List of qualities

The list of qualities has many uses in defining, managing, and monitoring urban amenity. You can use the qualities to:

  • ask people what they like about their environment
  • summarise and analyse information gained during consultation
  • identify the attributes that make up a liveable environment
  • identify methods to manage urban amenity
  • develop indicators to monitor urban amenity.

The councils involved in the case studies and project trials for the Urban Amenity Project used the qualities in one or more of these ways. Some councils added to the list, and refined it as they went through the process.

The table below gives detail about each quality on the standard list of qualities. Use these concepts as a prompt when you use the list of qualities in a survey or a workshop. And, of course, adapt the qualities if you wish.

Quality Is about …
Accessible Easy connections between places, people, activities, resources, and services; a range of transport options; places being accessible for all people, including people with disabilities.
Choice Diverse activities and experiences that cater for all residents; good public transport; passive and active open spaces; diverse housing options; good access to services.
Comfortable Attractive and well-designed public and private places that provide for people’s needs, such as protection from the weather.
Easily understood Clear and easily-identified entrances, exists, and throughways; coordinated street signs; prominent building entrances.
Efficient public services Cost effective, environmentally acceptable, and healthy public services such as roads, sewerage and water.
Flexible Buildings and venues that can have a number of different uses. Design that enables an area to change and adapt to new uses.
Healthy environment Sustainable management of discharges into the natural environment. Protection of the environment’s natural features like clean water and clean air.
Safe Public and private spaces designed to increase people’s feelings of safety, including wide, well-lit walkways, street lighting, and visible building entrances.
Sense of place The features that make a place unique—landscape, landmarks, history, spiritual connection.

These links will take you to examples of how councils used the list of qualities.

Amenity values survey [Word doc 83 KB]

‘Liveability’ discussion document [Word doc 224 KB]

Assessment matrix [Word doc 28 KB]

Attributes and indicators [Word doc 70 KB]

Indicator methodology [Word doc 69 KB]