Measuring urban social sustainability:Scale development and validation


Despite the significant role of social sustainability in the sustainable development agenda, there is a lack of research to clearly define and fully operationalise the concept of urban social sustainability. The aim of this study is to contribute to the existing literature by developing a comprehensive measurement scale to assess urban social sustainability at the neighbourhood level. We argue that urban social sustainability is a multidimensional concept that incorporates six main dimensions of social interaction, sense of place, social participation, safety, social equity and neighbourhood satisfaction. Failure to consider each of these dimensions may lead to an incomplete picture of social sustainability. Validity, reliability and dimensionality of the urban social sustainability scale are examined using factor analysis. We also illustrate the application of the urban social sustainability scale by investigating the influence of quality of design, as one of the least studied factors of urban form, on different dimensions of social sustainability. The paper uses data collected from the household questionnaire survey in a sample of 251 respondents from five case study neighbourhoods of Dunedin city, New Zealand. This study provides new evidence on the significance of improving neighbourhood quality of design and its positive and significant relationship with different dimensions of social sustainability and the overall social sustainability.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Centre for Personal Financial Wellbeing
Additional Information: © Sage 2019. The final publication is available via Sage at
Uncontrolled Keywords: New Zealand,Urban social sustainability,measurement scale,neighbourhood level,quality of design,urban form,Geography, Planning and Development,Architecture ,Urban Studies,Nature and Landscape Conservation,Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Publication ISSN: 2399-8083
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 07:26
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2019 08:57
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Related URLs: https://journal ... 399808319882950 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-05-01
Published Online Date: 2019-10-17
Accepted Date: 2019-09-24
Authors: Larimian, Taimaz
Sadeghi, Arash (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5022-0883)



Version: Accepted Version

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