Measuring Community Well-Being and Individual Well-Being for Public Policy: The Case of the Community Well-Being Atlas
The Gross Domestic Product as an indicator of social progress has several limitations. One of the most serious limitations is it equates consumption to progress. Community well-being can be an alternative framework for measuring progress, but there are several barriers to adopting this framework. In this chapter, we focus on the measurement barriers. Measuring community well-being is difficult for the following three reasons. First, the definition of community well-being and its constructs are unclear. Second, its relationship with individual well-being is vague. Third, data at the community level are limited. All of these make it difficult to employ community well-being in policymaking and long-term planning. We introduce the Community Well-being Atlas – an international project to measure community well-being in cities – as a way to overcome these barriers. The Atlas includes theory-driven data on community well-being and individual well-being. Moreover, the use of smartphone technology to collect geographic data and build panels can be useful for policymaking and long-term planning.
KeywordsCommunity well-being Subjective well-being Well-being indicators Social progress Public policy
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2016S1A3A2924563). The authors thank Lena Henning for her insightful comments on earlier drafts.
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