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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2019

Laura MacLean and Ashraf M. Salama

With the majority of people living in cities it has become increasingly important to examine the relationship between the qualities and characteristics of an urban setting…

Abstract

With the majority of people living in cities it has become increasingly important to examine the relationship between the qualities and characteristics of an urban setting and the perceived satisfaction of its users. Discourses on Quality of Urban life (QOUL) show that the preponderance of existing empirical studies and measurement frameworks have been developed based on Western case studies or standards. Rapid urbanisation of cities in Africa and Asia, however, has dramatically impacted the use of space, and in many cases has resulted in intense urban transformations that impacted communities. This prompts questions about the quality of life (QOL) of residents and the liveability of their environments. Thus, this research argues that although there are many aspects of urban life that are pan-cultural, there are also culture specific features that make urban life unique in each city or setting. Consequently, QOUL studies should balance universal values and context-specificities. Following identification and critique of QOUL models, the paper calls for a new model to examine context specificities. The model aims to highlight the important role that context and culture play in urban life while underscoring the relevant core dimensions of QOUL studies.

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Open House International, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Urban Dynamics and Growth: Advances in Urban Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44451-481-3

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Article
Publication date: 24 June 2020

Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah Shahabadi and Hasan Sajadzadeh

The purpose of this study is on the social aspects of regeneration of historical neighborhoods in Iranian cities. For this purpose, the authors investigated the effect of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is on the social aspects of regeneration of historical neighborhoods in Iranian cities. For this purpose, the authors investigated the effect of the social capital of the residents of historical neighborhoods in Tehran on their subjective quality of life and on their willingness to continue living in these historical districts. This study was motivated by the fact that the primary issue in regeneration of Tehran’s historical districts is to stimulate the residents’ desire to continue living in their neighborhoods, thereby preventing the population from decreasing.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the theoretical literature revealed that the subjective quality of urban life could act as an intermediary construct that explains the link between social capital and willingness to continue living in a district. With this assumption, the authors administered a questionnaire to 389 residents of different historical neighborhoods who had been randomly selected by cluster sampling. The analysis of the data and the relationships among the constructs was conducted using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results suggest that increase in the participants’ social capital, including neighborhood bonds, civic participation, social networks and trust, could increase both their life satisfaction (i.e. subjective quality of urban life) and their willingness to live in the historical district. As indicated by the structural model of this study, the social capital both directly influences willingness to continue living and has an indirect effect on it through the intermediary construct of subjective quality of urban life.

Practical implications

The findings of this study can help the policymakers of historical districts in Tehran to determine high-priority strategies for regenerating these districts. Some of the most practical policies that can be applied to the context of Tehran include provision of facilities for enhancement of social networks and bonds, formation of non-governmental organizations and using neighborhood bonds to improve the environmental conditions of neighborhood units.

Originality/value

This study has several advantages. First, the measures used that were taken from the literature have been adjusted to the context of the study with the help of a group of experts. In other words, although the constructs have their roots in theory, their measures are of a local and context-based nature. Second, the obtained results would direct the current approaches to regeneration of historical districts in Iran, which primarily have a physical, economic and elitist basis, towards additional social and participatory approaches.

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Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8335

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2021

Tamara Vukovic, Ashraf M. Salama, Biserka Mitrovic and Mirjana Devetakovic

This paper interrogates the impact of spatial transformations on urban life. It explores the level of individual and group satisfaction and sense of well-being within the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper interrogates the impact of spatial transformations on urban life. It explores the level of individual and group satisfaction and sense of well-being within the urban public realm; this is undertaken by reporting on the outcomes of an assessment study of three key public open spaces in Belgrade, developed from a quality of urban life (QoUL) perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic multilevel assessment method is utilised, with the aim of determining the material and immaterial elements that can contribute to an individual's sense of comfort within a public space. The study places emphasis on the functional, social and perceptual attributes as they relate to the physical characteristics of three assessed spaces.

Findings

The assessment study resulted in a systematic overview of the different attributes of the three assessed spaces. With various performance levels within each set of attributes, the study identifies key challenges and problems that could lead towards determining possible opportunities for future local urban interventions and developmental actions.

Originality/value

With the shifts in policies and the associated governance process that redefined the outlook of previously enforced development and urban growth in the last two decades, the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, has undergone significant spatial changes. This has resulted in a certain level of fragmentation in the urban fabric, leading to a number of challenges concerning public health, well-being, safety, accessibility, comfort and urban mobility, to name a few, that need to be better addressed and understood within the local context.

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Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

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Book part
Publication date: 14 February 2008

Christine B. Avenarius

The nature of immigration to the United States has varied tremendously over the course of the last 100 years. While the rate of immigrants in comparison to the total…

Abstract

The nature of immigration to the United States has varied tremendously over the course of the last 100 years. While the rate of immigrants in comparison to the total population was as high as 14% in the early 1900s, it steadily declined due to regulations passed at the beginning of the First World War reaching its lowest point in 1970 at less than 5% (Bernard, 1998). Yet, ever since the early 1970s, in response to the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments that replaced national-origin quotas with a single annual worldwide ceiling for all other immigrants while eliminating any numerical limitations for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, the number of immigrants has been continuously on the rise. In 1996, about 1 of every 10 residents in the United States was foreign born. This is exemplified by the fact that more than one fourth of the present foreign-born population of the United States arrived after 1990 (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2004).

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Gender in an Urban World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1477-5

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Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Thomas Corcoran, Jennifer Abrams and Jonathan Wynn

As a method in sociology, urban ethnography is rather straightforward: it conducts participant observation in cities. In essence, urban ethnographers study place, and yet…

Abstract

As a method in sociology, urban ethnography is rather straightforward: it conducts participant observation in cities. In essence, urban ethnographers study place, and yet how place is portrayed is too often absent from ethnographic descriptions. Indeed, place is always present in the lives of people, but it becomes difficult to understand how place works in an ethnographic context. To reflect upon this puzzle, the following text offers a language for how we may make better sense of place as urban ethnographers and the role of place as a central actor in urban life. By revisiting classic and current ethnographies, we consider how place is constructed as an object of analysis, reflective of social phenomenon occurring within a city. Further, in identifying six tensions (in/out, order/disorder, public/private, past/present, gemeinschaft/gesellschaft, and discrete/diffuse), we demonstrate how descriptions of place are either present or absent in these ethnographies. To understand these tensions as they depict place, we maintain, it is to better understand how place is represented within ethnographies claiming to be urban. In conclusion, we present future directions for urban place-based ethnography that may offer more robust interpretations of place and the people who inhabit it.

Details

Urban Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-033-2

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2018

Nhu Ngoc K. Pham, Mai Do, Van H. Bui and Giang T. Nguyen

Vietnam is experiencing high rates of young adult migration from rural hometowns to urban cities in search of new economic and social opportunities. However, limited…

Abstract

Purpose

Vietnam is experiencing high rates of young adult migration from rural hometowns to urban cities in search of new economic and social opportunities. However, limited internal migration research has examined the well-being of this population once they are in the urban destinations, as well as their interactions with the new lifestyles in the cities. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore the social transition of young Vietnamese migrants into city life.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews were conducted among ten female and six male temporary unmarried migrants, between ages of 18 and 25 years, currently living in Ha Noi through purposive sampling.

Findings

Despite a higher income in the city, young migrants often suffer from physical and mental health strains that decrease their overall well-being, caused by the factors such as barriers to assimilation to new lifestyles, continued attachment to origin hometowns, financial pressures, and poor living conditions. Important aspects in pre-migration expectations and actual experiences influenced the psychosocial well-being of these young migrants as they transitioned into adulthood during their migration process. Migration to the city and assimilation into city life also changed young migrants’ views on lifestyles and behaviors often considered misconducts in their rural hometowns, such as premarital sex. Female migrants faced higher stigmatization compared to male migrants, often described by fellow migrants as becoming “loose” in the new city.

Originality/value

The study findings highlight the important gender-specific implications for health services and programs to improve young migrants’ well-being in the city.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

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Book part
Publication date: 10 November 2011

Lorenzo Tripodi

This volume of Research in Urban Sociology derives from the conference ‘Everyday life in the segmented city’ held in July 2010 in Florence, and is composed of a selection…

Abstract

This volume of Research in Urban Sociology derives from the conference ‘Everyday life in the segmented city’ held in July 2010 in Florence, and is composed of a selection of papers originally presented on this occasion. Starting from the epochal assumption that for the first time in human history the majority of the world's population lives in urban environment, the conference gathered a set of presentations dealing with issues of global urbanization, showing a multiplicity of approaches and points of view which we tried to preserve within the limits of this publication. Urbanization is a phenomenon inscribed into globalization process with enormous consequences in the transformation of urban space and the everyday life of citizens: a dynamics which is reflected also in a flourishing analytical discourse that increasingly transcends the boundaries of established urban disciplines. The progressive extension of the urban domain beyond the limits of the city, and across diverse scales, has its corollary in the progressive segmentation of the urban dimension along multiple lines of material, social, economic, cultural and ethnic nature. Here we have chosen the perspective of the everyday to analyse how practices and policy can overcome the spin towards fragmentation and anomy and reinforce social cohesion for a more just and liveable city, endorsing the ‘right to the city’ as postulated by the seminal work of Henri Lefebvre. Although not specifically focused on his work, this collection clearly reveals the fundamental influence of the French philosopher over the knowledge and critique of late modern spatial production (Lefebvre, 1991b), and the net of Lefebvre's concept which connect different papers constitutes an evident subtext to this volume of Research in Urban Sociology. The original structure of the conference foresaw five distinct thematic sections, entitled ‘Right to the city’, ‘Cinematic urbanism’, ‘Governance and planning’, ‘Re-appropriation of urban spaces,’ and ‘Suburbanization and post urban cities’. Ultimately, in composing this volume we decided not to adopt those thematic areas as distinct sections, as many papers demonstrated the interdependence of these topics, escaping a strong separation of the arguments. On the contrary, the five topics recur all along this volume as transversal issues connecting almost all contributions. In the Introduction we aim at retracing those connections, starting from the dialectic evocated by the title between ‘everyday life’ practices of the inhabitants and what has been named here ‘segmented city’ as an epitome of the contemporary city in the age of globalization.

Details

Everyday Life in the Segmented City
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-259-3

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2010

Maria Cristina Sousa Gomes, Maria Luís Rocha Pinto and Gabriela Gomes dos Santos

With this reappraisal, the purpose of this paper is to present a reflexion on and discussion of the concept of quality of life (QL) with the intention of delimiting its…

Abstract

Purpose

With this reappraisal, the purpose of this paper is to present a reflexion on and discussion of the concept of quality of life (QL) with the intention of delimiting its meaning and application within the scope of the research project entitled “Costs and benefits of urban dispersion on a local scale”.

Design/methodology/approach

The concept of QL contains a significant degree of complexity and multidimensional variables, in addition to the dynamic nature inherent in all social phenomena. The application of this concept at a local level and within the context of the Portuguese socio‐territorial reality requires rethinking the concept through the different authors and approaches, in order to delineate the research process, and guarantee its operationalisation, selecting the social indicators than can serve this purpose, with the intent of gaining a clearer understanding of QL as perceived and evaluated by the people and groups living in various dispersed urban areas.

Findings

From the readings of literature in the field, one can understand the importance of choosing the relevant domains when analysing and measuring QL. As with the choice of indicators, in order to be able to measure the QL, simultaneously, at a local level, the choice of indicators and the delimitation of units of analysis are also fundamental in order to be able to obtain the comparison and real measure of quality of life and not the contingencies of specific contextual characteristics.

Originality/value

The study aims to open a new research perspective in the field of social sciences, more specifically in the areas related to QL and urban dispersion.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 May 2020

Mauro Romanelli

The purpose of this study is to identify the pathway that leads to cities to proceeding towards urban sustainability.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the pathway that leads to cities to proceeding towards urban sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

This study intends to propose a theoretical analysis on the city as sustainable community that drives urban development adopting a smart vision for urban growth.

Findings

Cities as sustainable urban communities develop smartness as a vision for change understanding and developing the potential offered by information technology reinforcing the community by shaping collaborative governance.

Research limitations/implications

Cities using information technology as a source for urban sustainability develop smartness to evolve as smart communities following a managerial and organizational view towards sustainability as a source for continuous innovation and change within urban ecosystem.

Originality/value

Cities identify a sustainability-oriented and community-driven pathway as a vision for continuous change that helps to improve urban competitiveness, innovation and democracy ensuring high quality of life by strengthening the potential offered by technology-enabled and human-centred smartness.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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