Chapter 12: Quality of Life: How Great is your Neighbourhood?
A Quality of Life Model
- Quality of life: studies as people to evaluate the contextual and phenomenal environments of
their own life, their neighbourhood, or their city in terms of their personal environment – their
preferences, values, and satisfactions
- With QoL, we classify the city based on a continuum of poor to better areas in which to live
with respect to the population’s social well being
- In general, QoL is having things you want to have (the good things of life) and not having
things you don’t want to have (the bad things of life)
QoL = f (R, O, P, A)
(S, E, L, AP, QE)
Contributors to QoL:
R: available resources
O: available opportunities
P: available environments
A: attitudes towards resources, opportunities and environments
Constraints to QoL:
S: socio‐ economic constraints
E: ethnic constraints
L: lifestyle status constraints
AP: constraints on access to political power
QE: poor quality of physical environments
Issues in Analyzing Quality of Life
- Are all the attributes equal in weight in contributing or constraining QoL?
- What is the function “f”?
- What variables could we use to measure the attributes?
- What do people perceive to be contributing or constraining factors?
- Are the attributes consistent across all geographic scales?
- Do all sub-groups of society value QoL contributing attributes equally?
- Are the attributes consistent across time?
- Do all groups rank the QoL constraints equally?
- What is QoL?
Social Accounting ‐ The Roots of Quality of Life Analysis
- QoL of a city’s population has been a matter of concern since cities were invented, b/c cities, by
their nature, provide the best and the worst that civilization can offer.
o Such high concentrations of people, money, power, cars, and manufacturing activities
inevitable lead to excesses of pollution, disease, corruption and crime, but also to
solutions related to health care, education and security
- Even though we will live a technological world that has advantaged at a tremendous pace,
turning out magical machines to entertain, cure, and improve out quality of lifestyle (if not life), we are faced with increasing social problems – poverty, drug abuse, crime, homelessness,
racism and religious factionalism – that our machinery and technology can’t fix
Quality of Life Indicators in the City
- Two man approaches to evaluate QoL:
o Traditional approach: assesses the resident population in terms of health and well
being – often compares areas within a city
o Recent approach: uses indicators of creative and human capital to measure QoL
suggesting that amenity rich cities with diverse populations, abundant nightlife and
cultural assets, and high tech industrial sectors will attract more capital – this compares
cities, esp. in terms of potential for economic development
- Why measure QoL?
o While evaluation of QoL is based upon personal environments (your values,
satisfactions, preferences) these QoL assessments are then used by researchers, planners
and politicians in terms of group perceptions of how life should be lived (contextual
o 4 reasons for performing QoL studies:
1. To compare citi