UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Livability and quality of life indexes in planning for sustainable communities Lawson, Joel


This thesis examines issues surrounding the use of Livability and Quality of Life Indicators in a sustainable planning process. Planning literature is rife with references to quality of life and livability, as is other literature dealing with the urban environment. There are numerous existing indexes purporting to measure livability or quality of life, but few do so with any real sense of theoretical rigour or clarity of purpose. An examination of the relevant terms follows, and workable definitions are proposed. An examination of existing indexes highlights many of the potential issues which must be addressed in the development of an index. Finally, a planning framework within which community quality of life and regional livability indexes could be effectively employed will be discussed. Despite the difficulties, there is much potential for the use of quality of life and livability indexes in planning, in terms of both information gathering and equitable information dissemination. Ultimately, however, the true value of an index-centred process might lie in the social learning involved in its development and use.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.