Towards a new paradigm for the assessment of sustainable housing: An environmental Quality of Life (QoLe) approach

  • YEAR
    Upadhyay, Anir Kumar
    Hyde, Richard
    Wadley, David
    2010 Conference Papers


ABSTRACT: The basic concept of sustainability is about supporting human needs within ecological
boundaries. Human needs are diverse hence a measure called Quality of Life (QoL) is commonly
used to ensure human well-being. Yet these metrics do not currently involve environmental factors,
although QoL and sustainable development share common components. Hence by including
environmental factors, the QoL approach has been adopted to measure the social needs and
sustainability at local level. This paper argues that environmental Quality of Life (QoLe) can be used
for the assessment of sustainable housing. QoLe refers to the perceived and experienced QoL in the
broader social, physical and economic environment in the geographic space within which people live.

The paper explores methods to assess sustainable housing development using this approach. QoLe
is assessed through subjective and objective measures. A subjective measure involves two
questionnaires, a) environmental attitudes survey, and, b) residential environmental satisfaction
survey. The objective measure involves analysis of environmental, social and economic issues. In
this way, it is possible to understand resident’s’ values and attitudes to the environment, particularly,
their level of people-environment congruity. Secondly, their satisfaction with the physical aspects of
built environment, environment and community. Thirdly, the level of sustainable attributes on housing
development. The underlying hypothesis suggests that high QoLe aligns with strong person
environment congruity, high levels of residential environmental satisfaction and a high sustainability
rating of housing development.


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