City-Rankings and Quality of Life in European Cities

  • There are several political programmes in Western Europe aimed at improving the quality of urban life such as the “Programme Socially Acceptable City” by the Federal Government and the German Federal States or European-Union-policies such as the “EU-target-2-promotion” to develop disadvantaged regions, cities and “urban areas with a strong need for development” or “social hot spots”. These programmes often end without having provided systematic and theoretically grounded evaluations of their impact on urban quality of life. Furthermore, urban development policies lack an accompanying monitoring system to assess the outcomes. Often the responsible actors furnish proof of the success by listing the (limited number of) jobs generated in the “local economy” or comparable single indicators which lack theoretical substantiation. Hence in order to meet to this need for integrated urban development, this paper proposes a comprehensive system of social indicators for the local level (both at the city-wide and the social area level) to measureThere are several political programmes in Western Europe aimed at improving the quality of urban life such as the “Programme Socially Acceptable City” by the Federal Government and the German Federal States or European-Union-policies such as the “EU-target-2-promotion” to develop disadvantaged regions, cities and “urban areas with a strong need for development” or “social hot spots”. These programmes often end without having provided systematic and theoretically grounded evaluations of their impact on urban quality of life. Furthermore, urban development policies lack an accompanying monitoring system to assess the outcomes. Often the responsible actors furnish proof of the success by listing the (limited number of) jobs generated in the “local economy” or comparable single indicators which lack theoretical substantiation. Hence in order to meet to this need for integrated urban development, this paper proposes a comprehensive system of social indicators for the local level (both at the city-wide and the social area level) to measure the urban quality of life of residents. These concepts combine the discussion on quality of life and the social-area-analysis. The paper also contributes to a main focus of this working group, i.e. to the discussion of the characteristics which qualify indicators for urban development policy. My considerations also refer to international experience in this research and policy field. One issue is to clarify along with Georg Simmel what is essential for quality of life in cities. I suggest the dimensions of “temporal prosperity”, “spatial prosperity”, “material prosperity”, “cultural prosperity” and “social prosperity” and their impact on “life satisfaction and satisfaction to live in the city” or in the neighbourhood”. My proposal uses the example of the city of Nürnberg to illustrate the concept. The 100-indicator-system for these 6 dimensions of urban QoL might be useful for integrated urban development initiatives.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Manfred Garhammer
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:92-opus-140
Document Type:conference proceeding (article)
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2008/09/17
Publishing Institution:Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm
Release Date:2008/09/17
Tag:City; Integrierte Stadtentwicklung; Lebensqualität; Monitoring; Sozialraum; Stadt
City; city rankings; monitoring; quality of life; social area; urban life
GND Keyword:Stadt; Lebensqualität; Sozialraum
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften