City size and quality of life in urban settlements Case Study: Guilan and Mazandaran Provinces

Document Type : Articles extracted from Thesis


1 Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 M.A. Student of Geography and Urban Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Quality of life is a complex, multi dimensional, time and place dependent concept. One of the important factors affecting quality of life is the size of the dwelling. Accordingly, the present study seeks to investigate the relationship between city size and quality of life. The study area is urban settlements of Guilan and Mazandaran provinces. Objective data on quality of life were extracted from the population census of 2016 and subjective data on quality of life using a researcher-made questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics techniques including mean, standard deviation, one-sample T test, correlation analysis and principal component analysis were used to analyze the data. The results showed that the objective dimension of quality of life including housing quality, access to facilities and services, literacy rate and access to job opportunities had a positive and significant correlation with city size and subjective dimension of quality of life including relaxation, life satisfaction, opportunity and social capital have a significant negative correlation with city size.


1)      فتاحی، احد الله؛ خراسانی، محمدامین؛ پایدار، ابوذر (1391) کیفیت زندگی و توسعه انسانی، چاپ اول، تهران: نشر انتخاب.
2)       مرکز آمار ایران، سرشماری عمومی نفوس و مسکن، 1395.
3)      منصوریان، حسین (1395) پویش جمعیتی و الگوهای پوشش زمین در منطقه کلان‌شهری تهران، پژوهش‌های جغرافیای برنامه‌ریزی شهری، دوره4، شماره 4، صص.633-613.
4)      نیازی، محسن و دلال خراسانی، محمد (1391) تبیین عوامل اجتماعی و فرهنگی مؤثر بر زندگی شهروندان، فصلنامه انجمن ایرانی مطالعات فرهنگی و ارتباطات، دوره8، شماره 27، صص.229-198.
5)     Alonso, William. (1971) The Economics of Urban Size, Papers of the Regional Science Association, Vol.26, pp.67-83.
6)     Berry, Brian. & Okulicz-Kozaryn, Adam. (2012) The city size distribution debate: Resolution for US urban regions and megalopolitan areas, Cities, Vol. 29, pp.S17–S23.
7)     Berry, Brian. (1961) City Size Distributions and Economic Development, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol,9, No.4, pp. 573–88.
8)     Berry, Brian. (1964) Cities as Systems within Systems of Cities, Papers and Proceedings of the Regional Science Association, Vol.13, pp.147-163.
9)     Biagia, Bianca. & Gabriela Ladub, Maria. &  Meleddu, Marta. (2018) Urban Quality of Life and Capabilities: An Experimental Study, Ecological Economics, Vol.150, pp.137-152.
10) Bosker, Maarten. & Brakman, Steven. & Garretsen, Harry. & Schramm, Marc. (2008) A century of shocks: The evolution of the German city size distribution 1925–1999, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol.38, pp.330–347.
11) Brereton, Finbarr. & Clinch, Peter. & Ferreira Susana. (2008) Happiness, geography and the environment, Ecological Economics, Vol.65, No.2, pp.386–396.
12) Buettner, Thiess. & Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric. (2013) City size and the demand for local public goods, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol.43, pp.16–21.
13) Chen, Juan. & Davis, Deborah. & Wuc, Kaming. & Dai, Haijing. (2015) Life satisfaction in urbanizing China: The effect of city size and pathways to urban residency, Cities, Vol.49, pp.88–97.
14) Chen, Binkai. & Liu, Dan. & Lu, Ming. (2018) City size, migration and urban inequality in China, China Economic Review, Vol.51, pp. 42-58.
15) Clark, David. & Kahn, James. & Ofek, Haim. (1988) City Size, Quality of Life, and the Urbanization Deflator of the GNP: 1910-1984, Southern Economic Journal, Vol.54, No.3, pp. 701-714.
16) Evans, A. W. (1972) The Pure Theory of City Size in an Industrial Economy, Urban Studies, pp. 49–77.
17) Fenger, Jes. (2009) Air pollution in the last 50 years: from local to global, Atmospheric Environment, Vol.43, pp.13-22.
18) Galloway, Susan. & Bell, David. & Hamilton, Christine. & Scullion, A. (2006). Quality of life and well-being: Measuring the benefits of culture and sport: Literature review and thinkpiece. Edinburgh: Analytical Services Division, Scottish Executive Education Department, pp. 4-97.
19) 19) Giesen, Kristian. & Suedekum, Jens. (2014) City age and city size, European Economic Review, Vol.71, pp.193–208.
20) Han, Lijian. & Zhou, Weiqi. & Pickett, Steward. & Li, Weifeng. & Li, Li. (2016) An optimum city size? The scaling relationship for urban population and fine particulate (PM2.5) concentration, Environmental Pollution, Vol.208, pp.96-101.
21) Hayo, Bernd. (2007) Happiness in transition: An empirical study on Eastern Europe, Economic Systems, Vol.31, No.2, pp.204-221.
22) Hnderson, J. V. (1974) the Sizes and Types of Cities, American Economic Association, Vol.64, No. 4, pp. 640-656.
23) Henderson, Vernon. & Wang, Hyoung Gun. (2007) Urbanization and city growth: The role of institutions, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol.37, pp.283–313.
24) Hitzschke, Stephan. (2011) The optimal size of German cities: Anefficiency analysis perspective, Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics, No.202, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Department of Law and Economics, Darmstadt.
25) Kladivo, Petr. & Halas, Marian. (2012) Quality of life in an urban environment: A typology of urban units of Olomouc, Quaestiones Geographicae, Vol.31, No.2, pp. 49–60.
26) Knight, John. & Gunatilaka, Ramani. (2010) The rural–urban divide in China: Income but not happiness?, The Journal of Development Studies, Vol.46, No.3, pp.506-534.
27) Lenzi, C. & Perucca, G. (2016) Life Satisfaction across Cities: Evidence from Romania, The Journal of Development Studies, Vol.52, No.7, pp.1062-1077.
28) Marans, Robert. & Stimson, Robert. (2011) Investigating Quality of Urban Life: Theory, Methods, and Empirical Research, social indicator research series, Springer.
29) Mitra, Arup. & Nagar, Jay Prakash. (2018) City size, deprivation and other indicators of development: Evidence from India, World Development, Vol.106, pp.273–283.
30) Morrison, Philip. (2007) Subjective Wellbeing and the City, Social Policy journal of  New Zealand, No.31, pp. 74–103.
31) Morrison, Philip. & Weckroth, Mikko. (2018) Human values, subjective well-being and the metropolitan region, Regional Studies, Vol.52, No.3, pp.325–337.
32) Okulicz-Kozaryn, Adam. (2012) Income and well-being across European provinces, Social Indicators Research, Vol.106, No.2, pp.371-392.
33) Parr, J.B. (1970) Models of City Size in an Urban System, Papers and Proceedings of the Regional Science Association, Vol.25, pp. 221-253.
34) Pinto, Sara. & Fumincelli, Lais. & Mazzo, Alessandra. & Caldeira, Silvia. & Martins, Jose. Carlos. (2017) Comfort, well-being and quality of life: Discussion of the differences and similarities among the concepts, Porto Biomedical Journal, Vol. 2, No.1, pp. 6–12.
35) Phillips, David. (2006) Quality of life: Concept, policy and practice, Edition 1, Publisher Routledge USA.
36) Rezvani, Mohammad Reza. & Mansourian, Hossain. & Sattari, Mohammad Hossain. (2013) Evaluating Quality of Life in Urban Areas (Case Study: Noorabad City, Iran), Social Indicators Research, Vol.112, No.1, pp.203-220.
37) Richardson, H. W. (1972) Optimality in City Size, Systems of Cities and Urban Policy: a Sceptic’s Views, Urban Studies, pp.29–48.
38) Serag El Din, Hamam. & Shalaby, Ahmed. & Farouh. Hend Elsayed. & Elariane, Sarah. (2013) Principles of urban quality of life for a neighborhood, HBRC Journal, Vol.9, No.1, pp. 86–92.
39) Singell, Larry. (1974) Optimum City Size: Some Thoughts on Theory and Policy, Land Economics, Vol.50, No.3, pp. 207-212.
40) Sores, Anett. & Peto. Karoly. (2015) Measuring of Subjective Quality of Life, Procedia Economics and Finance, Vol.32, No.15, pp.809–816.
41) Sorensen, Jens. (2014) Rural–urban differences in life satisfaction: Evidence from the European Union, Regional Studies, Vol.48, No.9, pp.1451-1466.
42) Stewart, Charles. (1958) The Size and Spacing of Cities, Geographical Review, Vol.48, No.2, pp. 222-245.
43) Tuan Seik, Foo. (2000) Subjective assessment of urban quality of life in Singapore (1997–1998), Habitat International, Vol.24, No.1, pp.31-49.
44) 44) United Nations. (2019) World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York.
45) Veneri, Paolo. (2016) City size distribution across the OECD: Does the definition of cities matter?, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Vol.59, pp.86–94.
46) Weziak-Bialowolska, Dorota. (2016) Quality of life in cities-Empirical evidence in comparative European perspective, Cities, Vol.8, pp.87–96.
47) WHO. (1998) WHOQOL: measuring quality of life, Psychological Medicine, Vol. 28, No.3, pp. 551–558.
48)  Zhang, Xing Quan. (2016) The trends, promises and challenges of urbanisation in the world, Habitat International, Vol.54, pp. 241-252.
49) Zhou, Shangyi. & Dai, Juncheng. & Bu, Jianhua. (2013) City size distributions in China 1949 to 2010 and the impacts of government policies, Cities, Vol.32, pp.S51–S57.