IF THEN SURVEY RESULTS

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1 IF THEN SURVEY RESULTS BUILDING TOWARDS A REGIONAL VISION Survey Summary April 2013

2 BACKGROUND In the spring of 2011, the Piedmont Triad undertook an ambitious, 3-year planning effort designed to strengthen our region by strengthening each community in our region. Formerly referred to as the Sustainable Communities Planning Project, Piedmont Together takes a comprehensive look at the potential impacts of jobs, housing and transportation choices on the lives of citizens within our 12-county region. Hundreds of project participants from communities throughout our region are working together to identify opportunities and develop practical solutions for creating a stronger local economy, healthier and more livable communities and a greener environment. These efforts are not just about making our region more competitive they are focused on making the Piedmont Triad a true winner in the new global economy. Top Strengths Excellent higher education opportunities Viticulture and Productive Farmland Access to Excellent Health Care Scenic and Recreational Resources Small Town Charm Strong volunteer & religious organizations that help create a sense of community Good highways & utilities to support job creation & economic development Top Challenges Lack of transportation options in communities & regionally The New Economy post-manufacturing, high tech Abandoned Job Centers unused mills & shopping centers Capitalizing on Assets supporting existing small businesses Healthy Communities transportation options & open space Sidewalks & Bike Lanes mobility and recreation Access to fresh food sources Energy Conservation construction, restoration, re-use By the spring of 2012 hundreds of people had attended civic forums held throughout the region to generate a list of regional strengths and challenges. Combined with a wide range of factual information, this grassroots stakeholder input was used to generate the following reasons to care about the future of our region. Reasons to Care about the Future of our Region 1. The New Economy Nearly 350,000 new jobs will be added to the region by But they are not the jobs of the past; they will require a much more educated workforce. 2. Transportation Choices The lack of transportation choices is causing families and businesses economic hardship in the region. 3. Housing Market Current housing choices are not keeping up with the demand of a changing housing market or proximity to goods, services and jobs. 4. Demographic Changes More planning is needed for the area s aging and increasingly diverse population. 5. Scenic, Recreational and Natural Resources The region s natural resources, one of its strengths, are frequently threatened. 6. Farm and Food Systems The desire and market for local fresh food is on the rise, yet the Triad is losing working farm and forestry lands at an alarming rate and the local infrastructure for food processing and distribution is lacking. 7. Regional Cooperation Regional cooperation and coordination is critical to the future economic prosperity of the region.

3 On Thursday October 25, 2012 more than 150 stakeholders and community leaders from across the Piedmont Triad gathered at the Old Salem Event Center for a regional Livable Communities Summit. Interspersed among the speaker, attendees answered a series of survey questions. Using audience participation devices, participants voted and were then able to review and discuss their responses with one another in real time. Survey questions were based on the top strengths and challenges and reasons to care about the future of our region shown above. Presented as IF / THEN STATEMENTS, each question invited survey participants to explore and prioritize the potential impacts on our region, based on alternative future scenarios and a variety of possible planning, policy and program choices to be made by communities in our region. Then in March 2013, Piedmont Together held its second round of civic forums throughout the region. At the forums participants: Received a Piedmont Together update; Viewed a video or heard from a speaker on a topic related to sustainability, followed by a discussion; and Participated in the IF / / THEN SURVEY. The SURVEY was also available on Piedmont Voice and administered to a community group. In total 198 person took the survey. The results of the survey are being used to help guide the project s on-going scenario modeling efforts and to set priorities concerning the most important factors be measure in the regional model. The IF THEN SURVEY results are presented on the pages that following.

4 Response % SURVEY RESPONSES Top responses are shown in bold and correspond to the colors in the chart shown in the lower corner of the page. Question #1 If we do not plan for our increasingly diverse population, then: 24% Housing segregation will increase. 28% Adequate financial and social resources will not be available to care for the elderly. 13% Language will become a barrier to citizen involvement and education. 35% Public transportation services will be inadequate. Question #2 If single person households dramatically increase, then: 35% The existing housing supply will not meet their needs 11% Limits by municipalities on multi-family housing may continue 26% Quality rental properties will be inadequate. 28% Housing choice will be limited primarily to urban, not rural areas. Question #3 If municipalities continue to plan and build separately from one another, then: 28% Travel between municipalities on public transportation will be difficult. 36% Recruitment of new businesses to the region will be limited. 16% Duplication of recreational facilities will occur because they are not being shared. 20% Less federal and state funding will be available. Question #4 If small towns do not participate in regional planning, then: 39% Communities will suffer from a lack of transportation and job choices 50% Communities will become isolated and lose population 7% Local housing choices will fall 4% Local housing values will deteriorate

5 Responses Question #5 If public transportation is not made more widely available, then there will be: 30% More congestion on the region s roadways 21% Slower job growth because it will be harder to get to work 35% An increase in household transportation costs 13% Increased air pollution Question #6 If the housing market remains focused on single-family development, then: 16% Poverty will become concentrated in segregated neighborhoods 46% Sprawl will increase, and with it the loss of farmland and natural resources 12% College graduates will leave the area, unable to find appropriate housing 26% Recruitment of new business suffers, due to a lack of housing choices for employees Question #7 If the region does not focus on new types of employment, then: 47% New businesses will not locate in the region due to a lack of trained workers 37% Unemployment will increase 6% Jobs in healthcare and education will go unfilled 10% Abandoned mills will remain vacant Question # 5 Question # 6 Question # 7 Question # 8 Question #8 If sprawl continues unabated, then: 17% Small towns will lose their separate identities 58% Agricultural lands and green spaces will diminish 5% Scenic resources will be lost 20% Sense of neighborliness will be more difficult to achieve

6 Responses % Question #9 If development patterns in the region remain the same, then: 29% Agriculture will cease to be one of the top economic engines of the region 9% Scenic resources will be lost 24% Air and water pollution will increase 38% Property taxes will increase to cover new infrastructure costs Question #10 If we do not protect our scenic, recreational and nature resources, then: 17% Tourism revenues in the region will decrease. 15% Water supplies will be endangered 9% Recreational opportunities will diminish 59% Quality of life will suffer Question #11 If public school siting patterns remain the same, then: 52% Schools will locate in suburban fringe areas, contributing to sprawl 16% Students will lack opportunities to walk to school 24% Facilities cannot be shared by a variety of users 9% Air pollution will increase from idling and congestion around the school site Question # 9 Question # 10 Question # 11 Question # 12 Question #12 If transportation options in the region are improved, then: 38% Public health will improve due to increased walking and bicycling 44% Air quality will improve with fewer vehicles and less congestion 12% Access to natural and recreational resources will increase 5% Growth of & access to fresh foods will be retained or increase

7 Responses Question #13 If local farmland in the region is protected and supported, then: 21% Farms and local food outlets will be more closely connected 26% Local food dollars will be spent locally 21% Jobs in the agricultural sector will grow 32% Residents of the region will have greater access to healthy foods Question #14 If mixed use development is encouraged across the region, then: 3% Schools will require less busing 17% Home ownership will increase, building wealth and stability 22% Older adults can remain in their homes, aging in place. 58% Walking will be possible, enhancing the health and well-being of the region Question # 13 Question # 14 SURVEY RESPONDENTS How would you describe your role? 33% Interested Citizen 13% Business Interest 20% No-Profit Interest 1% Elected Officials 27% Government Staff 6% Other How would you describe where you live? 40% Urban Area 41% Suburban Area 19% Rural Area Interested Citizen Business Interest Non-Profit Interest Elected Official Government Staff Other Urban Suburban Rural

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