The concept of liveability is gaining increasing and substantial traction among policy makers and academics across a range of sectors including water, planning, infrastructure, and health. But it is a concept that is still being defined, with fundamental questions around what liveability means and how it should be measured still being explored.
Now, "lovability" is being introduced. While discussions around liveability typically consider infrastructure, amenity and economic elements of a city or neighbourhood, lovability brings in the human component: how people engage with and feel about their city.
Lovability may be more challenging to measure (although innovative methods are being explored) than physical components of liveability (which aren't particularly straightforward either!), however; it is valuable to expand our already complicated liveability discussions beyond the tangible. Ultimately, it comes back to the question of why we care about liveability in the first place. While answers to that question will inevitably vary, there will no doubt be a common theme relating to people.
The power of lovability is in re-engaging with people to understand the nuances of their interaction with places. Lovability is a powerful concept that, fused with other data, can cut through numbers to provide more direct, relevant information that could guide urban planning and policymaking by identifying a city’s assets through the eyes of its people.