportions of people replied that they were satisfied with their city’s public spaces and the typical response was 79%.

Figure 7: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s public spaces such as markets, squares and pedestrian areas

European cities, 2012

Figure 7: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s public spaces such as markets, squares and pedestrian areas
Source: Eurostat

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Satisfaction with green spaces such as parks and gardens was also surveyed, and Cardiff was in the top fifth of European cities at 89%, comparable with Rennes, France. All UK cities had satisfaction levels of 80% or more on this aspect of city life, mid to high ranking compared with a European median of 81%. More than half of respondents in Cardiff and London said that they were very satisfied with the green spaces in their city.

Figure 8: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s green spaces such as parks and gardens

European cities, 2012

Figure 8: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s green spaces such as parks and gardens
Source: Eurostat

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Pollution

Satisfaction with air quality in the UK was mid to high compared with European cities, but results varied widely within the UK, as they did in Europe. Although London was lower than other UK cities, with 64% satisfaction level with air quality, it was near the typical European response of 62%, which is notable because capital cities were generally lower in the European rankings; among the 20% least satisfied cities, nine were EU capitals. However, 10% of London respondents said they were not at all satisfied with air quality, among the highest dissatisfaction levels of any aspect of their city life. Paris, France, recorded 33% satisfaction with its air quality, much lower than London; and twice as many, 20% of Parisian respondents, were very unsatisfied with their city’s air quality. In the UK Newcastle upon Tyne had the highest proportion of respondents who were satisfied with the air quality, 90%, making it the second highest in Europe, after Rostock in Germany.

It is important to note that the perception and reality of air quality can differ widely. Eurostat also publish quantitative data on actual air quality. More information is available in another report in this series: Urban Audit - Comparing United Kingdom and European towns and cities, 2011.

 

Figure 9: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the quality of the air in their city

European cities, 2012

Figure 9: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the quality of the air in their city
Source: Eurostat

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As noted earlier, noise was not generally ranked among the three most important issues by UK respondents in the perception survey and this possibly reflects the fact that satisfaction with the noise level was high in the UK, both in absolute and relative terms. A fifth of European cities had satisfaction levels below 50%. Although London had the lowest UK satisfaction level with noise, at 73% this was above the European median of 67%, and ranked alongside other much smaller capital cities including Copenhagen, Denmark and Ljubljana, Slovenia. All other UK cities were in the top fifth of European cities for satisfaction with noise levels. At 88%, Newcastle upon Tyne had the highest proportion of respondents in Europe who were satisfied with the noise levels in their city.

Figure 10: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the noise level in their city

European cities, 2012

Figure 10: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the noise level in their city
Source: Eurostat

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Satisfaction with transport and sports, cultural and retail facilities

Public transport

At least 70% of all UK respondents stated that they were satisfied with public transport in their city and UK cities were mid to high ranking compared with Europe, where around a quarter of cities had satisfaction levels of 80% or higher. London was in the top fifth of European cities for satisfaction with its public transport, with 84% of respondents expressing satisfaction, similar to Oslo, Norway and Munich, Germany. Half of London respondents said they were very satisfied with the city’s public transport.

Figure 11: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the public transport of their city

European cities, 2012

Figure 11: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the public transport of their city
Source: Eurostat

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Sports, cultural and retail facilities

Satisfaction with sports facilities such as sport fields and indoor sport halls was fairly high in the UK. Cardiff, at 78%, was in the top fifth of European cities. The lowest satisfaction with sports facilities in the UK was notably lower in London at 64%. This was much closer to the median European response of 66% and similar to very large cities such as Berlin, Germany and Barcelona, Spain.

Figure 12: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s sports facilities such as sport fields and indoor sport halls

European cities, 2012

Figure 12: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s sports facilities such as sport fields and indoor sport halls
Source: Eurostat

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Cultural facilities like concert halls, theatres, museums and libraries had high satisfaction ratings, both within the UK and Europe. All UK cities had ratings over 70%. The European median was 82%, and only one city, Valletta, Malta, had fewer than 50% of respondents who were satisfied with their cultural facilities. Cardiff was in the top fifth of European cities for satisfaction with cultural facilities.

Figure 13: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s cultural facilities like concert halls, theatres, museums and libraries

European cities, 2012

Figure 13: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s cultural facilities like concert halls, theatres, museums and libraries
Source: Eurostat

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The aspect of UK city life with which the highest proportions of people expressed satisfaction was the availability of retail shops. This was true for European cities as well, where the lowest, Lisbon (greater city), Portugal and Madrid, Spain still had around two thirds of respondents expressing satisfaction with their shopping facilities. The European median was 85%, and there was a much smaller range of responses for this question than others in the perception survey.
Newcastle upon Tyne was in the bottom fifth of European cities for satisfaction with shopping. However, with 80% of Newcastle upon Tyne respondents expressing satisfaction with this aspect of their city, this is still a high proportion in absolute terms. Cardiff was the UK city with the highest percentage of respondents who were satisfied with the availability of retail shops, 93%.


Figure 14: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s availability of retail shops

European cities, 2012

Figure 14: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with their city’s availability of retail shops
Source: Eurostat

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Attitudes of UK and European city respondents towards foreigners

Respondents were asked how strongly they agreed with different statements about how they perceive aspects of life in their city. The results here are the total of those who said they strongly or somewhat agreed.

Foreigners

The Urban Audit perception survey asked people to express whether they agreed with two statements about foreigners1 living in European cities: ‘The presence of foreigners is good for [City Name]’ and ‘Foreigners who live in [City Name] are well integrated’.

It is important to note that the word ‘foreigners’ has no statistical definition and that the survey results will reflect the respondents’ perceptions of the word. These may vary between individuals and also between different local area contexts. It is beyond the scope of this report to fully assess all the local area contexts or cultural interpretations that may impact on the results. However, data are available in the main Urban Audit database that could provide some context to the results shown, for example data on nationality.

The percentage of UK respondents who agreed that the presence of foreigners was good for their city ranged from 62% in Greater Manchester to 75% in Belfast. Levels of agreement with this statement were high in Europe with a typical 73% agreement response. The majority of respondents viewed the presence of foreigners as positive in all but five cities (Athens, Greece; Lefkosia, Cyprus; Liège, Belgium; Irakleio, Greece and Turin, Italy). UK cities were mid to low ranking compared with Europe in believing foreigners to be good for their city. Greater Manchester was among the fifth of Europe cities where fewest people agreed with this statement.


Figure 15: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘The presence of foreigners is good for [City Name]’

European cities, 2012

Figure 15: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘The presence of foreigners is good for [City Name]’
Source: Eurostat

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Similar proportions of people in UK surveyed cities felt that foreigners were well integrated, from 58% in London and Greater Manchester to 66% in Cardiff and Glasgow. However, the typical response in Europe for this statement was lower than for believing foreigners to be good for the city at 54%. UK cities, with more than half of respondents believing foreigners to be well integrated, were high ranking in Europe; Cardiff and Glasgow were in the top fifth of European cities.

Figure 16: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘Foreigners who live in [City Name] are well integrated’

European cities, 2012

Figure 16: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘Foreigners who live in [City Name] are well integrated’
Source: Eurostat

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Notes for Attitudes of UK and European city respondents towards foreigners

  1. The definition of ‘foreign’ is according to the perception of the respondent

Attitudes of UK and European city respondents towards safety

Safety

People’s perception of their urban environment’s safety was measured through two statements: ‘I feel safe in [City Name]’ and ‘I feel safe in my neighbourhood’.

The percentage of respondents who felt safer in their neighbourhood than the city was higher in all UK cities, and this characteristic was reflected throughout Europe. Just four Urban Audit cities saw the opposite response with higher proportions feeling safer in the city, but these were small differences. In the UK, percentages of people who felt safe in the city ranged from 71% in London to 84% in Newcastle upon Tyne. For neighbourhood safety the figures ranged from 77% in London and Manchester to 88% in Belfast.

Compared with Europe these results were quite typical. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there appears to be a strong relationship between feeling safe in one’s neighbourhood and the city; however there were still marked absolute differences in some European cities, notably Marseille, France and Athens (greater city), Greece, where there was a 35 and 36 percentage point difference respectively. The largest difference in the UK was in Greater Manchester, with a 12 percentage point difference.

Figure 17: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘I feel safe in [CITY NAME]’

European cities, 2012

Figure 17: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘I feel safe in [CITY NAME]’
Source: Eurostat

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Figure 18: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘I feel safe in my neighbourhood’

European cities, 2012

Figure 18: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘I feel safe in my neighbourhood’
Source: Eurostat

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Attitudes of UK and European city respondents towards employment

Employment

The Urban Audit perception survey asked two questions relating to employment. Firstly, respondents were asked to agree or otherwise with the statement that ‘It is easy to find a job in [City Name]’. Secondly they were asked ‘On the whole, are you very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not very satisfied or not at all satisfied with your personal job situation?’

The proportions of people who agreed that it was easy to find a job in UK cities were low, ranging from 19% in Newcastle upon Tyne to 34% in London. Relatively few people in Europe thought it was easy to find a job in their city. Only nine cities had more than half of people who agreed with the statement. UK cities were mid to low ranking in Europe on this measure.


Figure 19: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘It is easy to find a job in [City Name]’

European cities, 2012

Figure 19: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘It is easy to find a job in [City Name]’
Source: Eurostat

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Asked the second question, people’s opinion of the labour market was quite different; more than half of respondents in all UK cities said they were satisfied with their own personal job situation. The lowest proportion in the UK was seen in Manchester at 58%. The highest percentage of people satisfied with their personal job situation was in Cardiff at 66%. The UK results were typical of European cities generally where the median was 62%.

Figure 20: Percentage of respondents who said that they were satisfied with their personal job situation

European cities, 2012

Figure 20: Percentage of respondents who said that they were satisfied with their personal job situation
Source: Eurostat

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Attitudes of UK and European city respondents towards personal finance and housing

Personal finance and housing

Most people surveyed in the UK expressed satisfaction with the financial situation of their household in 2012. All cities were above the European median of 70%, ranging from 71% of respondents in Manchester to 79% of respondents in Cardiff. European responses were much more varied, from 24% in Athens, Greece to 91% in Aalborg, Denmark.

Figure 21: Percentage of respondents who said that they were satisfied with the financial situation of their household

European cities, 2012

Figure 21: Percentage of respondents who said that they were satisfied with the financial situation of their household
Source: Eurostat

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The statement that ‘It is easy to find good housing at a reasonable price in [City Name]’ prompted notably different levels of agreement between respondents in UK cities. London had the fewest people who agreed that reasonably priced housing was easy to find. The UK capital was in the bottom fifth of surveyed European cites for perceived housing affordability with 12% of respondents agreeing with the statement; just 2% of people strongly agreed. This is reflective of other European capital cities, 11 of which featured in the 20% of perceived least affordable cities.

Although Newcastle upon Tyne and Belfast were in the 20% of perceived most affordable European cities, the levels of agreement were not overwhelming, at 54% and 56% respectively.

Figure 22: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘It is easy to find good housing at a reasonable price in [CITY NAME]’

European cities, 2012

Figure 22: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘It is easy to find good housing at a reasonable price in [CITY NAME]’
Source: Eurostat

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Attitudes of UK and European city respondents towards public administration

Public Administration

Levels of confidence in UK cities’ governance were measured in the perception survey by asking whether people thought their city’s public administration could be trusted. More than 60% of respondents in all UK cities surveyed agreed that it could be trusted, the lowest proportion being in London at 61%, the highest in Belfast at 69%. The Urban Audit median was 62%, but the range of responses in Europe was very wide, with a low of 24% in Palermo, Italy and a high of 87% in Zurich, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Figure 23: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘Generally speaking, the public administration of [CITY NAME] can be trusted’

European cities, 2012

Figure 23: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘Generally speaking, the public administration of [CITY NAME] can be trusted’
Source: Eurostat

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The survey also asked whether the administrative services of the city help people efficiently. Cardiff, Manchester and Belfast had relatively high proportions of people who agreed that they did, between 68 and 70%, placing them in the top fifth of European cities for this measure. All other UK cities saw more than 60% of people agreeing that their public administration helped people efficiently, with the exception of London which had the lower figure of 56%. London was similar to the other global city in the perception survey, Paris, which reported 52%.

Figure 24: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘The administrative services of [CITY NAME] help people efficiently’

European cities, 2012

Figure 24: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘The administrative services of [CITY NAME] help people efficiently’
Source: Eurostat

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Attitudes of UK and European city respondents towards the environment

Environment

The survey asked people whether they agreed that their city was committed to fight against climate change, with measures such as energy efficiency and green transport. All UK cities were above the European median of 55%. Cardiff and Manchester were in the fifth of European cities which had the highest proportions of respondents who agreed with this statement, with 64 and 70% respectively. There was wide variation in results at a European level, from 28% in Rome, Italy to 81% in Strasbourg and Bordeaux, France.

Figure 25: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘[CITY NAME] is committed to fight against climate change (e.g.: energy efficiency, green transport)'

European cities, 2012

Figure 25: Percentage of respondents who agreed with the statement ‘[CITY NAME] is committed to fight against climate change (e.g.: energy efficiency, green transport)'
Source: Eurostat

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Overall satisfaction with UK cities

Proportions of people who said they were satisfied with the place where they lived were high in UK cities, most being around the European median of 92%.

There was variation within the results when looking at degrees of satisfaction. Respondents could say whether they were very or fairly satisfied, not very or not at all satisfied. Between 45 and 57% of respondents in all UK cities said they were very satisfied with the place they live. Between 4 and 9% of people in UK cities said they were not very satisfied. Proportions of people who were not at all satisfied ranged between 2 and 5% in all surveyed UK cities. These figures were typical of European cities where the median response for ‘not very satisfied’ was 6% and the median response for ‘not at all satisfied’ was 2%.

London and Manchester had slightly lower satisfaction levels than other UK cities and the European median, at 87%. It is worth pointing out that London is defined by Eurostat as global (more than 5m people); the closest European comparator is Paris, France. The overall satisfaction level of Parisian respondents was close to London at 88%.

Although London and Manchester were just within the bottom fifth of European cities for overall city satisfaction in this survey, they were not substantially below other UK cities or the European median of 92%. The highest proportions of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the place they lived in the UK were in Newcastle upon Tyne and Greater Manchester at 93%.

In Europe, the highest proportion of surveyed city respondents who expressed satisfaction with their place of residence was in Reykjavik, Iceland, 98%, and the lowest in Athens, Greece, 56%. More than 50 European cities had proportions of 90% or higher.

Figure 26: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the place where they lived

European cities, 2012

Figure 26: Percentage of respondents who expressed satisfaction with the place where they lived
Source: Eurostat

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Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Annex A

Table 3: Countries and their capital cities covered in Urban Audit V

EU locations where the survey was conducted (from 15/11/2012 to 7/12/2012)

Country City English name
Belgium (BE)   Bruxelles / Brussel Brussels
  Antwerpen Antwerp
  Liège
Bulgaria (BG)   Sofia
Burgas
Czech Republic (CZ)   Praha Prague
Ostrava
Denmark (DK)   København Copenhagen
Aalborg
Germany (DE)   Berlin
Hamburg
München Munich
Essen
Leipzig
Dortmund
Rostock
Estonia (EE)   Tallinn  
Greece (EL)   Athina Athens
Athina (greater city)
Irakleio
Spain (ES)   Madrid
Barcelona
Málaga
Oviedo
France (FR)   Paris
Paris (greater city)
Strasbourg
Bordeaux
Lille
Rennes
Marseille
Ireland (IE)   Dublin  
Italy (IT)   Roma Rome
Napoli Naples
Torino Turin
Palermo
Bologna
Verona
Republic of Cyprus (CY)   Lefkosia
Latvia (LV)   Riga  
Lithuania (LT)   Vilnius
Luxembourg (LU)   Luxembourg 
Hungary (HU)   Budapest
Miskolc
Malta (MT)   Valletta  
Netherlands (NL)   Amsterdam
Rotterdam
Groningen
Austria (AT)   Wien Vienna
Graz
Poland (PL)   Warszawa Warsaw
Kraków Krakow
Gdansk
Bialystok
Portugal (PT)   Lisboa Lisbon
Lisboa (greater city)
Braga
Romania (RO)   Bucuresti Bucharest
Cluj-Napoca
Piatra Neamt
Slovenia (SI)   Ljubljana
Slovakia (SK)   Bratislava
Kosice
Finland (FI)   Helsinki / Helsingfors
Oulu / Uleåborg
Sweden (SE)   Stockholm
Malmö
United Kingdom (UK)   London  
  Cardiff  
  Glasgow  
  Belfast
  Newcastle upon Tyne  
  Manchester
  Manchester (greater city)  Greater Manchester

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Table 4: Countries and their capital cities covered in Urban Audit V

Non-EU locations where the survey was conducted (from 15/11/2012 to 7/12/2012)

 Country  City   English name
 Croatia (HR)   Zagreb  
 Turkey (TR)   Ankara
  Antalya
Diyarbakir
  Istanbul
 Iceland (IS)   Reykjavik
 Norway (NO)   Oslo 
 Switzerland (CH)   Zürich Zurich
  Genève Geneva

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Capital cities, shown in blue, Eurostat definition, p267-276

Definitions align with the new OECD-EC definitions of cities, greater cities and commuting zones established in 2011

Please see Geographical groupings, p11-12

Methodology

Eurostat contract the Perception Survey to professional survey companies every three years. The data are collected over a three week period. This round was conducted by TNS Political & Social network in the then 27 Member States of the European Union, as well as Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey, between 15 November and 7 December 2012.

The sample was selected from all geographic areas in each city, and was socially and demographically representative of the population aged 15 and over. Interviews were by phone in the respondents’ main language. In the UK at least three quarters of respondents were either born in their city or had lived there 10 years or more. More than 90% of respondents were British, or in Belfast, British or Irish.

Sampling error: Eurostat expect the results to be no more than +/- 4.5 percentage points from the true population with a 95% confidence interval.

Eurostat classifies towns and cities by size and this is detailed in table 5.

Table 5: Classifications of towns and cities by size

Eurostat label Name in this report Size
Small 50,000 – 100,000 inhabitants 
Medium 100,000 – 250,000 inhabitants 
Large 250,000 – 500,000 inhabitants 
XL  Very large 500,000 – 1,000,000 inhabitants 
XXL  1m – 5m 1,000,000 – 5,000,000 inhabitants 
Global  Global More than 5,000,000 inhabitants 

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Quality of Life in European Cities

Perception Survey on quality of life in European Cities, Analytical report

Eurostat Perception Survey, European report and data

Questions in 2012:

Q1 Generally speaking, please tell me if you are very satisfied, rather satisfied, rather unsatisfied or not at all satisfied with each of the following issues in [CITY NAME]?

ANSWERS: Very satisfied / Fairly satisfied / Not very satisfied / Not at all satisfied / DK/NA1

Public transport, for example the bus, tram or metro

Health care services, doctors and hospitals

Sports facilities such as sport fields and indoor sport halls

Cultural facilities such as concert halls, theatres, museums and libraries

The state of the streets and buildings in your neighbourhood

Public spaces such as markets, squares, pedestrian areas

Green spaces such as parks and gardens

Availability of retail shops

Schools and other educational facilities

The quality of the air

The noise level

Cleanliness

Q2 I will read you a few statements. Please tell me whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with each of these statements?

ANSWERS: Strongly agree / Somewhat agree / Somewhat disagree / Strongly disagree / DK/NA

I am satisfied to live in [CITY NAME]

It is easy to find a job in [CITY NAME]

The presence of foreigners is good for [CITY NAME]

Foreigners who live in [CITY NAME] are well integrated

It is easy to find good housing at a reasonable price in [CITY NAME]

The administrative services of [CITY NAME] help people efficiently

I feel safe in [CITY NAME]

I feel safe in my neighbourhood

[CITY NAME] is committed to fight against climate change (e.g.: energy efficiency, green transport)

Generally speaking, most people in [CITY NAME] can be trusted

Generally speaking, most people in my neighbourhood can be trusted

Generally speaking, the public administration of [CITY NAME] can be trusted

Q3 On the whole, are you very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not very satisfied or not at all satisfied with...?

ANSWERS: Very satisfied / Fairly satisfied / Not very satisfied / Not at all satisfied / DK/NA

Your personal job situation

The financial situation of your household

The life you lead

The place where you live

Q4 In your opinion, among the following issues, which are the three most important for [CITY NAME]?

(MAX. 3 ANSWERS)

Safety Air pollution Noise / Public transport / Health services / Social services / Education and training / Unemployment / Housing / Road infrastructure / DK/NA


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes for Annex A

  1. DK/NA means Don't Know or No Answer.
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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