Airdronians reported a high overall level of satisfaction with their quality of life, according to the 2017 Citizen Satisfaction Survey presented to Airdrie City council March 5.
“Overall quality of life was actually reported at 95 per cent this year. Overall quality of life in the City of Airdrie is one of the highest measures I have across the province for quality of life,” said Tracy With, vice president of Bannister Research and Consulting, the company that conducted the survey.
This is an increase from the 91 per cent overall quality of life satisfaction reported in the 2016 survey. Respondents indicated contributing factors for this include the small town atmosphere, the accessibility to facilities, services and amenities, and Airdrie’s green spaces, walking trails and parks.
Overall quality of city services was rated at 83 per cent, up significantly from 74 per cent in 2016. With said this could indicate more interactions with City staff, as respondents tend to state they are more satisfied with City services if they’ve had this type of interaction.
The majority of residents – 94 per cent – reported feeling safe overall in the community.
The Citizen Satisfaction Survey is conducted annually as a means of assessing residents’ perceptions of the City, its services and safety. A total of 400 telephone interviews were conducted with a randomly-selected group of residents over the age of 18.
New this year, an online survey was available, although results from this survey were not included in the overall results as they were not considered statistically robust, according to With.
She said a web-based open link allowed residents to bring specific City issues forward, as well as answered a number of the questions the City had.
“…You will find that the responses to that kind of tool will typically be very polarized and very issue-specific,” With said.
The survey – both telephone and online – was conducted from Jan. 8 to 19, and With said the results echoed issues brought up in the October 2017 municipal election.
Infrastructure needs were a main issue in the election, as well as an area respondents cited as needing improvement.
Up from 29 per cent in 2016, 33 per cent of respondents identified infrastructure, traffic, roads, train tracks and construction as a primary concern.
Respondents said there were a number of issues impacting the community’s growth and development, including the pace of that development (38 per cent), the style of development (19 per cent) and poor roads and infrastructure (13 per cent).
Healthcare – which has traditionally been a significant concern for residents – dropped to 12 per cent from 15 per cent in 2015, With said.
This is likely due to the Airdrie Urgent Care Centre expanding service to 24 hours a day in April 2017.
“The survey is always used very highly in both our planning and in council’s planning,” said Dorian Kachur, City of Airdrie manager strategic services.
“It gives us a good indicator both as a report card of residents’ satisfaction with our services and the issues they see as highly prevalent and/or services that might be highly valued but perhaps not quite up to the citizens’ expectations.”