The growth of urban areas presents a challenge for local governments around the world. While the challenge is particularly formidable to policy makers and planners, it offers opportunities for environment-behaviour researchers to contribute to the resolution of urban problems.. Studies focusing on the quality of urban life (QOUL) offer such opportunities. The paper first presents an overview of QOUL studies. It then describes a number of conceptual models used to test relationships between objective urban conditions and QOUL. Finally, the models are elaborated so as to illustrate the manner in which environment-behaviour research can be conducted to inform urban policy, planning, and design.