Linköping offers good quality of life
It is possible to get a reasonable idea of how residents experience life quality in an urban environment and even to compare city by city. The findings of a major European study on life quality in city environments—including Linköping—were recently released.
Six comparable European cities are ranked in the study QualityCities. The other cities are Evora (Portugal), Joensuu (Finland), Roskilde (Denmark), Speyer (Germany) and Tönsberg (Norway). Like Linköping, all are middle-sized cities near a university.
Linköping residents list security factors, neighborhood environment, living conditions, and access to health care as important for good life quality. Other factors named are a good job market, educational opportunity, living standard and environmental policies.
Linköping residents are less happy with the state of the public school system, citing too few teachers. They voice dissatisfaction with street and road maintenance, high housing costs, integration policies and the citizen-politician dialogue.
"An objective of our study has been to define a reliable way to measure life quality," explains Jan Axelsson who headed up the LiU section of the two-year European project. "Civil authorities often use standard multiple-choice forms for this type of survey, one where possible responses are already given. It is then easy to overlook factors that urban residents are most concerned about.
The QualityCities study invited townspeople to state the most vital life quality factors and rank their city according to these. Different cultures, not surprisingly, express different opinions on key issues. Residents of Linköping and Evora, for instance, do not necessarily prioritize in the same way.
"A secondary objective of the poll is to compare how respondents in the participating cities measure their life quality even though they use different yardsticks. That helps us understand intercultural aspects and allows us to learn from one another," concludes Jan Axelsson.
The 6-city poll was conducted within the European research framework "Life Quality, Townspeople, Technology".
Last updated: 2009-06-03