Urban Livability – Term Paper

As stated above a livable city is one that provides a wide range of benefits to its residents, an aspect that promotes the lifestyles of the individual residents and visitors at large: The following are the basic principles of a livable city:






City residents should must engage each other effectively on matters pertaining to their wellbeing



The public realm provides numerous activities, festivals and celebrations that tap into the input of all inhabitants or events that create opportunities for the residents in general without subjecting some individuals to a preferential treatment at the expense of others.


Social learning and Socialization

A livable city must provide a public realm as a platform for socialization and social learning which is essential to social growth of children and the society at large


Supreme Functional Unit

A city must be able to meet different functions including social, cultural and economic functions. However, some modern cities have tended to specialize in one or two of the functions which is detrimental to the growth and sustainability of a city.


Aesthetic Considerations

The city beauty and meanings of its physical environment must be prioritized. The social and physical surroundings reflect a common reality. City residents have a good social and civic life in a physically hospitable environment. Subsequently, the latter should constitute a livable city.


Complete Communities

The access to basic social amenities in a city is central to the achievement of city livability. Different from the urban collapse that alienates housing from other major functions, the concept of complete communities mix housing with diverse uses such as public spaces, offices, parks, schools, police stations and other entertainment hubs ensure completeness of a city. The potential of people to live a complete life devoid of long travel distances is pivotal to the establishment of a strong community branded with local character. In placing such amenities at close distances, streets often become one of the best social places enabling easy and regular human interactions besides the typical roles of the streets in the movement of both people and commodities.

Through the construction of building structures such as houses, the ground floors provides an important spaces for interaction while the incorporation of private developments on other sections of the buildings ensures effective view of the streets monitoring and encouraging the right social behaviors. The neighborhoods of these settlements comprises of decentralized units pivotal to the weaving of individuals’ lives together. When complete communities are set to be livable, safe and healthy, the city develops into a community of communities. Cities comprising of decent human-scale architectures and easily accessible to the public arrangements provide the residents with a sense of well-being and security which is essential for enhanced inclusivity in the city public utility delivery.

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In essence, any city can define its aesthetic in a number of ways. For instance, this can be achieved through returning to the city origins and the preservation of the historical designs and buildings. Any city that lacks elaborate historical architecture is considered to lack memory. It is therefore very important that the development of new building structures and the renovation works on existing structures may be stimulated between new and old framework in order to enhance adaptation to progressive evolution. The evolution of building and city designs has gone a fundamental transition from one of the oldest design commonly called courtyard to the contemporary building and city designs. 

Complete communities are an essential pillar of development in both small and major cities. Indeed, the communities provide city residents with a sense of belongings. In addition, they provide the residents with the requisite amenities and services as they form one of the main local economies within the city. In these settings however, the neighborhoods are hardly static. In this regard, they are in constant exchange of new developments and redevelopments amidst changing demographics in the long-run. The establishment of complete communities in city settings is anchored on four main goals namely: community visioning, community involvement in development and smart planning, community projects amend community engagement. The concept of complete community therefore envisages the contextual framework of an inclusive network of urban residents that complements the roles of the local authority through public-private partnerships. Livable communities entice complete community framework which reinforce the ideals of development into a sustainable urban setup.

Healthy City 

Healthy cities are an important attributes of the developments that are attributable to the growth of support factors such as economic support framework. The literature of healthy cities began as a reflection of the growing connectivity between health policies and urban centers. From this perspective, healthy cities differ between three levels of economic development as far as geographical locations are concerned. First, there is a category of urban health developing countries, urban health in developed countries and urban health cities in the underdeveloped countries. 

Many contemporary governments and support agencies have been setting measures to integrate health and urban policies that stimulate the growth of cities in the long-run. In the past however, these measures were pursued from the perspective of the individual entities an aspect that has been faulted for retarded growth of the cities.  Healthy cities are a manifestation of the moves in a holistic approach of the health policies within the cities. Other researchers also subscribe to the idea that majority of development initiatives that individuals within the medical sector subscribe to are manifested within the doctrine beyond the medical sector. This implies that the development of healthy cities is anchored on advances beyond the medical sectors which include the integration of other sectors such as education and security. Policies that promote public participations in the enhancement of matters pertaining to healthy lives are essential in enhancing health of the city residents.

The demand for health and related services is a fundamental consideration for any city residents. In particular, different factors influence the level of excellence of a city as far as health projects are concerned. Healthy cities have existed for about a decade now.   Initially, the healthy city projects were initiated through pilot projects driven by the World Health Organization in Europe in 1986. The project is currently considered one of the long-term city projects. Since its inception, healthy city project has developed into a complex international undertaking including the participation of more than 800 cities globally. The benefits attributable to the project supersede the challenges associated with its developments including logistical issues that have been crippling the process of their establishment. Healthy cities are associated with the benefits of promoting holistic perspectives in enhancing health of a city within the environmental, physical and social-economic welfares. According to WHO, healthy cities represents one of the biggest strategic vehicles in championing policies towards realizing universal health via local actions.

WHO defines a healthy community as one that progressively develop public policies and establish both physical and social environments that enables its citizens to unanimously support each other in executing its functions to achieve their maximum possible potentials. In the Canadian settings, healthy community concepts were piloted by Canadian Institute of Planners, Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Public Health Association. According to different observers, the joint development of the healthy communities is central to the development of an effective social-economic zone.

For a long period of time, health communities have not been reflected or incorporated into the main policy developments. The publication of 1987 by the United Nations Commission of Environment and Development developed a fortified focus on the essence of developing strong linkages between healthy communities and their ‚Äėsustainable‚Äô communities‚Äô counterparts. The development of healthy communities within cities has also seen a significant boosts through international conferences. The development of world cities and towns to more healthy, safe and sustainable for instances was focused on during the Habitat II of 1996 convened by the United Nations Conference on the Human Settlements. In the health cities movements, health is perpetrated as a resource for communities with a stretch beyond lack of ill-health scenario in the medical terms to encompass quality of life and individuals‚Äô general welfare.¬†¬†

Against the latter approach, health is perceived as a multidisciplinary phenomenon which therefore necessitates anything that impinges human beings. Healthy cities therefore focuses on social-environmental health determinants as well as the progresses achieved in the inter-sectoral health interventions. The development of any city is therefore pegged on the ability of the stakeholders to enhance health factor of the residents and visitors in a holistic approach. The understanding of the public health programs is critical to the city residents in enhancing their ability to utilize their working capacity in the long-run. Within the context of healthy cities, the development of health is located as a central mechanism for the development of urban policy with a critical blend with other urban policies.

Healthy city includes among others, a strong focus on the participation and empowerment concerned with individuals’ autonomy and abilities to survive through healthy lifestyles. Such approach to city development is perceived to yield significant benefits to the healthcare sector through provision of healthcare professionals and expertise knowledge which is not privileged past the community knowledge. This situation can be seen against the bigger trend in the participatory governance most attributed to majority of international and other external programs. The ideals have been conceived by different health experts within the context of healthy cities. The appearances of healthy cities movements also imply that special policies are less advocated for in the movement emphasis of the local context and processes in certain activities.