Objective and Subjective

Objective studies address measurable trends across space and time.

   – environmental

  – social

  – epidemiological


Things that can be objectively measured include

  – requirements for clean air, water

  – safe, healthy food propagation

  – available and reliable energy for modern operations


For example,

  1. observed correlation between high concentrations of unemployed, low

skilled and ethnic minorities to high levels of overcrowding, amenity deficient

housing and out-migration.

  2. Examination of urban cores in most cities of the United

States shows degradation as a result of a declining fiscal base and deteriorating

physical infrastructure


Subjective studies measure reported life satisfaction, and can in turn also

measure perceptions of the physical properties that objective studies measure.


  What objective studies cannot capture, however, is how some aspects of well   being can be independent from direct influence from the physical world.


Anecdotal evidence for these studies

   – highly rated life outlooks in impoverished communities

  – scenarios where people are unaware of their environment’s degradation

  – drinking contaminated groundwater


Some subjective metrics try to measure:

  with valuation schemas

  – hedonism, dialectical perspectives, humanism and formalism

  or with categorical schemas

  – livability, character, connection, mobility and diversity.