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Urban Quality of Life and Capabilities: An Experimental Study

Bianca Biagi, Maria Gabriela Ladu and Marta Meleddu

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 150, issue C, 137-152

Abstract: This paper investigates residents’ perception of quality of life in cities; to do this, the paper uses the capability approach proposed by Sen. In his work, Sen defines capabilities as the opportunities or possibilities individuals have while functionings are a subset of achievements among a wider set of achievable goals. The capability approach offers a theoretical framework with which to explain how individual perception of quality of life in cities develops. In the present work, the residents’ perception of quality of life depends on personal characteristics, the presence of amenities (manmade and natural), and the actual use of those amenities. Residents of an Italian town were surveyed via face-to-face structured interviews. The main findings indicate that residents’ perception of quality of life in cities is highly dependent on the choices people can actually make. These choices are strictly connected with the accessibility to services, individual allocation of time, and the social interactions people enjoy.

Keywords: Capabilities; Functionings; Quality of life; Time use; Amenities; Social interactions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.04.011

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