Evaluating Neighborhoods Livability in Nigeria: A Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) Approach
Keywords:Livability, Measurement Model, Second-Order Factor, Model Validation
AbstractThere is a growing concern about city livability around the world and of particular concern is the aspects of the person-environment relationship which encompasses many characteristics suffice to make a place livable. Extant literature provides livability dimensions such as housing unit characteristics, neighborhood facilities, economic vitality and safety environment. These livability dimensions as well as their attributes found in the extant literature have been reported to have high reliability measurement level. Although, various methods have been applied to examine relationships among the variables however structural equation modeling (SEM) has been found more holistic as a modeling technique to understand and explain the relationships that may exist among variable measurements. Structural equation modeling simultaneously performs multivariate analysis including multiple regression, path and factor analysis in the cause-effect relationships between latent constructs. Therefore, this study investigates the key factors of livability of planned residential neighborhoods in Minna, Nigeria with the research objectives of – (a) to study the livability level of the selected residential neighborhoods, (b) to determine the dimensions and indicators which most influence the level of livability in the selected residential neighborhoods, and (c) to reliably test the efficacy of structural equation modeling (SEM) in the assessment of livability. The methodology adopted in this study includes- Data collection with the aid of structured questionnaire survey administered to the residents of the study area based on stratified random sampling. The data collected was analyzed with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 22.0 and AMOS 22.0 software for structural equation modeling (a second-order factor). The study revealed that livability as a second-order factor is indicated by economic vitality, safety environment, neighborhood facilities and housing unit characteristics first-order factors. The result shows that economic vitality (income, mobility and mobility cost) most significantly measures neighborhood livability. Also, results of the model achieved good fit indices such as CFI of 0.907 and the RMSEA value of 0.096. Thus, SEM analyses in this study offer a methodological guide on the efficacy of CFA second-order factor.
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