Comparative assessment of quality of life from the perspective of social justice Case study: Tehran urban districts 2 and 16

Document Type : Research Paper



The evaluation of the urban quality of life (QoL) is an issue with growing importance in the scientific literature. Several authors, from different academic backgrounds, have approached this theme. Contributions from diverse disciplines illustrate the complexity of this phenomenon: sociology, geography, economy, public health, transport or environment engineering are only some of the possible references that show the interest this issue raises in different areas of knowledge. The multidisciplinary views show, on one hand, the scientific wealth of this issue, but it raises, on the other hand, research constrains as it is difficult to reach a consensual concept of quality of life, as well as the underlying dimensions that should be used for its assessment. In the scientific literature that addresses this theme, the lack of agreement is well shown. The concern of administrative authorities raised by the growth of people living in urban contexts has been followed by the scientific literature. Defining the indexes of life quality, Vienna, Zurich, and Oakland were reported as the best places to live in the world in 2012 and Singapore, Tokyo, and Kobe in Japan as the best cities in Asia and Dubai in the Middle East. The most important goal of urban planning and development is to improve the quality of life and bring happiness to citizens; but the quality of life is a multidimensional concept which deals with different factors. One of the most important goals of urban planning is to analyze the factors of inequality and attempt to improve the quality of life and create equal conditions for all the citizens. By defining objective and subjective indexes, this research tries to make a comparative analysis of life quality and its factors concerning two cases, i.e. Nazi-Abad and Shahrake Gharb.

The research also seeks to answer the following questions:
1. What are the levels of life quality indexes of these two cases?
2. Concerning the social justice, how different are the life quality indexes of them?
3. Which indexes are in a better condition?
The type of the research is practical-developmental and its method of analysis is descriptive-analytical. The method of data collecting is library studying and field research. It has also used the survey methodology by making questionnaires (based on Likert Spectrum) to get data about the attitude of people on their life quality. The results of the research show an unbalanced distribution of life chances and urban facilities. To examine the validity of questionnaire Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used and its reliability was defined based on expert’s comments. Sample size is based on calculated variance from 50 primary questionnaires with a confidence level of 95 per cent. The data from questionnaires were analyzed by SPSS software and the Hypotheses were tested using Pearson correlation test and t-test.
Results and discussion
21 main questions were involved into the questionnaire about the life quality in these two places and the effect of providing urban services on it. Table 1 shows the personal information of respondents; table 2 is the results of the average answers to the main questions; table 3 shows the qualitative results based on utility spectrum; and table 4 shows the result of t-test for comparing the average grades of factors with standard criterion. The level of education among the respondents of the first region is low while it is fair for the second group. There is also a wide gap between the two regions in terms of economic activities and job opportunities. Based on the opinions of the residents of these two regions, the difference between the indexes of life quality and provision of urban services in the two regions have caused a significant distinction of cultural, social and economic development and of social security in them. Of course, there are some differences in factors which among them the level of responsiveness and the level of general satisfaction of the residents are more important. On these factors, the results show a similarity between the indexes of the two regions which mostly is because of the level of participation and also the low expectations of the first region citizens.
In urban and human geography, the most important role has been given to the social justice and social welfare and human geography gained its place as a scientific field only in purpose of improving human life environment and providing social welfare to him. The purpose of improving life quality in urban area is to provide the services and facilities equally. Life Quality opens a way for local officials and the people to interact with each other so to have a better understanding of the key issues affecting people’s life. In today’s cities, the important factor which makes separations between the areas of a town is economy. Considering the level of incomes in the two regions in the above table, the difference in the economic index shows the gap between them. It should be noted that the level of expectations in the two regions affected their responses on their income level. For example, the respondents with higher level of education (mainly in Shahrake Gharb) were mostly dissatisfied with their income while gaining more incomes in comparison to others. Executing a variety of plans in which the form have priority over meaning, machine over human, body over soul, work over life, etc. have made the city much more important than what it is suppose to be helpful for, i.e. human being. The priorities in urban planning should be the needs of all groups of people in the society to protect the social and economic justice. This could be gain perfectly through the inclusion of all capacities of different social groups and their participation in every part of the planning.
Keywords: social justice, quality of life, urban life quality indices, the concept of citizenship, urban areas of Tehran.


Main Subjects

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