Urban Quality of Life Survey by Localizing Eurobarometer Indexes (Case Study: the City of Qazvin)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Futures Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Political Science, Department of Futures Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran.


Introduction: Cities are copying with growing populations and an expanding infrastructure need to accommodate growth and at the same time, Governments have to satisfy the changing needs of their existing populations. The challenge is particularly formidable for policy makers and planners. Also, it has been widely recognized that measuring progress in terms of GDP is not sufficient. While, Quality of life (QoL) has been the domain of development discourse for the past decade. QoL Survey can be a certain way for determining and needs assessing in urban planning and helps on developing roadmap in urban management, for achieving desired urban situation. Quantifying QoL is faced by numerous debates such as those concerning what aspects should be measured, the relative weight of different aspects, and the average vs. real citizen’s QoL and objective vs. subjective indicators. There are a number of indices claiming to measure and rate QoL in different cities or countries and Eurobarometer is one of the popular ones. The Eurobarometer (Quality of life in European cities) has been conducted to get a snapshot of people’s opinions on a range of urban issues in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015. It has some common indexes with those have been used in cities of IRAN. Then in this paper, localizing the Eurobarometer for Qazvin city in the form of a new statistically analyzable measuring scale is done and QoL in three regions of Qazvin city is depicted. In fact, the main purpose of this paper is to measure the Urban QoL in Qazvin city. It uses subjective indicators in measurement.
Methodology: This quantitative research was a descriptive-field study and developed a measurement scale for QoL Survey in Qazvin city on summer 2018. In this research, some indexes of Eurobarometer no. 419, were selected and localized according to the literature. By performing a questionnaire base survey and questioning 420 people of the residuals of Qazvin city, 393 filled questionnaire were used for analyzing in SPSS. Here, the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) was measured 0.869 and the sig. of Bartlett's test was measured 0.000, then exploratory factor analysis by Principal Component Analysis method was done. For achieving the extractions upper than 0.5, some questions were omitted respectively. The rotated matrix of 8 components described 63.1 percent of their variations. In this step, according to the loading score of component rotated matrix and literature, new measuring scale was developed. In this research, by applying Cronbach's alpha, the reliability of factors came out. The total Cronbach's alpha for the whole 8 factors of the questionnaire was measured 0.92. But the Cronbach's alpha for each factor showed that 6 out of 8 factors are reliable (have gotten upper 0.7). In this step the factors Health care services and City administrative services, were omitted and the 6 remaining ones were used in T one-sample test for measuring QoL in Qazvin.
Results and discussion: In this research, the factors: life satisfactory (satisfaction of living in the city and individual living situation), Cleanliness, urban physical environment (situation of streets and buildings, public places, green spaces and availability of retail shops), Safety and trust, respectively got the most total satisfactory marks. On the other hand, the most total unsatisfactory marks, respectively belonged to the economic situation (Employment/job opportunities, Financial situation of household and individual financial situation) and educational and Welfare services (situation of Educational, Sports and Cultural facilities) factors. In this research, satisfactory measurement is marked between 1 to 5, then the region no. 1 takes almost 2.971 and the region no. 2 and 3 take the scores 3.156 and 3.145 and totally the satisfaction level is very low. Also, these results are confirmed through the field visit of the researcher. As the region no. 1 is the oldest part of the city and famous old markets and religious places are located in. it is faced with crowded traffics and weak infrastructure for transportation and also needs enhancements in Welfare services, green spaces and even Health care services. Also, people who are living in this part of the town are poorer than the other parts. On the other hand, the residuals of regions no. 2 and 3, are somehow the same in Urban QoL. They both need developments in educational and welfare services. Finally it needs to mention that, the economical unsatisfactory is dispread all over the city, as the country is facing with economic problems especially in lack of job opportunities, increases in the prices and rents of houses and mainly increases in consumer goods which are related to united states new sanctions at late 2018.
Conclusion: Urban QoL is a concept that has the challenge to solve the problems of urban areas, to control urban sprawl and to prevent environmental deterioration. It has the objective to restore existing urban areas and control the development of new communities. This paper tried to apply a modified and localized version of Eurobarometer in Qazvin city of IRAN, which is a common model for assessing QoL in European cities, while in the quest to rate cities and countries according to their QoL, numerous attempts by various organizations can be found. This research measures the level of QoL in certain dimensions and through the geography of the certain city, aiming at enhancing QoL in each region according to the main factors. This study provides a big picture of QoL in Qazvin city and can be used by urban authorities, regional municipalities and city councils for urban planning. Also, since reliability of these factors are passed by Cronbach's alpha, then can be used in the next researches and help on developing a common QoL model in Iranian cities and it must not limited to the existing needs but lead to strategic foresight in urban planning.


Main Subjects

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