Towards the evaluation of rural livability in China: Theoretical framework and empirical case study

Li Yurui, Qiao Luyin, Wang Qianyi, Dávid Karácsonyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Livability, especially the livability of cities, attracts more and more attention in contemporary China. However, our knowledge towards understanding, evaluating, and improving rural livability is still weak. This paper attempts to sort out the concept and connotation of rural livability, put forward an indicator system for evaluating rural livability at village level in Changshu city of Jiangsu province, and thus provide theoretical and methodological support for better implementing national rural vitalization strategy. Rural livability defined as a rural place equipped with the capacity to achieve the aspired or desired quality of life for the residents reflects the combination of environment and life quality concerns. A livable village in Chinese context is conceptualized with substance of survival and revival to livability. The index system established in the article therefore contains five dimensions, namely infrastructure conditions, public services, sanitation situations, employment opportunities, and social engagement. The empirical case study found obvious disparities in the scores of the comprehensive index and each dimension. Specifically, the scores of infrastructure conditions and sanitation situations dimensions are higher than that of the other three. And the total scores of the 222 villages shows an obvious circle structure centered on the county-town. In the process of rural vitalization, we could adopt more precise measures according to the spatial differences of scores of livability, so as to improve the livability of rural areas more effectively. The authors argue that more attention should be paid to strengthen the construction of comprehensive monitoring system for rural livability evaluation and establish threshold value for each evaluation index, and identify and coordinate the livability needs of different groups, such as the elderly, women, children, and migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102241
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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