Infrastructure as an aspect of quality of life and its influence on life satisfaction in small towns of the German region type central location

Authors

  • Philipp Gareis Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5093-992X
  • Christian Diller Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
  • Bärbel Winkler-Kühlken Institut für Stadtforschung und Strukturpolitik (IfS)

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.9

Keywords:

Small town, Life satisfaction, Infrastructure, Case study analysis

Abstract

According to most (inter)national studies, life satisfaction in small towns is higher than in other types of towns with more inhabitants. With a population survey in eight German cities, we examine the importance of the infrastructure as an aspect of quality of life and the accessibility of infrastructure for local life satisfaction and whether or not the factor of social cohesion has a stronger impact on life satisfaction. The results show a differentiated picture: First, the infrastructure offer, as an aspect of objectively measurable quality of life does not have the greatest impact on life satisfaction. The population of the small towns in central locations apparently takes advantage of the infrastructure offers of their neighbouring towns and other places. Somehow, they are very satisfied with life on site, despite a low level of satisfaction with the infrastructure. The study thus tends to confirm the borrowing size concept, according to which small towns in the surrounding area benefit from the functions of the core city. On the other hand, the two factors of social cohesion and satisfaction with the performance of the local administration are closely related to the individual life satisfaction on site. For further research, the question arises, as which factors can explain local common sense best and how this can be improved through political measures.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Alaimo, L. S.; Arcagni, A.; Fattore, M.; Maggino, F.; Quondamstefano, V. (2020): Measuring Equitable and Sustainable Well-Being in Italian Regions: The Non-aggregative Approach. In: Social Indicators Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02388-7

Amérigo, M.; Aragonés, J. I. (1997): A theoretical and methodological approach to the study of residential satisfaction. In: Journal of Environmental Psychology 17, 1, 47-57. https://doi.org/10.1006/jevp.1996.0038

Angner, E. (2013): Is it possible to measure happiness? The argument from measurability. In: European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3, 2, 221-240. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13194-013-0065-2

Atkinson, L. (1988): The measurement-statistics controversy: Factor analysis and subinterval data. In: Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 26, 4, 361-364.

Bauer, G. (2017): Zufriedenheit mit dem Leben in der Gemeinde. In: Tausendpfund, M.; Vetter, A. (Hrsg.): Politische Einstellungen von Kommunalpolitikern im Vergleich. Wiesbaden, 485-513. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-16398-3_15

Baumgart, S.; Flacke, J.; Grüger, C.; Lütke, P.; Rüdiger, A. (2004): Klein-und Mittelstädte – Verkleinerte Blaupausen der Großstadt? Dokumentation des Expertenkolloquiums am 29. April 2004 an der Universität Dortmund. Dortmund.

BBSR – Bundesinstitut für Bau‑, Stadt- und Raumforschung (2011): Lebensqualität in kleinen Städten und Landgemeinden: Aktuelle Befunde der BBSR-Umfrage. = BBSR-Berichte KOMPAKT 5/2011.

Bell, D.; Jayne, M. (2009): Small cities? Towards a research agenda. In: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33, 3, 683-699. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2009.00886.x

Berry, B. J. L.; Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. (2011): An urban-rural happiness gradient. In: Urban Geography 32, 6, 871-883. https://doi.org/10.2747/0272-3638.32.6.871

Bramley, G. (1990): Equalization Grants and Local Expenditure Needs. The Price of Equality. Avebury.

Brombach, K.; Jessen, J. (2005): Kleinstädte in Großstadtregionen. Funktionsräumliche Spezialisierung und Zentrumsbildung am Beispiel der Region Stuttgart. In: Informationen zur Raumentwicklung 8, 477-494.

Burger, J.; van Beuningen, J. (2020): Measuring well-being dispersion on discrete rating scales. In: Social Indicators Research 149, 3, 749-773. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02275-1

Camagni, R.; Capello, R.; Caragliu, A. (2016): Static vs. Dynamic Agglomeration Economies. Spatial Context and Structural Evolution behind Urban Growth. In: Papers in Regional Science 95, 1, 133-158. https://doi.org/10.1111/pirs.12182

Cohen Kaminitz, S. (2020): Looking Good or Feeling Well? Understanding the Combinations of Well-Being Indicators Using Insights from the Philosophy of Well-Being. In: Social Indicators Research 150, 1, 1‑16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02289-9

Conigliaro, P. (2020): Subjective Well-Being in Italian Regions. In: Social Indicators Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02391-y

Cummins, R. A.; Weinberg, M. K. (2015): Multi-item Measurement of Subjective Wellbeing: Subjective Approaches (2). In: Glatzer, W.; Camfield, L.; Møller, V.; Rojas, M. (Hrsg.): Global Handbook of Quality of Life. Dordrecht, 239-268. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9178-6_10

Craven, J.; Horan, E.; Goulding, R. (2014): Population growth and infrastructure development in Melbourne. In: WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment 191, 509-520. https://doi.org/10.2495/SC140431

Crowe, J. (2010): Community attachment and satisfaction: The role of a community’s social network structure. In: Journal of Community Psychology 38, 5, 622-644. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.20387

Cutler, S. J. (1975): Transportation and changes in life satisfaction. In: The Gerontologist 15, 2, 155-159. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/15.2.155

Dehne, P.; Hoffmann, J.; Hiller, H. (2019): Zukunft Kleinstadt. Potenziale von Kleinstädten in peripheren Lagen. Bonn.

Delhey, J.; Böhnke, P.; Habich, R.; Zapf, W. (2002): Quality of Life in a European Perspective: The EUROMODULE as a New Instrument for Comparative Welfare Research. In: Hagerty, M. R.; Vogel, J.; Møller, V. (Hrsg.): Assessing Quality of Life and Living Conditions to Guide National Policy. Dordrecht, 163-176. = Social Indicators Research Series 11. https://doi.org/10.1007/0-306-47513-8_8

Delken, E. (2008): Happiness in shrinking cities in Germany. In: Journal of Happiness Studies 9, 2, 213-218. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-007-9046-5

Easterlin, R. A. (2013): Happiness, growth, and public policy. In: Economic Inquiry 51, 1, 1‑15. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2012.00505.x

Eboli, L.; Mazzulla, G. (2009): An ordinal logistic regression model for analysing airport passenger satisfaction. In: EuroMed Journal of Business 4, 1, 40-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/14502190910956684

Estes, R. J. (2015): The Index of Social Progress: Objective Approaches (3). In: Glatzer, W.; Camfield, L.; Møller, V.; Rojas, M. (Hrsg.): Global Handbook of Quality of Life. Dordrecht, 159-205. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9178-6_8

Fitz, B. M.; Lyon, L.; Driskell, R. (2015): Why People Like Where They Live: Individual- and Community-Level Contributors to Community Satisfaction. In: Social Indicators Research 126, 3, 1209-1224. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-015-0922-9

Freudenberg, D.; Koziol, M. (2003): Anpassung der technischen Infrastruktur beim Stadtumbau. Arbeitshilfe. Frankfurt an der Oder. = ISW-Schriftenreihe 2‑2003.

Friman, M.; Gärling, T.; Ettema, D.; Olsson, L. E. (2017): How does travel affect emotional well-being and life satisfaction? In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 106, 170-180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2017.09.024

Fulton, W.; Preuss, I.; Dodds, A.; Absetz, S.; Hirsch, P. (2013): Building better budgets: A national examination of the fiscal benefits of smart growth development. Washington, DC.

Gatzweiler, H.-P.; Adam, B.; Milbert, A.; Pütz, T.; Spangenberg, M.; Sturm, G.; Walther, A. (2012): Klein- und Mittelstädte in Deutschland – eine Bestandsaufnahme. Bonn. = Analysen Bau.Stadt.Raum 10.

Gebhardt, J. (1974): Vernunft zwischen common sense und Theorie. Anmerkungen zum Problem von Rationalität und Gesellschaft. In: Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 28, 2, 201-213.

Glatzer, W. (2015): Monitoring and Analyzing Quality of Life – An Introduction. In: Glatzer, W.; Camfield, L.; Møller, V.; Rojas, M. (Hrsg.): Global Handbook of Quality of Life. Dordrecht, 1‑11. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9178-6_1

Grinde, B.; Bang Nes, R.; MacDonald, I. F.; Sloan Wilson, D. (2018): Quality of Life in Intentional Communities. In: Social Indicator Research 137, 2, 625-640. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-017-1615-3

Grzeskowiak, S.; Sirgy, M. J.; Widgery, R. (2003): Residents’ Satisfaction with Community Services: Predictors and Outcomes. In: Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy 33, 2, 1‑36. doi: 10.22004/ag.econ.132251

Gundelach, P.; Kreiner, S. (2004): Happiness and life satisfaction in advanced European countries. In: Cross-Cultural Research 38, 4, 359-386. https://doi.org/10.1177/1069397104267483

Hannemann, C. (2018): Kleine Stadt, was nun? In: Reimann, B.; Kirchhoff, G.; Pätzold, R.; Strauss, W.-C. (Hrsg.): Vielfalt gestalten. Integration und Stadtentwicklung in Klein- und Mittelstädten. Berlin, 45-62. = Edition Difu – Stadt, Forschung, Praxis 17.

Harfst, J.; Wirth, P. (2014): Zur Bedeutung endogener Potenziale in klein- und mittelstädtisch geprägten Regionen – Überlegungen vor dem Hintergrund der Territorialen Agenda 2020. In: Raumforschung und Raumordnung 72, 6, 463-475. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13147-014-0312-9

Holcombe, R. G.; Williams, D. W. (2008): The impact of population density on municipal government expenditures. In: Public Finance Review 36, 3, 359-373. https://doi.org/10.1177/1091142107308302

Illy, A. (2015): Kommunale Institutionen und öffentliche Leistungen. Wiesbaden. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-08122-5

Jenkins, M. (2019): The Social Construction of Official Statistics: The Case of the UK ‘Measuring National Well-being’ Programme. In: Social Indicators Research 143, 2, 881-899. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-018-1989-x

Johansson, S. (2002): Conceptualizing and Measuring Quality of Life for National Policy. In: Hagerty, M. R.; Vogel, J.; Møller, V. (Hrsg.): Assessing Quality of Life and Living Conditions to Guide National Policy. Dordrecht, 13-32. = Social Indicators Research Series 11. https://doi.org/10.1007/0-306-47513-8_2

Ladd, H. F. (1992): Population Growth, Density and the Costs of Providing Public Services. In: Urban Studies 29, 2, 273-295. https://doi.org/10.1080/00420989220080321

Land, K. C. (2015): The Human Development Index: Objective Approaches (2). In: Glatzer, W.; Camfield, L.; Møller, V.; Rojas, M. (Hrsg.): Global Handbook of Quality of Life. Dordrecht, 133-159. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9178-6_7

Magre, J.; Vallbé, J.-J.; Tomàs, M. (2016): Moving to suburbia? Effects of residential mobility on community engagement. In: Urban Studies 53, 1, 17-39. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098014562532

Mayer, H.; Knox, P. (2010): Small-town sustainability: Prospects in the second modernity. In: European Planning Studies 18, 10, 1545-1565. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2010.504336

McMillan, D. W.; Chavis, D. M. (1986): Sense of community: A definition and theory. In: Journal of Community Psychology 14, 1, 6–23. https://doi.org/10.1002/1520-6629%28198601%2914%3A1〈6%3A%3AAID-JCOP2290140103〉3.0.CO%3B2-I

Meijers, E. (2008): Summing Small Cities Does Not Make a Large City: Polycentric Urban Regions and the Provision of Cultural, Leisure and Sports Amenities. In: Urban Studies 45, 11, 2323-2342. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098008095870

Meijers, E.; Burger, M. J. (2017): Stretching the Concept of ‘Borrowed Size’. In: Urban Studies 54, 1, 269-291. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098015597642

Meijers, E. J.; Burger, M. J.; Hoogerbrugge, M. M. (2016): Borrowing size in networks of cities: City size, network connectivity and metropolitan functions in Europe. In: Papers in Regional Science 95, 1, 181-198. https://doi.org/10.1111/pirs.12181

Meißelbach, C. (2019): Die Evolution der Kohäsion. Sozialkapital und die Natur des Menschen. Wiesbaden. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-25056-0

Mitchell, L.; Frank, M. R.; Harris, K. D.; Dodds, P. S.; Danforth, C. M. (2013): The geography of happiness: Connecting twitter sentiment and expression, demographics, and objective characteristics of place. In: PloS one 8, 5. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0064417

Newman, P.; Kenworthy, J. (2011): The Density Multiplier: A Response to Mees. In: World Transport Policy and Practice 17, 1, 32-45.

Noll, H.-H. (2002): Towards a European System of Social Indicators: Theoretical Framework and System Architecture. In: Hagerty, M. R.; Vogel, J.; Møller, V. (Hrsg.): Assessing Quality of Life and Living Conditions to Guide National Policy. Dordrecht, 47-87. = Social Indicators Research Series 11. https://doi.org/10.1007/0-306-47513-8_4

Noll, H.-H. (2005): Sozialindikatorenforschung und Sozialberichterstattung: Ansätze zur Messung und Analyse der Lebensqualität. In: Genov, N. (Hrsg.): Die Entwicklung des soziologischen Wissens. Wiesbaden, 185-212.

OECD (2015): How’s Life? 2015: Measuring Well-being. Paris. https://doi.org/10.1787/how_life-2015-en

Ottaviani, F. (2018): Time in the Development of Indicators on Sustainable Wellbeing: A Local Experiment in Developing Alternative Indicators. In: Social Indicators Research 135, 1, 53-73. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-016-1489-9

Partridge, M. D.; Rickman, D. S.; Ali, K.; Olfert, M.R. (2009): Do New Economic Geography agglomeration shadows underlie current population dynamics across the urban hierarchy? In: Papers in Regional Science 88, 2, 445-466. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1435-5957.2008.00211.x

Porsche, L.; Milbert, A.; Steinführer, A. (2019): Einführung. In: Porsche, L.; Steinführer, A.; Sondermann, M. (Hrsg.): Kleinstadtforschung in Deutschland. Stand, Perspektiven und Empfehlungen. Hannover, 5‑15. = Arbeitsberichte der ARL 28.

Prezza, M.; Amici, M.; Roberti, T.; Tedeschi, G. (2001): Sense of community referred to the whole town: Its relations with neighboring, loneliness, life satisfaction, and area of residence. In: Journal of Community Psychology 29, 1, 29-52. https://doi.org/10.1002/1520-6629(200101)29:1〈29::AID-JCOP3〉3.0.CO;2

Prieto, A. M.; Zofío, J. L; Alvarez, I. (2010): Urban patterns, population density, and optimal city dimension: The case of public infrastructure. Madrid. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Working Papers in Economic Theory 2010/08.

Putnam, R. D. (2000): Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital. In: Crothers, L.; Lockhart, C. (Hrsg.): Culture and Politics. A Reader. New York, 223-234. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-62397-6_12

Rappaport, J. (2008): Consumption amenities and city population density. In: Regional Science and Urban Economics 38, 6, 533-552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2008.02.001

Redman, L.; Friman, M.; Gärling, T.; Hartig, T. (2013): Quality attributes of public transport that attract car users: A research review. In: Transport Policy 25, 119-127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.11.005

Reichenbach-Behnisch, J.; Flämig, A.; Kasek, J.; Kröckel, J.; Freund, E. (2012): Aktivieren des Stadtzentrums von Kleinstädten durch die verknüpfte Anwendung erfolgreicher Modelle aus Großstädten und ländlichen Regionen wie innovatives Leerstandsmanagement, installieren multipler Häuser und Förderung alternativer Wohnformen für die Generation Plus. Stuttgart.

Rodríguez, A.; Látková, P.; Sun, Y.-Y. (2008): The relationship between leisure and life satisfaction: Application of activity and need theory. In: Social Indicators Research 86, 1, 163. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-007-9101-y

Sander, W. (2011): Location and happiness in the United States. In: Economics Letters 112, 3, 277-279. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2011.05.015

Sarra, A.; Nissi, E. (2020): A Spatial Composite Indicator for Human and Ecosystem Well-Being in the Italian Urban Areas. In: Social Indicators Research 148, 2, 353-377. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-019-02203-y

Schiller, G.; Gutsche, J.-M. (2009): Von der Außen- zur Innenentwicklung in Städten und Gemeinden. Das Kostenparadoxon der Baulandentwicklung. Dessau-Roßlau. = UBA-Texte 31/2009.

Schiller, G.; Siedentop, S. (2005): Infrastrukturfolgekosten der Siedlungsentwicklung unter Schrumpfungsbedingungen. In: disP – The Planning Review 41, 160, 83-93. https://doi.org/10.1080/02513625.2005.10556910

Sørensen, J. F. L. (2014): Rural-Urban Differences in Life Satisfaction: Evidence from the European Union. In: Regional Studies 48, 9, 1451-1466. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2012.753142

Talmage, C. A.; Frederick, C. (2019): Quality of Life, Multimodality, and the Demise of the Autocentric Metropolis: A Multivariate Analysis of 148 Mid-Size U.S. Cities. In: Social Indicator Research 141, 1, 365-390. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-017-1829-4

Torrisi, G. (2009): Public infrastructure: definition, classification and measurement issues. In: Economics, Management, and Financial Markets 4, 3, 100-124.

Veenhoven, R. (2002): Why social policy needs subjective indicators. In: Social Indicators Research 58, 1‑3, 33-46. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015723614574

Veenhoven, R. (2015): The Overall Satisfaction with Life: Subjective Approaches (1). In: Glatzer, W.; Camfield, L.; Møller, V.; Rojas, M. (Hrsg.): Global Handbook of Quality of Life. Dordrecht, 207-238. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9178-6_9

Volgmann, K.; Rusche, K. (2020): The Geography of Borrowing Size: Exploring Spatial Distributions for German Urban Regions. In: Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 111, 1, 60-79. https://doi.org/10.1111/tesg.12362

Wallace, C.; Pichler, F. (2009): More participation, happier society? A comparative study of civil society and the quality of life. In: Social Indicators Research 93, 2, 255-274. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-008-9305-9

Wanninger, T. (1998): Bildung und Gemeinsinn. Ein Beitrag zur Pädagogik der Urteilskraft aus der Philosophie des „sensus communis“. Hamburg.

Weeranakin, P.; Promphakping, B. (2018): Local Meanings of Wellbeing and the Construction of Wellbeing Indicators. In: Social Indicators Research 138, 2, 689-703. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-017-1692-3

Westphal, C. (2008): Dichte und Schrumpfung: Kriterien zur Bestimmung angemessener Dichten in Wohnquartieren schrumpfender Städte aus Sicht der stadttechnischen Infrastruktur. Dresden. = IÖR-Schriften 49.

Winkler-Kühlken, B.; Diller, C.; Gareis, P.; von Popowski, M.; Lenk, J. (2019): Lage und Zukunft der Kleinstädte in Deutschland. Bestandsaufnahme zur Situation der Kleinstädte in zentralen Lagen. Bonn. = BBSR-Online-Publikation 15/2019.

Woolcock, M. (2010): The rise and routinization of social capital, 1988-2008. In: Annual Review of Political Science 13, 469-487. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.031108.094151

Wynne-Edwards, V. (1962): Animal dispersion in relation to social behaviour. Edinburgh.

Zapf, W. (1974): The Polity as a Monitor of the Quality of Life. In: American Behavioral Scientist 17, 5, 651-675. https://doi.org/10.1177/000276427401700503

Zapf, W. (1984): Individuelle Wohlfahrt: Lebensbedingungen und wahrgenommene Lebensqualität. In: Glatzer, W.; Zapf, W. (Hrsg.): Lebensqualität in der Bundesrepublik. Objektive Lebensbedingungen und subjektives Wohlbefinden. Frankfurt am Main, 13-26.

Zapf, W. (2000): Social Reporting in the 1970s and in the 1990s. In: Social Indicators Research 51, 1, 1‑15. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006997731263

Published

Issue publication date 2021-02-25 (version 2)
Published online first 2021-01-07 (version 1)

Versions

Issue

Section

Research Article

How to Cite

“Infrastructure as an aspect of quality of life and its influence on life satisfaction in small towns of the German region type central location” (2021) Raumforschung und Raumordnung | Spatial Research and Planning, 79(1), pp. 39–57. doi:10.14512/rur.9.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>