Happiness and the city: an empirical study of the interaction between subjective well-being and city satisfaction
This paper introduces and applies an assessment method designed to measure city satisfaction in relation to the subjective perception of individual well-being. A structural model of residential satisfaction assessment is developed. To test the model, we have carried out an empirical research study, employing a representative sample (1636 respondents) of the residents of Perm, a large Russian city. We demonstrate both the direct and indirect influence of satisfaction with urban services, respondents’ individual characteristics, life satisfaction, and happiness on overall city satisfaction. Moreover, we attempt to explore the causality between subjective well-being and city satisfaction. Our approach is aimed to provide local policy makers with a more refined tool for decision making in urban policy, which could be of great importance as far as the city authorities need to set up priorities in urban management, especially under the pressure of limited budgets. The results allow for the illustration of the cumulative and hierarchical nature of city satisfaction, and highlight the relation of various life and urban domains and their influence on happiness, life satisfaction and city satisfaction.