Activity 2: Liveability criteria
In this learning sequence, you will explore the meaning of liveability and identify important factors or criteria that need to be addressed to make a place liveable. You will consider the issue that every human being wants their 'place' – whether it is a village or city – to be 'liveable'.
Key inquiry question: What does 'liveable' mean and how do we go about making places liveable?
Task 1: Identifying liveability criteria
Many people are interested in determining whether places are liveable. These can be politicians who want to keep their citizens happy; real estate developers who want to make places attractive for investment; governments who similarly want to attract big business and the many jobs they can bring to a local economy; and human rights groups who want people to live safe and healthy lives.
- Survey a range of 'liveability criteria' so that you can choose the factors that you think are most important. Explore the links below and locate the list of criteria used to determine 'liveability.' You might do this if you have a Diigo account, but bookmarking and highlighting the web page or using free document editing software to highlight PDFs or highlighting printouts or simply taking notes.
- Combine all the criteria from these five sources into one sheet or electronic document.
Task 2: Building your liveability criteria
Now that you have a list of 'liveability criteria' from five sources, your task is to decide which liveability criteria you think are most important and should be used to rank or evaluate cities across the globe.
- Start from a position of experience and expertise and begin by reflecting on what either makes where you live a great place or what should be changed to improve life there. You can start with your own experiences, things that affect you, but then also consider how your 'place' is experienced by other people. Brainstorm your own list of the things (your criteria) for the liveability of your home community or city:
- How is it for workers or people who need to travel?
- How is it for people who are sick, poor, rich, young or old?
- What is it like for people from different countries or cultures?
- What about the geography – the landscape, waterways and air quality – is it great or could it be improved?
- Using your own criteria based on your own experience and your ideas of how life is for other people who live in your community or city, compare your ideas with the professionals:
- Choose one of the five sets of criteria that seem as close to what you've identified as your criteria.
- Does this list include anything that you've missed that you would now like to add?
- Include in your criteria the ones you came up with plus any you want to add from what you saw as the best whole list from the professionals.
- Consider the other sources to adjust your thinking and criteria.
- Use word processor, spreadsheet or brainstorming software (such as Padlet) so you can list your criteria at the top and then slot in those from the other sources that are like yours. You might need to go back to the sources to see what they mean by a specific term like 'sprawl' or 'tolerance'. This will help you see if your criteria include all those mentioned by the professionals or whether you might want to add some in that you now think are important.
Task 3: Conclusion
The final product for this activity is a list of your finalised criteria that includes a short description for each term so other people can understand exactly what you have in mind. Call this document My Criteria for Liveability.