The assessment of cities' livability integrating human wellbeing and environmental impact

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Ana Camanho
Teresa Galvão
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This study develops a tool to assess livability in European cities covering two components of livability: human wellbeing and environmental impact. First, we propose a conceptual model to assess cities' livability, that extends the concept of urban livability to include a component related to environmental sustainability. Second, we address the measurement of cities' livability. For this purpose, a new composite indicator was constructed based on a data envelopment analysis model specified using a directional distance function. In addition to assigning a summary measure of performance for each city, the composite indicator can be used to guide improvements concerning different livability objectives. One of the innovative features of the model proposed is to enable, by the specification of different directional vectors, focusing separately on each component of livability (e.g., human wellbeing and environmental impact) or alternatively considering cities' potential for improvement in all indicators simultaneously. In addition, it is possible to incorporate a new type of weight restrictions, specified as assurance regions type I, that reflect the relative importance of both desirable and undesirable outputs in percentage terms. Finally, this paper approached the assessment of the evolution of cities' performance over time using the Luenberger productivity indicator.