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Factors influencing university students' accommodation choices: risk perception, safety, and vulnerability

Magni, M; Pescaroli, G; Bartolucci, A; (2019) Factors influencing university students' accommodation choices: risk perception, safety, and vulnerability. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment , 34 (3) pp. 791-805. 10.1007/s10901-019-09675-x.

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Abstract

The mitigation of human and societal losses is among the guiding principles of the United Nations’ Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, but their implementation requires actions to address the needs of vulnerable categories. Higher education’s students can be considered in this perspective, due to their tendency to live in modest and inexpensive accommodation, without being necessarily integrated in the local community and its safety networks. Despite student’s mobility and housing patterns have been studied consistently, the implications of their choices and risk perceptions remain a marginal topic in the scientific debate on disaster reduction. In this paper, we investigate which factors influence students’ decision to rent an accommodation, focusing on understanding their risk perception and safety awareness. The research analyses a case study in Central Italy, where we surveyed 338 students of the University of Ancona. Our results highlight that safety is not the paramount factor influencing students’ choice for an accommodation and that not all the students were able to define the risk level of the city they live in. Instead, we show that students considered the rent as the most important factor influencing their choices, followed by the proximity of the accommodation to services. Our conclusions suggest that decision makers should integrate vulnerability reduction strategies on student housing plans to meet the target of proposed by the Sendai Framework, promoting actions at complementary levels on education, training and awareness. Finally, we propose that those elements should be better investigated in future researches.

Type: Article
Title: Factors influencing university students' accommodation choices: risk perception, safety, and vulnerability
DOI: 10.1007/s10901-019-09675-x
Publisher version: https://link.springer.com/journal/10901
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Housing, University students, Risk perception, Vulnerability, Safety, University accommodation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10074280
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