Indicators for the measurement of the quality of urban life

What is the appropriate terriorial dimension?

Abstract

In the wealth of studies on measuring the quality of life, an autonomous ’urban’ trend has been progressively distinguishing itself, namely the extension of urban conditions of life to an ever higher percentage of the world's population. From the concept of city understood as a negation of environmental values, we have passed, thanks to a long multidisciplinary evolution, to the concept of the urban ecosystem and to that of the ecological city. What type of indicators may be used for the measurement of the quality of life in the urban environment? And what is their most appropriate ambit of application? An Italian experience in environmental planning (the Ten-Year Plan for the Environment — DECAMB, and the Territorial Frame of Reference — QUADROTER, for the Ministry of the Environment) may offer starting points for a research programme. Concepts such as land supply and demand; territorial loading; equilibrium and spill-over of urban systems; critical population mass, are used to introduce and initial experimental set of (objective and subjective) indicators of the quality of life orientated towards planning, both as regards the provision of services, and for participatory and symbolic aspects.

But if a place is meaningless without a subject, so too a person removed from his own place is a man of uncertain identity.

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Cicerchia, A. Indicators for the measurement of the quality of urban life. Soc Indic Res 39, 321–358 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00286400

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Keywords

  • Research Programme
  • Urban Environment
  • Urban System
  • Urban Ecosystem
  • Environmental Planning