Despite the popularity of the term urban livability, it is often used by different groups under different circumstances. A broader understanding of urban livability is that it concerns the quality of life in any human living environment. The World Health Organization, among many others, suggests a four-dimension assessment system based on the concepts of convenience, amenity, health and safety that can be used to evaluate any cities’ potential livability. Following this proposal, the current study taps into the power of GIS and Remote Sensing technologies to generate a set of urban livability evaluating indicators via extracted land use information. Using the city proper of Changchun, Jilin Province of China as an example, the study extracts fifteen individual land use indicators from topographic maps and a remote sensing imagery. A principal component analysis-based approach was used to build an urban livability index with the fifteen indicators. Furthermore, with detailed examination of relevant studies, national documents and local fieldwork, this research also establishes potential benchmark values for all fifteen livability evaluating indicators for comparison purposes. Results suggest that slightly more than half of Changchun's city proper is above the livability benchmark in the framework of the current study. Residents’ access to parks and open spaces is a major lagging factor for the city proper's livability. The study provides an alternative of quantifiable and verifiable approach for sustainable urban planning, especially from a land use policy perspective.
- Geographic information system
- Principle component analysis
- Remote sensing
- Urban livability