Ó The Author(s) 2009. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com Abstract Urban quality of life (QoL) is becoming a subject of urban research mainly for western and Asian countries. Such attention is due to an increasing awareness of the contribution of QoL studies in identifying intervention areas and in monitoring urban planning policies. However, most studies are carried out at city or country level that can average out details at small scales. In this paper we present a case study where the urban QoL at small scale is measured and its variability is evaluated for Kirkos sub-city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The study is based on data from a household survey and some secondary data. Geographic information system (GIS) is applied to extract proximity information (e.g., distance to school facilities) and visualize the spatial distribution of QoL. Statistical methods such as factor analysis are applied to establish an index of objective QoL while coefficient of variation is applied to evaluate spatial variability of subjective QoL. The results of this study reveal that the subjective quality of life (QoL) scores show large variation in the sub-city. The mean QoL score also indicates that the respondents in the sub-city, on average, are dissatisfied with the quality of their life. Respondents with highe
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