Last month, Valley Vision issued a summary of the results of a recent survey about Sacramento area attitudes about civic amenities. The summary is titled “Regional Attitudes About Civic Amenities”. The survey was conducted in cooperation with Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR).
The survey is intended to uncover the views and opinions of residents of the Sacramento region on important issues and to share them with local policy makers.
For purposes of the survey civic amenities is defined as:
Civic and cultural amenities are defined as both physical places and general activities. Examples of physical places include museums, art galleries, sports venues, riverfront attractions, theatres, parks, and recreational areas. Examples of activities include arts and cultural attractions, and community events and festivals where people like to congregate.
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The survey measured five sets of preferences:
- General attitudes about the importance of public and recreational amenities
- Preferences regarding the region’s current amenities
- Individual access to and use of the region’s amenities
- Preferences regarding potential amenities being planned
- Willingness to invest in different types of amenities
Attitudes About Civic Amenities Survey Results
Demographics do not matter – the majority of Sacramento area residents consider civic and cultural amenities important to their person well-being and quality of life.
- 53% Very Important
- 37% Moderately Important
- 8% Slightly Important
- 1% Not Important
Majorities of residents also consider amenities important for:
- The image of Sacramento to people living outside of the region – 95%
- Attracting visitors to Sacramento – 87%
- Attracting individuals and families to relocate to the region – 93%
- Attracting businesses to the region – 80%
Attitudes About Civic Amenities Priorities and Preferences
The majority of residents view parks and trails as the most important amenities – both in terms of their own quality of life and in terms of public investment. The ranking, as to the single most important civic amenity to their quality of life, was:
- Parks and trails – 54%
- Science and history museums – 9%
- Music venues – 8%
- Art Galleries and museums – 7%
- Events and festivals – 7%
- Recreational and sports facilities – 6%
- Live theater – 6%
- Spectator sports venues – 4%
Like everyone else I love and utilize Sacramento’s parks – but as someone who also loves live theatre (and has season tickets to the Music Circus, the Broadway Series and B Street Theatre) I am somewhat dismayed to see the 6% ranking for live theatre.
The survey results send a clear message to local officials – 54% v. the next highest 9% (for science and history museums) is not even close!
The survey respondent’s use or frequency of use of existing public amenities comes as no surprise – urban parks and greenbelts, the American and Sacramento Rivers, Old Sacramento and the American River Parkway hold the four top spots.
When asked about how investments should be prioritized 90% of respondents supported greater public investment in amenities – and 56% said that parks and trails were most in need of investment.
If you have been following the news recently two of the reasons given for the need of public investment will be familiar to you:
- Parks, trails, and recreational areas are populated by the homeless, therefore, need to be maintained and cleaned
- Current conditions of parks and recreational areas are not safe
When asked about willingness to pay higher taxes parks and recreational areas came in at number one followed by museums, cultural attractions (tied with theaters), arts and entertainment venues, and sports.
A majority of people said that they would “Definitely” or “Probably Yes” pay $21-$30 in increased annual taxes.
Mayor Steinberg, the members of the Sacramento City Council and the Sacramento Board of Supervisors are working to develop solutions to address the homeless situation. It is not an easy task – but hopefully the resolve of our elected officials will be strengthened by the survey results.
The results of the full survey can be accessed here.
Did you participate in the survey? Do you find yourself in general agreement with the survey results?