Northeast Ohio residents are generally satisfied with the quality of life in the area and are concerned with job development and decreasing the number of people who live in poverty. On May 30, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) released the results of a recently completed, public-opinion survey that shows support for sustainability and regional cooperation.
The survey, conducted by TRIAD Research Group, gathered information about the public’s understanding of issues and perceptions of NEOSCC’s work. This is the first survey in a series of three that will be conducted over the next year-and-half. Additionally, NEOSCC has created engagement activities such as the VibrantNEO initiative to move forward with its three-year planning effort to revitalize the 12 counties that comprise Northeast Ohio.
The survey consisted of 802 interviews, 400 by telephone and 402 online. The results from the two survey modes were merged and weighted demographically. The survey was conducted April 20 to April 27, 2012 and has a margin of error of ± 3.5 percent.
“The residents of Northeast Ohio are committed to this region and want to keep it thriving into the future,” said Hunter Morrison, Program Director of NEOSCC. “This survey shows that there remains concern among residents about our economy and the environment, among other issues, but there is a general optimism about the future and a desire to ensure that Northeast Ohio is sustainable for coming generations.”
Key findings from the survey include:
• Residents are generally satisfied with “quality-of-life” aspects of NEO
• Residents are split on the direction (getting better/worse/about the same) of the region and their own communities
• A majority of residents are satisfied with parks, safety and housing availability
• The most important regional goals for residents are:
◦ Developing a wide variety of good jobs
◦ Decreasing the number of people who live in poverty
◦ Having a variety of housing options
◦ Strengthening environmental protections
• Almost all residents want local governments to work more closely together
• 93 percent of residents say it is extremely or very important to make sure Northeast Ohio is a sustainable place to live for future generations
Also, despite 20 percent of those surveyed could not define the word sustainability, two-thirds surveyed said it was important to preserve natural resources in ways such recyling and improving water quality. Another key oberservation in the study showed younger residents were more likely to move out of Northeast Ohio due to dissatisfaction.
NEOSCC aims to create a vibrant and resilient Northeast Ohio that increases our quality of life; connects our communities; welcomes diversity; restores and protects our natural resources; and creates a competitive economic framework for the vitality of our region. NEOSCC consists of 32 regional members, including AMATS, the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA), the Akron Urban League and the city of Akron and Summit County.