Lopes, M. N., & Camanho, A. S.
Lopes, M. N., & Camanho, A. S. (2013). Public green space use and consequences on urban vitality: An assessment of European cities. Social Indicators Research, 113(3), 751–767.
The promotion of quality of life is becoming ever more important in a scenario of regional, national and even international competition among cities, triggered by globalization. Public sites, and green spaces in particular, which are available in varying extent in all urban areas, can bring important benefits to urban vitality and, as a consequence, to quality of life. However, cities are intricate entities and measuring their success in converting the potential for public green space usage into increased quality of life is a difficult task. In order to contribute to the objective of assessing the potential for public green space use, and its consequences on urban vitality, we applied the Data Envelopment Analysis technique to assess a total of 174 European cities. The results detect the best performing cities, and for the cities considered inefficient, a set of benchmarks is identified, whose best practices can be copied to support efforts of performance improvement.
While existing literature shows a strong connection between public space and quality of life, the results of the data analysis show no clear connection between public space and quality of life as operationalized by the variables used, implying the relationship might not be as strong as expected. The relationships between the data analyzed could be complicated by variables not included in the study. The authors find that the Data Envelopment Analysis can be useful for further urban data analysis, as it can accommodate many variables and weighting systems.
Description of method used in the article
The authors use Data Envelopment Analysis to analyze Urban Audit data from countries across Europe, testing the relationship among indicators for public space and quality of life. Specifically, they test the predictability that inputs, including demographics, dwelling type, and environmental factors, have on outputs, including crime, mortality rate, and life expectancy.
Of some practical use if combined with other research