Living well in cities: Towards a location-based model of perceived urban liveability



Publication Details

Perez, P. & Namazi-Rad, M. (2017). Living well in cities: Towards a location-based model of perceived urban liveability. In M. Slade, L. G. Oades & A. Jarden (Eds.), Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health (pp. 277-288). United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.


How's life? This rather mundane question has become a focus of renewed attention since the first release, in 2011, of the Better Life survey by OECD and its recent updating (OECD, 20 13). This survey finds its origin in the famous Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report (2009), which suggests the creation of new indicators to measure social and economic progress, complementary to the traditional GDP marker. Beyond the Easterlin Paradox, justification for such a novel approach lies in the inability of GDP to deal with social inequities and, more fundamentally, with the multidimensional nature of progress. In a recent meeting of the G20 in Australia, the Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, made it clear that viable economic development could not be separated from environmental sustainability, social wellbeing and equity. Another driver of our growing interest in wellbeing is a remarkable and probably irreversible change that happened in 2010. That year, and for the first time in human history, half of the world population lived in cities. At the same time, this proportion had already reached 90% in Australia. There is no questioning the fact that these figures have had and will continue to have a significant impact on the way we plan for and manage our cities. Future cities will have to be liveable and sustainable in order to cope with population growth and resource scarcity.

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