The Fall 2010 Listening Project Survey continued to poll residents about their thoughts on the region in general, asking about the strengths and challenges we face. There were 39 participants in this survey.
• 72% of those responding had never participated in a Listening Project Survey.
• The majority of those responding have a stake in the community, with 63% having lived in the region for 20+ years.
• 73% plan to live in Northeast Ohio in five years (down from the 91% who indicated in last year’s survey that they intend to remain in the area for 5 years).
• Note that 84% of those who participated rated the region as “good or excellent” place to live, a number that is lower than the 91% who rated the region at that level in last year’s survey.
What respondents said generally about the region:
The best thing about living in Northeast Ohio is that you are never more than an hour away from great art and/or music events, great athletic events, and that WONDERFUL LAKE!!!!
All 4 seasons. Access to great cultural institutions, recreation, night life, wonderful people, interesting neighborhoods, ability to have a real impact.
The cost-of-living tends to be more affordable than it is in many other places.
The big city adventure combined with the small community feeling. You do not need 6 degrees to find a connection with people.
The diversity of people, numerous museums and cultural institutions in the area and the wonderful proximity to parks and nature.
Variety of… almost everything. Some cities’ regionality (not a word, but… ) makes for their being socially, or economically, or culturally (etc.), lopsided. We have a little bit of everything - a good mix.
The wide variety events and educational opportunities.
The seasons. We rarely realize how beautiful northern Ohio is at all times when compared to Florida or the southwest.
If I were to reduce it down to one thing, this town is a foodies dream. Tons of great restaurants, fresh food all over the place. Wineries, many very good. Other than that, this is as bustling a metropolis as any around. Lots of stuff to do.
Parks, restaurants, markets, biking, hiking, bars, nightlife, arts, museums, festivals, neighborhoods, West Side Market, breweries, Wendy Park, outdoor music, summertime sidewalk cafes, etc.
The life style, calmer, easier to raise children, not as much class pressure.
Diversity of housing, architecture, geography and climates.
Those completing the survey are also well aware of the region’s problems:
I think the most pressing challenge is transitioning from a city built on producing steel and steel based products to a city built on the talents of its citizens.
A regional governance infrastructure focused on policy development & execution.
Poverty and poor school system in Cleveland and some of the inner ring suburbs.
Unemployment and the growing disparity in wealth distribution.
I believe the biggest issue is the challenge of making Cleveland the truly beautiful place it should be. If there is not a real all around attraction to the city itself, people will continue to stay in the suburbs, our economy and morale will suffer, we will continue to be disoriented and half-baked. This is not the future we want. This is the way it’s been here for the past 50 years and no one is happy about it.
I think the other important issue is needing to educate our children in meaningful ways to meet the evolving challenges of a global market place. We also need people who can fix and build things...cars, houses, computers.
Getting locals to think more positively about the region themselves, let alone how they convey the area to outsiders.
Jobs, innovation, and keeping our young people here.
95% of the people who move here from somewhere else love Northeast Ohio. 90% of the people who grew up here can only tell you about the problems or negatives associated with the area. Somewhere there is a disconnect.
We need STRONG leadership to make this place EXCELLENT, because we’re almost there with all out assets!
When asked specifically about “what organizations make this a better place to live,” comments were consistent with previous year’s answers and included:
Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation.
Media: traditional & emerging digital.
The nonprofits and strong philanthropic community, Playhouse Square, museums and other cultural organizations. I include also WCPN, WVIZ, Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Art Museum, University Circle.
The Cleveland Foundation, the libraries, museums, the hospitals, the zoo.
The Cleveland Restoration Society for its efforts to keep our built environment not only intact, but restored and beautiful.
The many world class cultural institutions in the area like the Cleveland Art Museum, Cleveland Orchestra and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for example.
Our churches. Our colleges. The YMCA.
Finally, when asked how ideastream can make the region a better place, the answers were diverse, but indicated an understanding of ideastream’s mission of strengthening our communities by providing distinctive, thought-provoking programs and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain. Some specific suggestions include:
Let the local population know about Cleveland Cultural Gardens, MLK and East Blvd., south of St. Clair, by using the images between the programs the way you do the Metroparks scenes, Lorain parks, etc.
Continue the good programming.
By continuing to enlighten Clevelanders about what’s happening in our city and the world. The key to Northeast Ohio’s success is first appreciating ourselves, our dynamic individuals, history, and natural landscape.
Keep up the dialog like this and on the radio.
Find a way to showcase or advertise all the great places in the region. Help make locals aware that the region has so many great things to offer and that they should start getting out there and taking advantage of it.