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Investigation on the relationship between objective and subjective indices of quality of life and quality of access to urban services (Case study: Distressed area of Zahedan City)

Journal: Geographical Urban Planning Research (GUPR) (Vol.4, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 473-494

Keywords : بافت فرسوده; خدمات شهری; شهر زاهدان; عدالت اجتماعی; کیفیت زندگی;

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Introduction In the past half century, cities due to increase in urbanization, which nowadays is considered as one of the most important aspects of global changes, have provided grounds for expansive urban development and created a lot of changes in land use from local to global scales. These changes were in such a way that following increase in population of the cities and rapid expansion, urban areas are faced with considerable challenges in terms of physical and environmental deterioration, social exclusion, insecurity, unemployment, housing shortage and traffic problems. All these issues reduce quality of life in the cities. Although urbanization is an important index of welfare and social and economic development, its rapid expansion can reduce per capita of urban services and socioeconomic facilities. This in return will manifest itself in the form of life quality reduction in different aspects of urban life. Therefore, nowadays, we emphasize upon solving urban challenges, problems of distribution of urban utilities, social justice, well-being, and consequently citizens quality of life. Consequently, life quality studies can help us identify problematic areas, reasons for public dissatisfaction, citizen priorities in life, the impact of social and population factors on life quality, and monitoring and evaluation of the efficiency of policies and strategies of life quality. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of urban services and their impacts on life quality in distressed areas of Zahedan City based on cultural-religious, healthcare, service-welfare, and urban facilities and utilities dimensions as the indices of available urban services in these areas.   Methodology The research method is descriptive-analytical. In the present study, to obtain the required data, the field study was employed via developing and distributing questionnaires based on the indices of urban services in each of the studied areas. The sample size included 384 individuals of residents of distressed areas of Zahedan City based on the Cochran formula. To access more complete results, the sample size increased to 390 individuals and questionnaires were distributed in terms of the number of population in each 8 areas. Then, using the SPSS software and employing Pearson correlation coefficient, GIS, and fuzzy functions, the data were analyzed.   Results and Discussion Findings of the present study indicate that Zahedan City has not been significantly successful in providing urban services for its citizens because most of its distressed areas have average scores lower than the moderate level. In this study, index of access to services was evaluated using 4 major indices (cultural-religious, service-welfare, healthcare and facilities and equipment) which are comprised of 29 sub-indices.  The mean score of resident satisfaction with life quality is based on the indices of access to urban services. The index value was 2.44 which is lower than average. Among these variables, satisfaction with access to exceptional education centers, world tourism and hospitality, libraries, green spaces and secondary schools have scores of 1.08, 1.39, 1.53, 1.95, and 1.99, respectively. Satisfaction with sewage disposal system, surface water collection ducts, and neighborhood cleanliness have scores of 1.72, 1.79 and 1.95, respectively, as the worst status. Satisfaction values with access to bus stations and access to mosques have scores of 3.56 and 3.68, respectively, as the best status. These values are according to the surveys in distressed areas. Therefore, we may state that satisfaction with quality of access in the distressed areas of Zahedan is not very good. In addition, a comparison between the subjective and objective indices of access to urban services indicates that the final score of subjective indices is calculated based on 17 indices including distance to nursery school, primary school, secondary school, high school and exceptional education centers, tourism and hospitality centers, neighborhood services such as retail shops, desalination stations, post offices, cultural-religious centers (library and mosque), transportation centers such as tax and bus stations, healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics and sport facilities. The value of the indices is 0.11 and higher than the final score of objective indices (0.07) measured based on 29 indices (satisfaction with access to library, nursery school, primary school, secondary school, high school, exceptional education, mosques, drugstores, healthcare centers, clinics, satisfaction with neighborhood cleanliness, water quality, blackouts, neighborhood lighting, post offices, surface water collection ducts, waste collection, fire stations, storehouses, repair shops, green spaces, sport centers, world tourism and hospitality, retail shops, desalination stations, sewage disposal, access to communication networks, taxi and bus stations). Findings indicate that in some cases, there are differences among what residents perceive from their place of residence and what the results of objective assessment of the environment indicate. One of the reasons for the mean differences between objective and subjective indices in the distressed areas of Zahedan is that most of the urban services are located in Zahedan District 4 which is the central part of the city where most objective services are located. Most distressed areas are located in the northern part of Zahedan. Therefore, citizens are not very well satisfied with the access they have to services in their own neighborhoods and this accounts for the difference between objective and subjective indices in the distressed areas. In addition, using Pearson correlation test, the relationship between cultural-religious, healthcare, service-welfare and facility indices and quality of life was evaluated. Results indicate a significantly positive relationship between all urban service parameters and quality of life in the distressed areas of Zahedan.   Conclusion Regarding the fact that distressed areas of Zahedan City are divided into 8 areas, and most of the areas are located at suburbs of the city, they suffer from the lack of services and access to a lot of urban services. Among these 8 areas,  Area 4 is considered as the best due to its location at the center of the city in terms of indices of the subjective life quality with mean scores as 3.59 and Area 8 with mean score of 2.06 is the worst area. In terms of objective indices of life quality, Area 4 with mean scores of 4.44 is the best area and Area 6 with mean score of 2.75 is the worst area. Since the degree of life quality in distressed areas of Zahedan is not indicated to be at favorable levels, therefore, strategies should be devised to inject urban services among these areas to improve life quality of residents in these areas.

Last modified: 2019-09-02 03:06:01