‘Stylish singles’, social networks & suburbs

December 14, 2006

The Mosaic ‘stylish singles‘ group (who don’t need to be either stylish or single but youngish and affluent) are obviously an important demographic when it comes to planning for the intensification of residential land-use in suburban town-centre neighbourhoods. The assumption is that, in suitable numbers, this group are well positioned to inject money into the local economy and help sustain the urban buzz. Apart from using shops and services, the role of if and how stylish singles use the suburb as a social destination is perhaps of interest insofar as it relates to the positioning of the suburbs in social networks.

To a degree, the extent to which a suburb provides a social destination for stylish singles will depend on how many members of an affluent and mobile group of friends and friends of friends happen to live in the same place. This is especially true of the London suburbs where it is relatively unlikely (I would suggest) that stylish singles who choose to socialise together also live in the same walkable area. In this scenario, central locations which are relatively accessible by public transport and car to all members of a social group are likely to be favoured as social destinations. Where the town centre is located at a distance from transport links then it is relatively less likely to become part of a reciprocal cycle of favoured locations by a social network of  that exists over an extended geographical area. Are stylish singles central or marginal to the urban buzz of the suburbs?


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