Effects of subjective and objective city evaluation on life satisfaction in Japan

Hiroki Nakamura, Shunsuke Managi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Assessing a city's development processes and evaluating city performance in terms of relevant dimensions of sustainability has become a key focus of literature, given the policy implications. Although organizations and governments agree on the importance of evaluating performance and sustainability of cities and use evaluations to improve citizens’ living environments, indicators included in these evaluations vary, and subjective evaluation results have not always been considered along with objective evaluation. Subjective citizen satisfaction is an important metric in evaluating cities, as efforts to improve city performance ultimately impact the comfort of city inhabitants. However, the relationship between objective city evaluation indicators and citizen satisfaction with city performance is complex. Large-scale survey data, as collected by the authors of the present study, enable the calculation of subjective city evaluations in Japan using the same evaluation factors. In this study, the distribution patterns of subjective and objective city evaluation indicators with the average life satisfaction indicator (5-point scale) were compared at the municipality level in Japan. Results showed that although the subjective city evaluation indicator is more positively associated with the life satisfaction indicator at the city level than the objective city evaluation indicator, the environmental aspect of objective indicators is negatively associated with the subjective city evaluation indicator; additionally, economic aspects of objective indicators are negatively associated with life satisfaction indicators, with statistical significance. This reveals that objective city evaluation is not always positively related to subjective city evaluation and life satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120523
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - May 20 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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