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Dunedin Becoming One of the World’s Great Small Cities

Dunedin on its Way to Being One of the World’s Great Small Cities

Dunedin, 26 February 2013 - Dunedin residents consider their city to be a great place to live according to the latest Quality of Life Survey.

Approximately 82% of Dunedin resident agreed with that statement, compared to the six city total of 76%. Dunedin residents were also more likely to feel a sense of pride in their local area (69% compared to a total of 58%) with a pleasing number suggesting that the good overall lifestyle provided by the city is the key reason for their pride.

DCC General Manager Dr Sue Bidrose says this is a good indication that the city vision of Dunedin as one of the world’s great small cities is on the right track. “This is a vision that comes up again and again in our consultations (such as the Spatial Plan and the Dunedin Economic Development Strategy) and it’s very encouraging to see that our residents have great pride in their city and believe it is just that – a great city.

“We have so few of the housing affordability and congestion issues that are prevalent in other centres - the key now is to spread this message as far as possible to people who don’t live here.”

In other results, Dunedin residents generally rated the city’s safety extremely highly, were the most likely to consider that other people could be trusted (75%), were most satisfied by their work – life balance (68%) and were more likely to believe that cultural diversity made their area a better place to live (62%).

A comparatively high proportion of residents felt that alcohol and drugs (81%), dangerous driving (72%), car theft and damage (66%) and litter (62%) had been a problem over the last twelve months.

Dr Bidrose says, “We are seeking ways to address these areas of concern and with the draft Annual Plan about to be released, this is an opportune moment to ask our community to participate in this key consultation process, whether by sending in a comment on a specific topic or a larger submission on an area of budget spend.”

Less than half (41%) of respondents across the urban areas said they had ‘more than enough’ or ‘enough’ money to meet their everyday needs for things such as accommodation, food, clothing and other necessities, a third (33%) said they had ‘just enough money’ and 22% that they did not have enough (up from 13% in 2010).

The Quality of Life Survey is conducted every two years as part of a wider project investigating quality of life in Dunedin, Auckland, Wellington, Porirua, Hutt City and Christchurch. The project is jointly funded and managed by the city councils of the participating cities. This year the project was undertaken using a mixed online and postal survey method which was different to previous years. Care should therefore be taken when comparing this year’s results to those of previous years.

General results

The majority of Dunedin residents (84%) rate their overall quality of life positively, with 61% rating it as good and 23% as extremely good.

The majority of Dunedin residents feel safe (fairly or very safe) in their homes (98% during the day, 95% after dark), walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark (71%) and in their city centre during the day (97%). However, nearly half (49%) feel unsafe (very or a bit unsafe) in their city centre after dark.

Four in five (81%) Dunedin residents feel that their local neighbourhood is safe for children under 14 years to play in while unsupervised (26% rating very safe and 55% rating fairly safe).

Two thirds (67%) of Dunedin residents agree it is important to feel a sense of community with the people in the local neighbourhood, responding with a rating of strongly agree (17%) or agree (50%).

Just over half (54%) of Dunedin residents agree they feel a sense of community with others in their local neighbourhood, with 8% agreeing strongly and 46% agreeing.

More than four in five (82%) Dunedin residents agree that their city or local area is a great place to live, with 31% saying strongly agree and 51% saying agree.

Almost seven in ten (69%) of Dunedin residents strongly agree or agree that they feel a sense of pride in the way their city or local area looks and feels.

When it comes to public transport, 77% agree it is safe, 73% easy to get to, 49% reliable, 49% frequent and 41% affordable.

Less than half (43%) of Dunedin residents said they had ‘more than enough’ or ‘enough’ money to meet their everyday needs for things such as accommodation, food, clothing and other necessities, a third (35%) said they had ‘just enough money’ and 17% that they did not have enough.

Where we excel

Dunedin residents are more likely to:

• Feel safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark, (70% compared to a six city of 58%).
• Feel safe in their city centre during the day (97% compared to a six city total of 91%).
• Feel safe in their city centre after dark (48% compared to a six city total of 42%).
• Rate the safety of unsupervised children in their neighbourhood as safe (81% compared to a six city total of 71%).
• Think cultural diversity makes their area a better place to live (62% compared to a six city total of 52%).
• Say they can trust people (75% compared to a six city total of 62%).
• Agree their area / city has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene (70% compared to a six city total of 47%).
• Agree their area is a great place to live (82% compared to a six city total of 76%).
• Feel a sense of pride in the way their city or local area looks and feels (69% compared to a six city total of 58%).
• Agree their city provides a good overall lifestyle (67% compared to a six city total of 55%).
• To be satisfied with the balance between work and other aspects of life (68% compared to a six city total of 61%).

Where we could improve

Dunedin residents are more likely to:

• View dangerous driving as a problem (72% compared to a six city total of 67%).
• View car theft or damage to cars as a problem Dunedin (66% compared to a six city total of 59%).
• View alcohol or drugs as a problem (80% compared to a six city total of 59%).
• Perceive rubbish or litter to have been a problem in their city over the last 12 months (62% compared to a six city total of 52%).
• Lack confidence that the Council makes decisions in the best interests of their city (45% compared to a six city total of 36%).

Dunedin residents are also less likely to:

• Agree that public transport is frequent (49% compared to a six city total of 56%).
• Feel a sense of community is important (67% compared to a six city total of 73%).

The full report is available here.

ENDS

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