Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Springfield still a city of neighborhoods, survey shows

Springfield residents retain a strong sense of neighborhood identity even after decades of population shifts to smaller surrounding communities, a survey by University of Illinois Springfield and a local planning commission found.

There was less optimism on long-term stability in the survey released Monday, with more than 20 percent saying their neighborhoods would be worse places to live in coming years.

Nearly 730 residents of Sangamon County responded to the “Neighborhood Survey,” taken this spring and summer. It was the first in-depth survey of neighborhood sentiments since 1975, said Norm Sims, executive director of the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission.

Residents in north Sangamon County were most satisfied with their neighborhoods, with nearly 96 percent reporting liking where they live, while satisfaction was lowest in northeast Springfield, where the favorability rating was nearly 82 percent of residents.

“If they don’t have a neighborhood identity, I think they’re trying to get one,” said Ashley Kirzinger, director of the UIS Research Office. “The county was the only place where they’d say, we don’t really have a neighborhood.”

The story was published in The State Journal-Register on August 5, 2014.

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