Livability for all? Conceptual limits and practical implications

Matthias Ruth, Rachel S. Franklin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Livability has risen, alongside sustainability, as a guiding principle for planning and policy. Promoted as the more tangible of the two concepts, livability shapes public perception and infrastructure investments in cities, as well as competition among cities for the attention of the public, investment communities, and potentially fickle and mobile human capital. This paper takes stock of the current discourse on livability, identifies two central elements that have yet to shape the assessments of livability and policies to promote it, and explores strategies for research and practice to transform the livability concept, and with it the places in which the lives and livelihoods of people unfold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Geography
Early online date14 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Climate adaptation
  • Life course
  • Livability
  • Urban planning

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