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Quality of Urban Environment: A Critical Review of Approaches and Methodologies

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DOI: 10.4236/cus.2015.34029    3,418 Downloads   4,242 Views  


It is a well-known fact that quality of environment in urban habitats has deteriorated throughout the world over time and the down-slide still continues. It is a matter of great concern as it affects human well-being and health. This problem under the general umbrella of quality of life studies has been examined from different angles. At the centre stage in this paper it is the quality of environment from a human perspective to inform the policy makers about the hiatus between objective (empirical) and perceived quality of environment [QOE]. Indeed, some qualitative studies are successful in finding out deeper issues in respect of environmental degradation of urban habitats which should be brought to the notice of urban planners and designers. However, studies carried out in environmental psychology, in many cases, have failed to philosophical underpinnings and appropriateness of methodology. They are unable in theorising the quality of the urban environment to the satisfaction of critical evaluation. The present paper is a humble attempt to critically evaluate the objective and perceptual approaches and methodologies to understand and evaluate quality of the urban environment. In the process, their philosophical foundations are also subjected to critical evaluation to conclude which one of the two approaches better informs policy makers concerned with urban development and renewal programmes.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Khan, M. , Aftab, S. and Fakhruddin,  . (2015) Quality of Urban Environment: A Critical Review of Approaches and Methodologies. Current Urban Studies, 3, 368-384. doi: 10.4236/cus.2015.34029.


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