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Spatial nature of urban well-being

Spatial nature of urban well-being

Title: Spatial nature of urban well-being
Author: Ala-Mantila, Sanna
Heinonen, Jukka
Junnila, Seppo
Saarsalmi, Perttu
Date: 2017-09-14
Language: English
Scope: 959-973
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)
Department: Umhverfis- og byggingarverkfræðideild (HÍ)
Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering (UI)
Series: Regional Studies;52(7)
ISSN: 0034-3404
1360-0591 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1360485
Subject: Subjective well-being; Cities; Happiness; Quality of life; Inequality; Urbanization; Borgir; Hamingja; Þéttbýlismyndun
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/1248

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Ala-Mantila, S., Heinonen, J., Junnila, S., & Saarsalmi, P. (2018). Spatial nature of urban well-being. Regional Studies, 52(7), 959-973. doi:10.1080/00343404.2017.1360485


The evidence for connections between subjective well-being and spatial factors remains inconclusive, especially with respect to the immediate living environment. To fill this gap, this paper explores the relationship between individual-level subjective well-being and spatial variables in urban areas. This resolution is achieved by utilizing finely divided geographical information system (GIS)-based neighbourhood data, and controlling for objective and subjective spatial characteristics, as well as socio-spatial factors. The results suggest that subjective well-being has some spatial nature, but the direction of these relationships is highly dependent on the subjective well-being measure used. For example, central pedestrian zones flourish in terms of quality of life, whereas the highest happiness is reported in car-oriented zones. Overall, subjective spatial characteristics are more important for well-being than objective ones.


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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-ncnd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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