Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Quality of Life and Sustainable Development

  • Luana Dandara Barreto Torres
  • Gabriela Farias Asmus
  • Sônia Regina da Cal SeixasEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_26


The definition of quality of life has been discussed under various subjects throughout the decades, such as psychology, medicine, economics, environmental science, and sociology (Costanza et al. 2006). Many authors have tried to coin the term: Costanza et al. (2006) present the general assumption that quality of life is the extent to which human needs are met and human satisfaction is perceived; Minayo et al. (2000) present the idea that quality of life is synonym of health, recognizing, nevertheless, that this concept needs to be taken further; Pacione (2003) claims that quality of life is defined by elements of the environment in which a person lives (air pollution, sanitation, housing) and individual elements (health and education, for instance); and Seidl and Zannon (2004) point out that different scopes regarding the definition of quality of life began to be considered from the 1980s onward. These authors discuss the definition presented by Bowling (1995), who...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Andrews FM (1974) Social indicators of perceived life quality. Social Indicators Research 1:279–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bowling A (1995) What things are important in people’s lives? A survey of the public’s judgements to inform scales of health related quality of life. Soc Sci Med 41:1447–1462.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0277-9536(95)00113-LCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Costanza R et al (2006) Quality of life: an approach integrating opportunities, human needs, and subjective well-being. Ecol Econ 1.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.02.023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fukuda S et al (2016) How achieving the millennium development goals increases subjective well-being in developing nations. Sustainability 8:189.  https://doi.org/10.3390/su8020189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kates RW, Parris TM (2003) Long-term trends and a sustainability transition. Proc Natl Acad Sci 100(14):8062–8067.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1231331100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Leal Filho W et al (2018) Sustainable development policies as indicators and pre-conditions for sustainability efforts at universities: fact or fiction? Int J Sustain High Educ 19(1):85–113.  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-01-2017-0002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Gap Task Force Report (2015) Taking Stock of the Global Partnership for Development. United Nations.  https://doi.org/10.18356/38a66c33-en
  8. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DC Reports of Subjective Well-Being: JudgmentalGoogle Scholar
  9. Minayo MC de S, Hartz ZM de A, Buss PM. (2000) Quality of life and health: a necessary debate. Ciênc Saúde Col 5(1):7–18  https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232000000100002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Nováček P, Mederly P (2015) How to measure progress towards quality of life and sustainability of life? Ekológia 34(1):7–18.  https://doi.org/10.1515/eko-2015-0002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pacione M (2003) Urban environmental quality and human wellbeing—a social geographical perspective, Landsc Urb Planning 65:19–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ruffino Netto A (1994) Qualidade de vida: compromisso histórico da epidemiologia (Quality of life: historical compromise of epidemiology). In: Costa MFL, Sousa RP (eds) Qualidade de Vida: Compromisso Histórico da Epidemiologia (Quality of life: historical compromise of epidemiology). Coopmed/Abrasco, Belo Horizonte, p 290Google Scholar
  13. Schwartz N, Strack F (1999) Processes and their methodological implications. Reports of Subjective Well-Being, Russell Sage Foundation 61–84Google Scholar
  14. Seidl EMF, Zannon CML da C (2004) Qualidade de vida e saúde: aspectos conceituais e metodológicos (Quality of life and health: conceptual and methodological issues). Cad Saúde Pública 20(2):580–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Seixas SR da C (1996) Qualidade de vida e suas metáforas: uma reflexão sócio-ambiental (Quality of life and its metaphors: a social environmnetal reflexions). Doctorate thesis, UnicampGoogle Scholar
  16. Seixas SR da C et al (2012) Quality of life and socioenvironmental degradation in the Cantareira system environmental protected area, SP, Brazil. Urban Stud Res 2012:9–13.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/918931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. The Sustainable Development Goals Report (2018) United NationsGoogle Scholar
  18. Witt AH (2014) Rethinking sustainable development: considering how different worldviews envision “development” and “quality of life”. Sustainability 6:8310–8328.  https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118310. 2012 (June 2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luana Dandara Barreto Torres
    • 1
  • Gabriela Farias Asmus
    • 2
  • Sônia Regina da Cal Seixas
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Federal University of ABC (UFABC)Santo AndréBrazil
  2. 2.Center for Engineering, Modeling and Applied Social Sciences (CECS)Federal University of ABC (UFABC)Santo AndréBrazil
  3. 3.Centre for Environmental Studies and ResearchNEPAM, State University of Campinas, UNICAMPCampinasBrazil

Section editors and affiliations

  • Luciana Brandli
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Passo FundoPasso FundoBrazil