Understanding environmental quality through quality of life studies: the 2001 DAS and its use of subjective and objective indicators

A major program of research aimed at measuring the quality of community life using subjective and objective indicators is described. Impetus for the research was a need to inform planning and policy decisions in the Detroit metropolitan area. The study also addresses theoretical concerns about relationships between objective conditions in cities, towns and rural areas and people’s subjective and behavioral responses to the conditions. In addition to measuring subjective well being of Detroit area residents, issues explored in the study include travel and transportation, neighborhoods and neighboring, parks and recreation behavior, housing and residential mobility, and sprawl and open space preservation. The program of research also involves parallel studies in other world cities.