Evaluation on well-being and urban development: a case study on 33 cities of mainland China

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Over the past 40 years, the social economy of China has achieved leapfrog development and the urbanization level has been continuously improved. According to the seventh national census, the urbanization rate has reached 63.89%, which means China has entered the urban era. With the achievement of prosperity in all respects, what we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. The focus of the governance changes from increase GDP and accelerate urban construction to improve people’s well-being. There is no doubt that improving the urban development environment based on meeting the various needs of residents is closely related to people’s well-being. We summarized the cognition of well-being in Chinese traditional culture and the concerns of contemporary Chinese to ensure that the follow-up research is applicable to the local situation in China. On the one hand, based on the Happiness Sphere Theory, time geography and Maslow Demand Theory, the study built a happiness evaluation system with 3 spheres which included 50 index items. On the other hand, the study analyzed the mapping relationships between the subjective and objective factors and the difference between east China and west China through the nationwide questionnaire survey. What's more, the study applied the data of 33 cities in China to the evaluation system to make a preliminary analysis and demonstrated the future application possibilities. The conclusion concentrated on a summary of well-being features and a discussion of both advantages and disadvantages of the urban development environment. In addition, we conducted a specific analysis of key cities like Beijing and Hangzhou and so on. Among them, we could find out that although the high house price and long-distance commutes to work daily decreased the well-being of residents in Beijing, the high quality of medical care and education, the prosperous culture, the diverse types of employment in Beijing also made many people satisfied. Differently, Hangzhou let residents feel well because it performed well in all aspects and improved the convenience of city life through intelligent governance. What needs to be illustrated is that the high accessibility and operability of the statistical data and big data provides a clear perspective for researchers and practitioners in other countries undergoing society transition.
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2: Well-being and health. Al-Fereej: caring for living conditions
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Institute for China Sustainable Urbanization, Tsinghua University
Research Assistant
Institute for China Sustainable Urbanization, Tsinghua University

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