Week 1: What Is Quality of Life?
Many people show pride of place, or pride in where they live, through symbols of their hometown, such as a baseball cap or t-shirt, or simply through their attitude. You might also recognize some people from Chicago by their accent, or people from Quebec City because they choose to speak French in predominantly English-speaking Canada.
What may not be so apparent is the reason why humans settle where they do—and why they stay there. You may learn that a woman you met on a plane lives in São Paulo, Brazil because of her job, or because her family settled there 20 years ago. However, what made the original inhabitants settle in Brazil centuries ago, and do those reasons, centuries old, still resonate today?
This week, you begin examining how Interdisciplinary Studies relates to quality of life in a city by considering what defines a city, how Interdisciplinary Studies can contribute to that definition, and how cities began.
- Analyze perspectives for defining quality of life in a city
- Analyze sources relevant to quality of life in a city
Photo Credit: Caiaimage/Robert Daly / OJO+ / Getty Images
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Kotkin, J. (2005). Cities: Places sacred, safe, and busy. The Next American City, (8), 19–22.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Joel Kotkin, a well-known author in urban studies and related areas, writes about the characteristics that make cities important.
Montgomery, C. (2013, November 1). The secrets of the world’s happiest cities. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/01/secrets-worlds-happiest-cities-commute-property-prices
Student Contributed Resources
In this course, you contribute resources to the overall course dialogue. This week, you will complete an exercise for the Assignment that focuses on finding a quality article in the Walden Library or from another reputable source.
- Download the “Student Contributed Resource Worksheet” document from this week’s Learning Resources. This worksheet will help guide you in seeking resources to complete this week’s Assignment.
- Find one article about quality of life in a specific city or in cities generally.
- Complete the Week 1 Assignment.
Author and Source Suggestions
You are not required to find work from these authors or sources, although you may use them. You may also find that these authors or sources lead to others in the field.
- Richard Florida
- Joel Kotkin
- The Guardian. (2015). Cities. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/cities
- CITYLAB. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.citylab.com/
- Numbeo. (2015). Quality of life index 2015. Retrieved from http://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings.jsp
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.-d). Interdisciplinary perspectives in urban studies [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.
In this video segment, urban studies practitioners and scholars discuss the inherent interdisciplinarity of the field.
Jacobs, J. (1992). The death and life of great American cities (Modern Library ed.). New York, NY: Random House.
This classic work in urban studies, originally published in 1961, focuses on Jane Jacobs’ Greenwich Village neighborhood in New York City as a model, thriving urban area. It is a reference point for many authors who write about urban issues today. You may find ideas from this book referred to in your course reading and in articles that you find.
Discussion: Quality of Life: Perspectives
The word city conjures up many images, drawn from personal experience and perhaps influenced by characterizations in film, literature, or other cultural expressions. Your expectation for how life should be lived may also come from multiple perspectives. Do citizens refer to a nostalgic past? Were things really better in the past? Is the economy attracting new residents? How is the city adjusting to the influx? In this Discussion, you define quality of life in a citythrough a particular perspective.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Read “The Secrets of the World’s Happiest Cities” and “Cities: Places Sacred, Safe, and Busy,” located in this week’s Resources area.
- View the media in this week’s Resources area, Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Urban Studies.
By Day 3
Post a 250-word response that explains the best perspective through which to define quality of life in a city. Choose from the following perspectives:
- Public Health
In your post, be sure to:
- Use the place you live to provide real-life examples of how quality of life can be measured.
- Refer to one specific example from your course reading.
Note: Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources or something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced