Liveability is more of a process than a status quo. Scientific research shows that a precise definition does not exist. However, we know that liveability is defined by living standards and quality of life – elements that are objective and subjective. For creating liveable cities, a good mix of both is needed.
But the question of how to assess liveable cities remains unanswered. Ramboll is therefore investing in creating appraisal tools that will help urban leaders and planners to assess the current situation in their city, and create the basis for navigating the future. The status scenario will, in turn, be compared with policy initiatives that improve urban liveability.
Enabling informed strategic decisions
Ramboll is developing a far more detailed measurement system than those available today such as the Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability ranking. The new system incorporates parameters including ecosystem services or elements of the Happiness Index. The ground-breaking aspect of the tool is that it provides a holistic view and can be used as a tool to support strategic decisions.
Economic and societal costs and benefits will be included as well as distributional impacts for the involved stakeholders. Risk and sensitivity analyses are also important to ensure that policy-based recommendations are robust.
For the first time, these tools illustrate how all aspects of liveability fit together and how Ramboll can approach cities and municipalities to communicate this very complex issue.
The toolbox consists of multiple tools for different software applications such as GIS-applications, Cost-Benefit Analysis, or MatrixGreen, which provides a system perspective on the landscape and visualises strengths and weaknesses in ecological systems, and can be applied within environmental assessments, physical planning and design, and mapping of ecosystem services.
The appraisal tools can be used by urban planners and decision makers and cover:
- Assessment tool of the current situation
- Checklist of the most significant indicators of liveable cities
- Basis for dialogue with clients and urban decision makers to discuss the challenges and opportunities of a city
- Tool for online-participation