Despite the challenges of the past year, most Airdrians remain happy with their quality of life in the city according the city’s 2021 Citizen Satisfaction Survey.
The survey, which sampled 400 random Airdrians, found that 93 per cent of those surveyed felt they had a good to very good quality of life, up slightly from 92 per cent in 2020. It was presented to council on Monday, March 15 by Tracy With, Partner and COO of Y Station Communications and Research.
While satisfaction remained high the challenges of 2020 were evident in a closer look at the numbers with 41 per cent of citizens saying that their quality of life had decreased in the past year, up from 18 per cent who felt the same in the 2020 survey. Much of the change was attributed to COVID-19 related issues, with 81 per cent of those with a declining quality of life pointing to those issues.
Airdrians sense of belonging decreased by 9 per cent to 60 per cent for the 2021 survey.
“(This is) not a surprise given the isolation that the pandemic had created,” said With. “We weren’t surprised to see that this year.”
While traffic is generally the biggest recurring issue found in the surveys, this year traffic concerns were not as pronounced. Traffic flow improvements and road development were still indicated as the top priorities for the city they both were mentioned far less with seven and 18 per cent drops respectively. Infrastructure was down 20 per cent, to 43 per cent, in the question of “what issues face Airdrie”, and it was mentioned far less in terms of reasons for a decreasing quality of life mentioned by only six per cent of those respondents down 33 per cent from 2020.
Snow removal was a bigger issue for the 2021 survey with 10 per cent of respondents indicating it was major issue facing Airdrie, up from two per cent. Respondents also gave the service a 33 per cent approval rate as opposed to 56 per cent the prior year. With said that the timing of the survey, January 11-29, may have something to do with snow being on residents minds. Councillor Candice Kolson said she was happy that council was already planning to take a look at snow and ice control
“I’m excited that our snow and ice control is coming back (for council to look at),” said Kolson. “It’s a recurring trend that when we have those snow and ice events that our satisfaction goes way down.”
Garbage services were also a concern, with approval of the service declining to 74 per cent from 85 per cent, despite approval staying the same for both recycling and organics collection. Kolson wondered if the snow had something to do with that as well.
“The way people were shoveling around probably really affected that garbage pickup,” she said.
The full Citizen Satisfaction Survey will be available on the City of Airdrie website.