An integrative methodology for the quality of life measurement in urban places based on the accomplishment of human needs
Document typeConference lecture
Rights accessOpen Access
Quality of Life (QoL) approaches and studies have broadly raised the interest of scientists during the last years. With more than half of the world population now living in cities, defining and measuring QoL in urban contexts can be particularly helpful in urban design and planning processes. In this article, a method of measuring QoL for urban places based on the accomplishment of the basic human needs is proposed. Retrieved from Max-Neef’s Human-Scale Development Paradigm (Max-Neef, Elizalde, & Hopenhayn, 1991), human needs correspond to the domains of study of the suggested method. QoL is perceived as a multi-faceted concept and in this sense it should be studied in its completeness by employing an integrative approach. In order to do that, and after choosing a place as a case study, a survey must be constructed corresponding to the subjective part of the analysis. The matching of the different survey’s questions to each need is the outcome of two consecutive processes: a first qualitative one, involving both local communities and/or expert groups, and a second quantitative one involving the definition of weights among those questions which affect the same need. Complementarily, objective indicators must be added representing the objective part of the analysis. The final comparison between subjective and objective data will give the integrative result. In summary, this method defines a simple tool which can be used to quantify and evaluate current levels of QoL for places and to define more holistic urban quality indexes in order to improve decision making processes, policies and plans. At the same time it can be seen as a tool to enhance bottom-up approaches and processes of urban analysis with the aim to create more liveable places for the citizens.
CitationPapachristou, I., Rosas-Casals, M. An integrative methodology for the quality of life measurement in urban places based on the accomplishment of human needs. A: UN-Habitat Future of Places Conference. "UN-Habitat Future of Places III Conference, Stockholm, Jun 29 – Jul 01, 2015. Academic sessions: presentation papers". Estocolm: 2015, p. 1-19.