Name of the tool
Description of the tool
There is little agreement between scholars and policy-makers as to the precise definition of QOL. A comprehensive definition seems to be from Cutter: “…an individual’s happiness or satisfaction with life and environment, including needs and desires, aspirations, lifestyle, preferences and other tangible and intangible factors which determine overall well-being. When an individual’s quality of life is aggregated to the community level, the concept is linked to existing social and environmental conditions such as economic activity, climate, or the equality of cultural institutions. It includes both tangible and intangible measures reflecting local consensus on the community’s values and goals”. (Cutter, S.L., 1985, Rating places: a geographer’s view on quality of life’ Resource Publications in Geography, the Association of American Geographers)
Quality of Life is measured using indicators. Maclaren (1996) states that there is widespread agreement in literature that there are two distinct types of indicators appropriate for measuring societal well-being:
The variety of indicators used in QOL studies is enormous, but there is a well established body of literature on the choice of indicators that purport to measure various aspects of QOL. Each indicator is supposed to reflect/capture the magnititute and importance characteristics of a specific dimension/component of QOL. Most literature on QOL deals with the problem of selecting appropriate indicators and lists. But the search for the definitive list is impossible. The appropriate list is determined by the circumstances of each study.
There are also a variety of ways to determine the importance of the indicators. Four of the most popular ones are:
Renwick and Brown’s (1996) technique to measure QOL for individuals uses an arithmetic procedure and this relies on the measurement of indicators on a ration scale. Brown presents a conceptual framework for assessing the QOL at the urban level that employs objective and subjective indicators.
Maclaren, V.W. (1996) Developing Indicators of Urban Sustainability: A focus on the Canadian Experience (Report prepared for the State of the Environment Directorate, Environment Canada, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Intergovernmental Committee on Urban and Regional Research), ICURR Press, Toronto
Sector/s of use
M - main sector, 1 - sub sector and 0 - n/a
Scale of applications