Liguria, Trentino and Friuli top in EU for quality of life

(ANSA) – ROME, JUL 23 – If there is one lesson that the COVID
pandemic has left us it is the importance, if not the urgency,
of making our territories resilient. But what is the state of
health of the regions in Europe? We get the picture from an
ESPON study programme survey devoted to the quality of life in
the Old World.
In particular, the researchers tried to gauge the territorial
quality of life (TQoL), or “the capacity of human beings to
survive and develop in a determined place”, thanks to the
social, economic and ecological conditions that characterise
them. In order to measure the TQoL, the researchers used a
series of indicators, grouped into three spheres – personal,
socio-economic and environmental – and three dimensions, factors
that facilitate the quality of life, subsistence and human
The results, the researchers have explained, reflect to a
certain degree a “centre-periphery model”, with the countries of
northern Europe heading the standings of the territories with
the highest quality of life. In particular, the TQoL challenge
has been won by Norway, Sweden, and Iceland, as well as Denmark
and Finland. The so-called “blue banana” countries also did
well, or rather the swathe of high economic development in
western Europe, especially the regions in southwest Germany,
western Austria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
This is also the case for several Mediterranean regions,
including Liguria, Friuli and Trentino in Italy, Slovenia,
Epirus and western Macedonia in Greece; and the Rhone Valley,
the Alps and Occitaine in France. On the contrary, the regions
with a low quality of life are to be found mostly in central and
eastern Europe and in large areas of the Mediterranean region,
including the Mezzogiorno in Italy.
One of the dimensions where we see most differences between the
areas observed is that relating to ‘subsistence’, with the
regions of eastern Europe and the Balkans penalized by low life
expectancy and a high mortality rate due to murder and road
accidents. In general, the tendency is to observe high
performances where GDP is higher, which translates into a
greater availability of services, infrastructures,
accommodation, and hospital facilities.
Better the north than the south, then, and better town than
country, with some exceptions: in some zones, even the rural and
intermediate regions register good overall performances, pulled
up by excellent scores in environmental indicators. This is the
case of the Ardège region, just south of Lyon, and Cantabria, in
northern Spain. A high quality of life, finally, has been
observed in many border European regions such as
Bratislava-Vienna, Genoa-Savoy, and Zagreb-Maribor-Graz. (ANSA).