© 2011

Investigating Quality of Urban Life

Theory, Methods, and Empirical Research

  • Robert W. Marans
  • Robert J. Stimson

Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 45)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Robert W. Marans, Robert Stimson
    Pages 1-29
  3. Approaches to the Study of Quality of Life and Quality of Urban Life

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 31-31
    2. Robert Stimson, Robert W. Marans
      Pages 33-53
    3. Rod McCrea, Robert W. Marans, Robert Stimson, John Western
      Pages 55-75
    4. Rod McCrea, Robert Stimson, Robert W. Marans
      Pages 77-104
  4. Empirical Studies of the Objective Measurement of Quality of Urban Life

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 105-105
    2. Gordon F. Mulligan, John I. Carruthers
      Pages 107-133
  5. Empirical Studies of the Subjective Assessment of Quality of Urban Life Illustrated by a Selection of Case Studies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 161-161
    2. Robert W. Marans, Byoung-Suk Kweon
      Pages 163-183
    3. Handan Türkoğlu, Fulin Bölen, Perver Korça Baran, Fatih Terzi
      Pages 209-231
    4. Alexander G. Keul, Thomas Prinz
      Pages 273-293
    5. Benjamin L. Messer, Don A. Dillman
      Pages 315-343
  6. Innovations in Modeling Quality of Urban Life Data

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 345-345

About this book


This volume synthesizes past and current, international research on the quality of urban life. It emphasizes the contributions of the urban environment to the overall well-being of residents living in urban areas ranging in scale from small cities and their hinterlands to metropolitan regions. The term urban environment refers to the socio-physical aspects of urban living ranging from individual dwellings and neighborhoods to public services (i.e. transportation, rubbish collection, etc.) to neighbors and community organizations. The work emphasizes not only perceptions of and behaviors within urban environments but the actual conditions to which individuals are responding. The research covers both the subjective and behavioral aspects of urban living as well as the objective conditions which drive them.

Drawing on collaborative research with a broad group of researchers in a variety of settings around the world, the book incorporates theoretical and methodological approaches to the conceptualizing and measuring of quality of life. It covers research designs that are based on both the analysis and modeling of aggregate secondary data and on the collection, analysis and modeling of primary survey data on subjective urban quality of life.


quality of life survey research urban and regional planning urban social analysis

Editors and affiliations

  • Robert W. Marans
    • 1
  • Robert J. Stimson
    • 2
  1. 1.Inst. Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Network (AURIN), University of Melbourne, Architecture Building and PlanningAustralian Urban Research InfrastructureMelbourneAustralia

About the editors

Robert W. Marans is a research professor at the Institute for Social Research and a professor emeritus of architecture and urban planning in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. During the past 30 years, Dr. Marans has conducted evaluative studies and research dealing with various aspects of communities, neighborhoods, housing, and parks and recreation and recreational facilities. His research has focused on user requirements and the manner in which attributes of the physical and sociocultural environments influence individual and group behavior and the quality of community life. Much of Dr. Marans' research has been in the context of urban areas. His current research considers the impact of the built and natural environments on quality of life, the role of neighborhood in the health of Detroit residents, and issues of sustainability in the workplace. The latter examines the human aspects of energy conservation and sustainability at the University of Michigan.

Marans is a registered architect and is active in recreation planning and policy in southeastern Michigan. He is a charter member and president of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation commission and commissioner of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA), the governing body responsible for the planning, development, and operations of the metroparks throughout Southeastern Michigan. He serves on the board of the Michigan Land Use Institute, and is a trustee of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. He has also been a trustee of the Washtenaw Land Trust and served on the executive committee of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute and the University's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy. Dr. Marans is the author or co-author of 7 books and more than 100 articles and technical reports. He has lectured extensively throught the US and in Europe, Asia, South Africa, Brazil and the Middle East. 

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
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From the reviews:

“The book is an authoritative collection of essays that provides a valuable introduction to the field of research on QOUL, identifies key conceptual and methodological issues, and presents a number of well-written and informative empirical case studies that together illustrate the value and relevance of the research for the citizens of our contemporary urban world.” (Michael Pacione, Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 52 (2), 2012)