In comparison with other OECD countries, Switzerland displays above-average quality of life. But its prosperity is accompanied by high levels of resource consumption, which contribute to ecological and social problems worldwide. Indeed, Switzerland’s ecological footprint is about three times greater than what could be considered in keeping with planetary boundaries.
Focused on communities in three Swiss regional nature parks as well as a nearby rural control group, this research project examines whether and how high quality of life, in all its facets, is compatible with sustainable development.
The project surveys people’s perspectives on existing contradictions between quality of life and sustainability. The results should help to identify ways of harmonizing different aspects of life quality and sustainable development in parks and other rural areas.
Developing a concept of sustainable quality of life:
Qualitative interviews with residents of the Argovia Jurapark, the Gantrisch Nature Park, and the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch, as well as with members of the control group:
Quantitative data gathering via written surveys of households in the three parks and among the control group:
Development and testing of an instrument for monitoring sustainable quality of life:
Institute of Sociology, University of Bern
Gantrisch Nature Park
UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch