Objective Metrics vs Subjective metrics

  – resident (subjective perceptions)


Example 1: Air quality in Surrey County, United Kingdom

  The air pollution was very accurately matched

      between the two analyses

  -many subjective respondents even noted diurnal changes that    occurred throughout the day with traffic pattern variations.



Example 2: Access to urban green space in Rome, Italy

  Higher availability of greenspaces led to higher satisfaction

  – in turn, furthered more frequent use of the greenspaces.

  However, there was not a correlation between the expert’s assessments of   biodiversity to resident’s satisfaction with respective green areas

  -There was not a significant overlap between the resident and expert   valuation of the greenspaces.

  -Residents were more concerned with quantity,

  -Experts were more concerned with quality (biodiversity richness).



This study was successful in showing that people can perceive

of some types of degradation to their environment, but also showed that they are

unaware of other factors that may be reducing their overall quality of life.


A clear distinction between subjective and objective measurements

is invaluable for an accurate assessment of quality of life.


 While there may be great variety in the degree to which different classes of people’s wants are met, there needs to be a demarcation of the threshold below which no member of society is subject to reduced or inhospitable environmental quality

The goal for scientists is to identify the ideal parameters to ensure that all residents have a common threshold for standard of living, and then project the findings to future resource use

Sustainability is ultimately about Environmental and Social Justice