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Article

Methodology for Establishing Well-Being Urban Indicators at the District Level to be Used on the CityScope Platform

by 1,2,*, 2,* and 2,*
1
Computer Science Department and Philosophy Department, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02481, USA
2
MIT Media Lab City Science Group, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9458; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229458
Received: 1 October 2020 / Revised: 25 October 2020 / Accepted: 30 October 2020 / Published: 13 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Planning and Social Well-being)
The MIT Media Lab City Science Group reshapes and reevaluates well-being as an emerging key indicator due the social challenges that cities are facing, such as inequality, police violence, and breaches to safety and security. Well-being in urban environments has been studied extensively, yet most research focuses on one aspect of well-being rather than multiple dimensions of well-being. Existing well-being indices that are used to compare well-being between different countries or to set a standards for well-being consider a variety of aspects that affect well-being, yet they are not specific to urban environments. When considering that no holistic and comprehensive research has been specifically conducted on well-being in urban environments, we research the relationship between the built features of an urban environment and well-being. In this paper, we propose a Well-Being Index composed of five urban indicators—Community Connectedness, Safety & Security, Physical Health, Mental Health, and Diversity—which are each described by a set of urban attributes that enhance well-being. Each attribute is quantified using a calculation formula. In addition to quantifying well-being, the Well-Being Index emphasizes specific urban features that urban planners should consider for future decision-making. We apply the Well-Being Index to predict well-being in Boston, Massachusetts, and Kansas City, Missouri, and we speculate that Boston has higher levels of well-being in terms of the city’s urban features. Based on our results, we provide suggestions for future choices in urban planning and design to improve the areas of well-being that we were able to identify with the Well-Being Index. We emphasize that the Well-Being Index can be applied to any city in the world, and can inform future decision-making for building urban environments through the CityScope platform; a novel methodology of interaction and collaboration by using a data-driven platform that simulates the impacts of interventions on urban ecosystems prior to detail-design and execution. View Full-Text
Keywords: well-being; urban planning; community; safety and security; health; diversity well-being; urban planning; community; safety and security; health; diversity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Orii, L.; Alonso, L.; Larson, K. Methodology for Establishing Well-Being Urban Indicators at the District Level to be Used on the CityScope Platform. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9458. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229458

AMA Style

Orii L, Alonso L, Larson K. Methodology for Establishing Well-Being Urban Indicators at the District Level to be Used on the CityScope Platform. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9458. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229458

Chicago/Turabian Style

Orii, Lisa, Luis Alonso, and Kent Larson. 2020. "Methodology for Establishing Well-Being Urban Indicators at the District Level to be Used on the CityScope Platform" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9458. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229458

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