Local Resources, Territorial Development and Well-being
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Local Resources, Territorial Development and Well-being

Edited by Jean-Christophe Dissart and Natacha Seigneuret

Using empirical evidence, this book argues for a more comprehensive view of the diversity of local resources and well-being from a territorial perspective. The first part of the book addresses the contrasting nature of local resources: in connection with proximity and governance, the ground, the past, cultural heritage sites, the snow, and energy. Well-being from multiple perspectives is examined in the second part, shedding light on sociabilities vs. income level, accessibility for pedestrians, health via urban design, life course trajectories as indicators of quality of life, and the connection between amenities and social justice.
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Chapter 8: Beyond monetary well-being: can sociabilities offset the effects of low income? A case study in the Grenoble metropolitan area

Anne Le Roy and Fiona Ottaviani

Abstract

Le Roy and Ottaviani report on a collaborative project involving professionals and academics to generate local, sustainable and alternative indicators of well-being: the IBEST project. The purpose is to reveal the complexity of the various connections between monetary resources and sociabilities. Even though social relations are a central topic of Grenoble’s urban policies and are considered essential to the well-being of the city’s inhabitants, they have never before been quantified. To assess the different sociabilities and the role they play in well-being, the IBEST project is based on several principles, including an approach founded on Sen’s capabilities. The main data collection instrument is a questionnaire comprising 86 questions. Several variables related to people’s actions, aspirations and appreciation of their situation are used to assess relational and institutional sociabilities. The authors show that while monetary wealth does not necessarily go hand in hand with a dense social network and personal satisfaction, it does influence the existence of relationships based on trust and the possibility to reach for help. Therefore, the analysis of social bonds cautions against a simplistic approach to sociabilities and the relationships between monetary and non-monetary resources. The analysis also shows the complexity of the relations between variables included in the notion of well-being, which limits the identification of clear cause-and-effect relationships between interpersonal and institutional sociability.

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