City’s ‘quality of life’ still ranks high with residents

ThisWeek News – April 22, 2015

According to results from a new survey, Dublin is a great place to live.

In recently released results from the 2015 National Citizen Survey, 96 percent of residents queried rated the quality of life in Dublin as “excellent” or “good.”

The city also boasted rankings higher than national benchmarks in safety, mobility, natural environment, built environment, economy, recreation and wellness, education and enrichment and community engagement, results said.

“This high of a ranking is not as common,” said Charissa Bowditch, project manager for the National Survey Center.

“This is what we would consider higher than the national benchmarks.”

The city paid $20,600 for the survey.

The National Citizens Survey sent 2,000 surveys to a random sample of Dublin residents via mail and got 780 back, for a response rate of 40 percent, Marty Saperstein of Saperstein Associates told Dublin City Council members last week.

“For a mail survey that is a fabulous response rate,” Saperstein said.

Dublin has previously surveyed residents using the National Citizens Survey in 2009 and 2012.

When the 2015 answers are compared to those from 2012, Saperstein said it “paints a picture of great stability.”

Although most ratings changed by less than 3 percent, some shifted considerably, Saperstein said.

Resident approval of traffic flow on major streets declined from 67 percent in 2009 to 62 percent in 2015.

The five lowest rated areas in the community from the survey fall in traffic flow, affordable housing, public parking, cost of living and the ease of travel by public transportation.

But Dublin was rated successful in several other areas.

When surveyed about how nice a place Dublin is to live, 77 percent of respondents said “excellent” and 21 percent responded “good.”

“My impression after having reviewed the data is Dublin is a high performing community in quality of life and level of service offered,” Bowditch said.

“It is higher rated than other communities. … The remarkable thing about Dublin is most of the factors that influence the quality of life were rated higher,” she said.

“They’re doing something right. There’s a lot to be celebrated and they’re asking a lot of good questions.”

Whereas Dublin ranked high on the community characteristics portion of the survey, it also performed well in the governance area with 52 percent of residents surveyed rating city services as “excellent” and 42 percent “good.”

The survey also showed residents think Dublin has great customer service and is heading in the right direction.

When it comes to a sense of community in Dublin, of those surveyed, 41 percent said there was an excellent sense of community and 43 percent said it was good.

“The news was positive in earlier surveys and it continues to be positive now,” Saperstein said.