PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2008, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (3): 101-119.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2008.03.015

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Review of the Theor ies and Methods of Livable City

LI Yejin1,2, ZHANG Wenzhong1, TIAN Shanchuan1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
  • Received:2008-04-01 Revised:2008-05-01 Online:2008-05-25 Published:2008-05-25


In 1898, Ebenezer Howard, worrying about the problems behind the prosperity of British cities, put forward the theory of "garden city". One hundred years later, with the acceleration of urbanization,the same problems occur in China. Recently, the concept of "livable city"is presented as a realistic choice for sustainable urban development. In 2005, "Livable Beijing" became a strategic development goal of Beijing in its Master Plan. Since then the need for theoretical studies of "livable city"is urgent. However, the research field of livable city is still a new one. The concept and relevant methodology of "livable city"is still vague. On this background, this paper reviews current research progreses and trends in this field, summarizes general understandings of "livable city", and discusses the evaluation structures and methods of it. It also points out three deficiencies in current research: first, theoretical study of "livable city"is still weak, and there are few studies on driving forces of livability; second, in terms of the research scale, studies on urban livability are focused more on city- based studies than on community- based and regional - based studies; and third, for research approaches, most studies have emphasized the method of presenting an evaluation index system, but new evaluation methods are inadequate.

Key words: evaluation, human settlement, livable city, review