Comparative Residents’ Satisfaction Evaluation for Socially Sustainable Regeneration—The Case of Two High-Density Communities in Suzhou

Jinliu Chen, Paola Pellegrini*, Haoqi Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


With the 14th Five-Year Plan for Development, China is promoting people-oriented urban regeneration for residential communities built before 2000. Evaluations of quality of life (QoL) and considerations of social sustainability must play an important role in defining people-oriented regeneration projects. Residents’ satisfaction is an important indicator of QoL and is essential for achieving socially sustainable development. To contribute to the ongoing discussion about people-oriented urban regeneration, this paper studies the correlation between QoL and social sustainability, investigating residents’ perception in high-density communities through a satisfaction evaluation approach based on the QoL index. Two high-density communities in Suzhou were analyzed: Nanhuan, a high-rise, gated community in one of the first expansions of the city in the 80s; and Daoqian, a multi-story, non-gated community in the old town. Both communities have a typical urban morphology and were selected for their exemplary characteristics. The study used a mixed research method: field investigation, on-site interviews, and a survey with over 670 questionnaires conducted and analyzed. It also applied the Structural Equation Model (SEM) to explore and define the satisfaction evaluation factors. The two communities expressed concerns about different factors: in the case of the Nanhuan community, property management and spatial scenario creation were emphasized, whereas in the case of the Daoqian community, unrestricted space mobility, poor existing conditions, and the demand for various facilities and recreation spaces were most prominent. The research found that improving community environmental quality and facilities would, as one would expect, improve residents’ satisfaction in both communities. Still, our research also clearly indicated that diversified spatial activities, currently missing in both cases, and more opportunities for social interaction would enhance residents’ satisfaction. The findings of this study offer some insights regarding socially sustainable community regeneration, as well as decision-making processes and design strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1483
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • old community regeneration
  • quality of life
  • residents’ satisfaction
  • social sustainability
  • structural equation model


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