NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction

Measuring Quality of life

A Framework for Measuring Quality of Life in the Context of Polycentric Cities

MSc. Student: Mojgan Zarekani

Period: May 2013 - December 2014

Summary: The concept of quality of life has been the ongoing subject matter for numerous theoretical and empirical discussions in the fields’ urban development. There are undeniable subjective (opinion-based) evidence which proves the existence of a link between an individual’s perception of the living environment and quality of life. However, setting up an experimental framework for measuring quality of life is challenging since this type of investigation requires researchers to first answer the question of what factors could possibly impact individuals’ perception of quality of life, in particular those related to neighbourhood development and available services. It is important to note that if appropriately chosen, variables factors affect the quality of life related to land development and land use, those can serve as metrics that could be used by urban developers, city/municipal planners to build attractive neighbourhoods, which in turn will lead to better thriving cities/municipalities, and promote sustainable social and economic development.

This thesis presents a methodology to measure the effect of neighbourhood development on the quality of life of citizens and assesses the impact of mixing objective (quantitative) and subjective (qualitative) variables on the evaluation of quality of life in the context of a poly-centric city for selected neighbourhoods. Poly-centric cities have more than one activity center comparing to mono-centric cities which have only one centralized activity district. A case study that involves four neighbourhoods in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology and illustrate its essential futures.

Edmonton Population and Area Growth from 1878 to 2012

Edmonton Household Travel Survey, 2005, Daily Trip Purpose from Home

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