Environmental Engineering Reference
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The first research perspective, in the different urban contexts, should
favor the definition of the relative weights of the variables explaining qual-
ity of life with respect to the traditional determinants of urban growth, to
measure the related contributions. This is needed to outline the potential
connections existing between the specificities of the different urban con-
texts, their growth, and the values of the quality of life indices . The results
would be classified into different groups using cluster analyses, giving the
policymaker different (economic) situations among which to select the
most effective strategies.
The second research perspective aims at providing specific operative tools
of local governance and management to the public determinants to stimulate
specific levels of development which can satisfy the citizens' needs , over-
come the local conditions of potential disease, limit the pressures on the dif-
ferent environmental contexts, and favor processes of innovation and knowl-
edge. This integrated approach needs continuous information detection sys-
tems at two different levels. First, it is essential to adopt and monitor an indi-
cator system, which can involve the different dimensions of local sustainable
development (in an economic, social, and environmental perspective). These
indicators should be able to highlight the evolutions visible at the level of a
certain urban area and to give policymakers suitable directions. This system
should be accompanied by tools, which can collect directly the population's
perception rather than the strategies adopted by policymakers. The detection
tools can be several (permanent forums which involve selected stakeholders;
the development of specialized focus groups among the citizens; surveys
addressed to representative samples of the population via questionnaires). All
these tools should provide the general vision that the population has of itself
and the strategies that the public administration is realizing, showing the citi-
zens' satisfaction because of the decisions taken.
The research perspectives mentioned previously can provide a valid tool
for policymakers, who can use them to take decisions. On the one hand,
according to the peculiarities of a specific context, it is possible to identify
the dimensions of an appropriate development; while, on the other, through
various territorial monitoring systems, it is possible to obtain indications
revealing the effectiveness of the actions being undertaken.
Royuela V, Moreno R, Vaya E (2010) Influence of Quality of Life on Urban Growth: A
case study of Barcelona, Spain. Regional Studies, 44, pp 551-567
Henderson J (1996) Ways to think about urban concentration: neoclassical urban systems
vs. the new economic geography. International Regional Science Review, 19, pp 31-39
Camagni R, Gibelli MC, Rigamonti P (2002) Urban mobility and urban form: the social
and environmental costs of different patterns of urban expansion. Ecological Economics,
40, pp 199-216
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