Working paper "Is our life good enough?"

Over the past few years, discussions have taken place on how to measure the quality of life (QoL) and how quality-of-life indicators can complement economic and social indicators to measure territorial development. Until now, level of income and standard of living have been used to assess our personal success and QoL.

However, with increasing evidence and awareness of climate change and societal challenges, the equation linking growth, prosperity and QoL has been revised, to reduce inequalities and harmful impacts on the environment. Now, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are all facing new, important challenges that affect our QoL. The potential changes to our way of life are manifold, as this crisis has spared no territory and has had uneven impacts at global and local levels.

Therefore, enhancing QoL is a key objective for policymakers at different scales, and it has become more relevant in the policy agenda along with increasing demands for the participation of citizens in the political process.

This working paper makes an important contribution to this process by providing a methodology to assess QoL through a place-based and citizen-centric approach based on the results of the ESPON applied research project ‘QoL – Quality of life measurements and methodology’, recent literature review and taking into account the current European policy processes, in particular the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

ESPON has played a timely role with this working paper, which is intended to inform and inspire policymakers and stakeholders on to how to operationalise and integrate QoL into policy processes at different levels.

Further information

Video on quality of life


ESPON Working Paper, Is Our Life Good Enough.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.71MB