Quality is a very complex and a vague concept which covers various meanings from the perspective of different disciplines. However, a general definition can be given as “the efficiency/performance of an object or a service towards the needs”. A specific form of quality, quality of urban life, can be defined as the performance level of urban life towards the needs of communities or societies. In other words, quality of urban life refers to the degree of excellence or satisfactory character of urban life. The main aim of this paper is to evaluate the quality of urban life from a taxonomic perspective. Our taxonomic approach addresses several dimensions of quality of urban life ranging from environmental to social and economic components. We address the concept of quality, environmental quality, quality of life, measurement of quality of life, livability, and sustainability, as well as the associated concepts such as well-being, satisfaction, and performance. We evaluate multidimensional aspects of urban environmental quality, while addressing the implications of spatial and urban planning policies with respect to these dimensions. Our focus is mainly on four aspects of quality of urban life, viz. (i) urban ecology and resources, (ii) urban environmental quality, (iii) quality of urban transport, and (iv) sustainable cities and quality of community life. With our taxonomic approach we aim to evaluate the quality of urban life in a broader and a systematic sense to highlight the relevant urban policies.
The growth of industries and cities is in many ways dependent on the agricultural sector, and thus indirectly on rural areas. In the past, the agricultural development has accelerated the growth of many cities, while, on the other hand, the growth of cities in various regions had a pervasive impact on agricultural production. Nevertheless, populations in general remained rural in character and were mainly involved in agricultural production until the Industrial Revolution. Since then, not only have the cities changed tremendously, but modernization has also changed agricultural production systems and thus the rural community. In this paper, our aim is to offer new insights into the complex modern interdependency between urban and rural areas resulting from extended urbanization towards the hinterland. We will mainly focus on the developed world and, we attempt to formulate (future) challenges for urban rural interaction resulting from a stylized model of town and hinterland interdependence.
Urban agriculture in Japan has the problems such as reduction in farmland, aging of farmers, expansion of abandoned cultivated land and environmental pollution by stock raising waste or agricultural chemicals. Similarly, urban side has various social and environmental problems as well, for instance, the problems of garbage, river management, food safety, natural environment, etc. Function of urban agriculture is not only to supply agricultural goods but also to create landscapes, to ensure land conservation and sustainable management of renewable natural resources and to provide environmental benefits such as conservation of biodiversity. Therefore, urban agriculture can contribute to improve urban quality of life through supplying local public goods. Sustainability of urban agriculture is composed of three elements, i.e.: economic efficiency, sociality and environment protection. The relative importance of three elements changes along with regions and times, and the balance among them is always called for. The contribution of agriculture to the urban quality of life links to the sustainability of urban agriculture. Therefore, the sustainability of urban agriculture can be realized by building cooperative and bidirectional relations between the urban residents who highly concern about agriculture, food safety and environmental issues and the farmers who concern about sociality and environment protection.
This paper seeks to position the increasingly popular concept of multifunctional land use in the context of urban planning and urban land rent theory. It aims to design a framework for identifying the benefits of multifunctionality in land use by offering a typological approach to three classes of actors (stakeholders and beneficiaries) involved, viz. investors, organizations and users.
After the enactment of Japan's Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law in 2002, landowners, particularly private firms and enterprises, were obligated to shoulder a new risk. Compared with other countries, Japan's implementing of government regulations and providing fiscal support in this field have been too little and too late. Consequently, Japan should promptly consider necessary means of implementing environmental protection measures, information disclosure, and a system of financial support. The purpose of this research is to verify practical measures that can be taken in the future to address the issue of contaminated areas in Japan. In order to survey and summarize the overall situation regarding soil-contaminated areas, we relied on the experience in Germany, where the economic situation is similar to that in Japan. With reference to a case study conducted in Germany, we analyzed practical measures to achieve purification, considered the influence of the central government and municipalities, and characterized the difficulty of practical implementation. This paper is a revised version of the theme on which it reported at the international Meeting PRSCO (The 19th Pacific Regional Science Conference) held by the Nihon University College of Economics Tokyo on 24 July 2005. To our regret, it became difficult to continue this research due to the sudden death of the superintendence Prof. Keiichi Tanaka, who headed the research. Therefore, this research project ended with a temporary respondent report.
In this study, we propose a synthesized environmental management policy by computer simulation that includes introduction of biomass energy recycle plant to control air and water pollutant emissions. We consider both the total ecological system in and around the lake and the socio-economic situational changes over a certain period of time in the catchment areas of Lake Kasumigaura. The results establish that effective utilization of biomass resources allows simultaneous pursuit of environmental preservation and economic development. When we utilize biomass resources, cross-sectoral cooperation becomes essential, because this process needs knowledge and skills from various fields, such as excreta disposal, power generation and legal science. However, red tape problems exist in the present circumstances. These problems in our society must be reduced and resolution of global environmental problems encouraged.
As the scarcity of water resources intensifies, water policy attracts ever-increasing interest. It is then only natural that attention be drawn to the appropriate pricing of water use, a dominant factor in an effective policy governing water resources. The present paper singles out for examination pricing systems for urban water uses. The paper begins by systematically presenting a simple economic analysis that first goes on to describe the conditions for effective pricing and then the effects of underpricing water use. It then focuses on some new elements which are introduced in order to assist in the better understanding of empirical data and existing information in real case studies. Next, the systems of pricing and managing water use in five European cities come under scrutiny and are compared to the analytical model of full cost pricing and effective use deriving from the economic analysis. The paper concludes that, after all and for the majority of cases, the existing prices are set at a lower level than that of the full cost prices of water. Inescepably, the use of water, in all indicative case cities, exceeds the optimum socioeconomic level with the result that ineffective demand management prevails.
Characteristics of neighbourhoods are important in the decisions of people to move. Such characteristics, if collapsed into a small number of components, enable measures of neighbourhood attractiveness to be derived and the patterns mapped in a GIS. This paper employs this procedure for suburbs across the Brisbane-South East Queensland region, the third largest and a rapidly growing metropolis in Australia, using data collected in a survey of quality of life. Three factors of neighbourhood attractiveness—aesthetic, amenity, and social interaction—are identified. To map those factors, a set of surrogate measures that replace survey data derived subjective importance scores with objective measures derived from a series of GIS data overlays are developed. A factor score coefficient matrix is used to derive a set of parameterised linear equations which permits a spatial representation of the factors across the suburbs comprising the Brisbane-SEQ region. This results in a set of maps which display spatial variations in the attractiveness of suburbs vis a vis the derived dimensions of subjective attractiveness for residential selection by people.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government enforced an ordinance of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in 1981. The ordinance prescribes 26 types of development projects including high-rise buildings as they are likely to cause significant adverse effects on the environment. On the other hand, the ordinance amended in 2002 to bring easing of restrictions. Most of the projects of high-rise buildings have been exempt from the objects of the ordinance since then. The study focuses on the effect of EIA of high-rise buildings. Firstly, we figured out the circumstances behind each amendment of the ordinance. Secondly, the current environmental quality of high-rise buildings in Tokyo central area is investigated. And some cases of the high-rise building EIA projects are discussed to identify the influences of EIA to the original plans. Based on these examinations and analyses, we finally identified the points of the improvements of the current EIA ordinance of Tokyo.
Actually, a number of arguments arising from the actual experience of performance as a whole in developed areas and indications of cross-cultural differentiation in developing areas prove that there are certain limitations in implementing environmental policies and international commitments aimed at steering a course towards sustainable futures for European regions. Since the choice of a particular method for a specific project assessment depends on the cultural context, in addition to the political and administrative structures, public participation becomes fundamental in playing more effective roles in environmental decision procedures in European regions. In fact, among the number of approaches in human geography, positivist and humanistic approaches used together seem particularly meaningful in respect to regional differentiation in efforts leading to ecologically sustainable development. From the viewpoint of ecology, location and public participation, in other words for a bottom-up approach to European integration through international cooperation, the human eco-centric view seems the most appropriate viewpoint, since it is based on the human relationships and place dependencies. However, without explicit environmental premises, the sustainability debate seems indeterminate. Just as, certain findings verify the hypothesis that the community perception of urban health risks is key to understanding how a community perceives health risks, so is it recognized that not take into account the responding behavioural reactions to urban health risks for the affected community results in a failure to obtain objective measures of risk to design urban and regional environment projects. Specifically, from the standpoint of an ecologically sustainable development, it may be useful to examine the satisfaction rates of people in certain urban areas by utilizing selected models in order to evaluate likely planning decisions. In this paper, the performance of the Istanbul metropolitan area is examined by using a number of independent variables covering housing conditions, accessibility conditions, social and cultural parameters and environmental impact as a whole, besides also utilizing some European experience in this field.
The paper presents the conceptual background at the basis of the development of new intelligent environments for the access, exploitation, and management of Cultural Heritage, and of the e-services that will unlock and promote the value of European and global Cultural heritage. We discuss the challenges related to the creation of user-friendly interfaces conveying and promoting the understanding of distributed, diverse, multi-media public information on cultural destinations and sites and the available services to enhance the public awareness of European Cultural Heritage while widening the concept of accessibility. New agent based technologies and case based reasoning might help and support policy makers who face decisions related to non market commodities such as cultural heritage goods' and regeneration plans. Within this context, we consider the implications to economic valuation methods' applications and enhancement.
The increase of automobile traffic has always caused traffic congestion of downtown areas. This simultaneously generates environmental problems caused by automotive exhausts and an increase in traffic accidents. We should build a new comprehensive scheme of urban transportation based on the quality of life of the inhabitant to solve this problem. To this end, we propose the phased evaluation system for finding an appropriate plan in terms of quality of life. Firstly, we introduce the method of Conjoint Analysis to build the basic planning concept. In the next stage we design the outline of a downtown transportation plan using the obtained concept. By demonstrating this to the inhabitants we examine its acceptability. Finally the improvement in transportation conditions is analyzed by AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) and examined for the possibility of visiting in downtown area. Actually, we applied these methods to the transportation plan for Sapporo, which is located in Hokkaido, Japan. As a result, inhabitants assessed some sustainable transportation measures. The differences and the tendencies in each district are clarified by use of Conjoint Analysis. Consequently, the residents do not all have consistent opinions towards the attributes on the sustainable transportation scheme. However, they preferred the step by step improvement over the drastic one. Thus, we proposed the new basic plan which we would execute over the period of ten years. Next, we evaluated the acceptability of the inhabitants to the plan in view of quality of life. As a result, the proposed new plan possesses a higher acceptability. In particular, residents accept the plan in terms of safety against traffic accidents. From this, we estimated that there would be a 34% increase in frequency for visits downtown after the scheme is completed.
JEL classification: R4 Transportation Studies R41 Transportation: Demand, Supply and Congestion, Safety and Accidents, Transportation Noise
According to road users, the speed limits in Hokkaido, Japan are considered unsuitable. Therefore, this study was undertaken to determine a better speed limit, which would be more efficient, in other words, a sustainable speed limit, by applying user life cycle cost (user LCC). User LCC is composed of cost from travel time, vehicle operating cost (VOC), emitted pollution (CO2, NOx and noise), accidental cost, and congestion cost. The costs from travel time here were inversely proportional to the travelling speed. For VOC and cost from emitted pollution, the highest costs were generated while drivers were travelling at a too high or too low speed. The accidental cost was directly proportional to travelling speed. Lastly, the congestion cost was introduced to make the model more reliable and useful even though it is not a serious problem in Hokkaido. Here, the sustainable speed limit was calculated as the speed that has the lowest user LCC. Costs were calculated in units of yen per kilometre per day. The results showed that urban national highways had the highest costs while the rural national highways had the lowest cost. The sustainable speed limits could be 10 km/h higher than present speed limits on urban national highways, rural national highways and urban expressways, except for rural expressways that was 10 km/h lower. However, due to limitation of data, the results may not contribute towards the sustainability to the environment and city effectively. Moreover, in the future, if traffic volume and other costs change, it is recommended that the sustainable speed limit be reconsidered.
Environmental problems caused by automobiles are most serious among urban environmental problems. However automobiles play much important roles in the field of private or industrial transport, so urban environmental projects to control automobile use are afraid to give damages to socioeconomy through the increase of automobile using cost. So it is need to evaluate synthetically the economized environmental policies by calculating the economic loss due to executing these policies. In this paper, we build the computable general equilibrium (CGE) model consider location equilibrium to evaluate socioeconomic impacts when implementing the urban environmental projects. And we actually computed the impacts of some urban projects at Osaka in Japan and confirmed movements of our CGE model.
Due to the rapid economic growth, and increase of motor vehicle ownerships in Asian countries, people are suffering from serious air pollution problems, especially in large cities. There has been a worldwide movement to eliminate lead from gasoline since the 1970s. In accordance with lead elimination from gasoline, the concentration of lead in air and its health impact have also decreased. This paper is an attempt to discuss about environmental measures in Thailand and Indonesia. From a point of view on environmental measures, the case studies show different problem and process of lead phase out policy because of different socio-economic backgrounds, the initial conditions of the oil industries and government capacity. Behinds environmental measures, the case studies indicate that the most important change driver is strong leadership to achieve consensus among different stakeholders.