Academic journal article Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management

Detailed Analysis of Urban-Environmental Aspects in an Urban Life Quality Model

Academic journal article Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management

Detailed Analysis of Urban-Environmental Aspects in an Urban Life Quality Model

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

In the last years, different societal, economical and political changes that have occurred in the main Latin American urban areas, and in particular in Argentina, have transformed the urban territory and turned it into a disintegrated and degraded place to live in. In this sense, as an answer to this situation, the national, provincial and local governments should preserve in an integral way, the process transformation of these cities, avoiding social imbalance and providing life quality to their habitants. In consequence, population's needs, such as health, housing, education, recreation and safeties have to be faced by the local governments. Therefore, it is important to count on different mechanisms which allow recognizing habitant's satisfaction and insatisfaction. Accordingly, it is necessary to establish a conceptual and empirical methodology which allows identifying the social satisfaction and its inclusion in the scope of public policies.

The population's life quality (PLQ) is closely linked to the inhabitants' satisfaction, which is reflected into the group of needs that must be covered by the government's policies. (Leva, G. 2005). Thus, we believe that if the inhabitants' basic needs are not satisfied, from the access to basic health, sanitation, recreation, etc., the population will be unsatisfied and in disadvantage. The balance between the ecological, biological, economic, productive, socio-cultural, technological and aesthetic aspects suggests the existence of a healthy habitat capable of meeting the needs which we have already mentioned.

Understanding the urban-environmental relationship allows us to consider a number of components as part of the city: air pollution and noise, water quality, sanitation, transport conditions, preservation of green spaces, that is to say, thinking about the deteriorating conditions of life of its inhabitants. (Metzger, 1996).

ULQ also depends on the relationship between specific urban groups (habitants/users) and institutional-political system that combines territory and the activities which are carried out by people who are involved in urban metropolitan processes. Critical and "basic" variables, with a considerable influence on ULQ, are included on this relationship.

ULQ comprises three components:

* The demand consists of two groups that represent objective people's needs, housing or population sectors characterized within a cultural context, and the subjective needs represented by social preferences and personal wishes,

* The supply comprises material and non-material resources that represent regional urban properties and services, objective needs and symbolic resources,

* The relationship between the above mentioned needs and the supply.

In consequence, this work presents the development of a methodology and a model gathering different aspects that interact within the concept of urban life quality. ULQ is measured from the implementation of an evaluation methodology, which is synthesized in a model that interprets and integrates housing and urban systems, critical resources, environment, urban life quality concepts and their territorial localization.

The design of an Urban Life Quality Model (ULQM) (1) has allowed to obtain the population Unsatisfied Basic Needs (UBN) where the integration of the urban services (infrastructure and basic services), the environmental aspects and the relationship between demand and supply allow to obtain quantitative and qualitative data and its urban territorialisation.

This work was carried out on the basis of a multidimensional conceptual model. Its methodology has been presented at scientific and academic meetings and projects (Rosenfeld, 2002).

The present analysis correspond to medium urban centers of different scales and consolidations, in particular, La Plata city, capital of Buenos Aires province which was chosen as a model. …

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