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Quality of Life Indicators

Environmental Decision Toolkit
Indicators of Quality of Life

Recent research suggests that businesses within specific economic sectors are highly sensitive to quality of life (QOL) when choosing an operating location.

These sectors include the much sought-after “knowledge-based” components of the economy that include research and development firms, information technology, and a variety of sectors that are considered to create high-paying jobs and stimulate robust economic activity.

The sensitivity of knowledge-based firms' location decision to local quality of life stems from the intense nationwide competition for talented workers. In addition, footloose entrepreneurs who initiate new businesses are increasingly free to locate in areas of their choice.

ReVA and local partners, developed a range of indicators for the SEQL study area that covered aspects of quality of life and amenities and then identified which indicators could be evaluated for future scenarios with publicly available datasets.

Amenities include pre-existing natural conditions such as the presence of oceans, lakes, mountains, and a temperate climate, in addition to conditions that arise from human efforts such as transportation infrastructure, sports teams and facilities, quality schools, distinctive architecture, music and art venues, and parks.

Amenities also include good air and water quality, lively urban centers, and lack of traffic congestion and crime.

The quality of life and amenity indicators were chosen to clarify some of the indirect connections between quality of life, economic conditions, and levels of ecosystem function. Increasingly, city planners view efforts to maintain quality of life or amenities as important economic development tools.

Categories of Quality of Life Indicators related to Natural Conditions

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