What is the opinion about the ”good” city, and what are the residential preferences of different groups of the urban population? What are the consequences of location of residence for the urban population’s activity- and travel patterns? The increased interest for living in the central parts of the cities is the reason for asking these questions. The analyses are based on a comparative survey from Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, 2001. 5000 respondents answered questions about choice of residence, environmental attitudes, activity- and travel patterns. The planning ideals are related to “garden city”, neighbourhood/community, and the “new” urbanism. Women with high education are attracted to the urban qualities. People living in the inner urban areas have a more local activity pattern and travel considerably less by car than people living in the outer parts.