chapter  6
16 Pages

Urban liveability

The objective measures of obsolescent and deficient shelter traditionally employed in assessing the quality of different residential environments convey the impression of unequivocal reliability and validity. The concept of urban environmental quality or liveability is more complex, however, being a relative rather than an absolute term where precise meaning depends on the place, time and purpose of the assessment as well as the value system of the assessor. In brief, quality is not an attribute inherent in the environment but is a behaviour-related function of the interaction of environmental characteristics and person characteristics. In order to obtain a full appreciation of environmental quality, it is necessary to employ both objective and subjective measures - in other words we must consider both the city on the ground and the city in the mind.