Consistent with results from all previous surveys, the highest scoring factor was Entertainment. The Entertainment factor includes sports, concerts, and other forms of popular entertainment.
Given the continued economic downturn, it's no surprise to see the lowest scoring factors were Economic Opportunities and Healthcare. The 2009 Quality of Life Survey showed similar results; although, the Economic Opportunities factor did increase slightly this year. As part of the Evaluation & Appraisal Report (EAR) review of the Comprehensive Plans, this year's results were compared with results from the 2005 Survey. Most factors received statistically lower scores when compared to 2005, with the Economic Opportunities factor having the biggest decrease, reflecting the booming economy in 2005.
Though the overall quality of life score has decreased compared to 2005, four factors did receive statistically higher scores -
- Affordable Housing
- Growth Management
- Racial, Ethnic, and Religious Tolerance
- Transportation System
The favorable change in Affordable Housing can be attributed to the dramatic decrease in home prices since 2005. But the explanation for the increase in the other three factors is not quite as clear, particularly since the Transportation System factor was given a high 'needs attention' score - meaning more attention should be given this factor in the next year (2011).
When asked if there are sufficient opportunities for citizen participation in long range planning efforts, 57% of respondents disagreed. As a follow-up, when asked in what forums they would like to participate, 75% indicated written surveys; 37% wanted to attend public meetings; and 36% said they'd like to participate in internet/web meetings.
A whopping 96% of respondents indicated it is beneficial for this community to have a long-term vision for what the community should be for generations to come. An overwhelming majority of respondents believe sidewalks and bike lanes currently do not provide safe mobility options and our water quality is not adequately protected. Seventy-three percent of respondents said local government should take an active role in addressing homelessness.
The quality of life factors measured in the Survey were established initially by a focus group from across Hillsborough County. For comparison sake, these same factors continue to be used. The full summary report is available on the Planning Commission website.