Lasting community wellbeing embracing health and liveability: comparison of Lisbon and Tokyo

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Planners in many major urban areas are facing challenges affecting lasting community wellbeing (LCW), which is a key foundation for overall sustainability. LCW involves people’s immediate and long-term satisfaction with decent individual and socio-ecological daily lives mainly within the scales of the neighbourhood and city-region. Community recognizes the multiple and flexible relationships of people, typified by mutual commitment and support. While the concept of community does not entail living proximity and geographical organization (e.g. on-line community, professional community, etc.), we use the concept here with emphasis on the maintenance of community in neighbourhoods, which are geographically organized areas for people living close to each other, but in many cases do not have (or have lost) community characteristics. Neighbourhoods could be considered the base level for community characteristics that are desirable for lasting wellbeing, and that build up to the city-region’s level of community cooperation towards sustainability. In these terms, community is a useful perspective for considering the sustainability of daily lives. With this perspective, comparative study of city-regions with different sizes, such as Lisbon and Tokyo, becomes possible because what matters for decent individual and socio-ecological daily lives within community (and potential or visible progress towards sustainability through them) at neighbourhood scale is more shared than different. With recognition of what is similar, difference will be presented as a fascination (thus respectful and enjoyable), rather than something impossible to comprehend (thus fearful and hopeless). This paper presents key features of LCW as an analytical framework and reports on an evolving comparative study of LCW centred on two city-regions – Lisbon and Tokyo – that are very different in size, history, culture and other characteristics. The viability of this comparison rests on the common features of LCW, which embrace notions of healthy and liveable cities. The research takes a bottom-up approach informed by literatures related to LCW, each city’s own forward-looking planning documents, current and emerging initiatives, public discourse and direct experience. Similarities found demonstrate the value of common features, while differences suggest the key importance of understanding contextual factors. This research also attempts to understand changes in mind-sets and behaviours regarding health and liveability among people in these cities.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
All rights reserved