Keywords: urban policy, abundance, quality of life, environment, equity, Cittaslow, green economics, environmental quality, local development, economic development
Measuring abundance: the case of Cittaslow's attempts to support better quality of life
True economic advances promote abundance – the condition when all people feel that they have enough, and are enabled to live life as art, meaning self-expression to others. How can we assess whether particular projects are creating greater abundance? This question is addressed by reference to an actual attempt to improve quality of life: the Cittaslow network of cities, which began in Italy but now has member cities in a number of different countries. Are cities that belong to this network creating the conditions for greater abundance? Applying a list of criteria based on the concept of abundance to Cittaslow's charter and list of standards shows that issues of equity receive little attention, while issues of environmental quality and the stimulation of local economic development are addressed comprehensively. The analysis also shows that a list of criteria based on the concept of abundance can be used to pinpoint important policy gaps.