Assessing subjective quality of urban life at neighborhood scale
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The subjective nature of quality of urban life (QoUL) has not been adequately addressed in the planning literature. Major aims of this study are to elaborate the notion of subjective QoUL as meaningful and measurable quality categories in terms of urban planning policy and to give additional information to urban policy makers and planners about needs of different socio-economic groups and their satisfaction with urban living. This study explores the concept of QoUL defined as the performance level of urban life towards the needs and expectations of residents. The study uses Maslow’s theory of human needs as a starting point to investigate subjective dimensions of OoUL. It explores this concept in a neighborhood scale as subjective evaluations gain significance while the geographic scale getting smaller. To address the significance and priority of subjective dimensions and to re-define satisfactory character of urban living Kano’s Model is selected as an major analysis tool. Using Kano’s Model to understand and prioritize the impacts of urban needs over life satisfaction has become possible. This analysis method creates a basis of strategic action while transforming subjective perception to the understandable categories of quality. Given the limited public resources, policy makers need to find the most effective way of distributing them in line with the needs and the priorities of people. This can be achieved by using the results of the related research as input in the decision making processes.