South Bend receives feedback on community survey

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 11:17 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - While South Bend residents say they are satisfied with several things in the city, they think South Bend can do a better job when it comes to growth.

On Monday, the city released the results of the 2022 Community Survey.

About 650 residents replied.

Mayor James Mueller said the city is committed to using data and evidence in “everything they do.”

That’s why they are taking the results from this year’s survey seriously, using samples from every district in South Bend.

“The future of MLK. The future of the parks department and of solid waste and city infrastructure. Knowing with confidence that when we survey a representative sample of South Bend, these are the things that are most important to them. These are the things that are going in the right direction or in the wrong direction. Here are the things that are getting better,” said Chief Innovation Officer for the City of South Bend, Denise Riedl.

City leaders found that residents’ priorities have not changed much since 2020.

Some priorities still include sidewalks and streets, neighborhood infrastructure and code enforcement

″It’s not surprising. The city has done a lot to invest in streets, but those investments are sort of long-term investments. There was a decrease in satisfaction with streets and sidewalks and neighborhood infrastructure generally in the report,” said Riedl.

The City’s Department of Innovation & Technology also developed an interactive Resident Insights Dashboard that allows residents to explore the data and compare the results to national benchmarks.

The survey also found that nearly 57 percent of respondents do not feel their neighborhood has improved over the past five years.

Respondents also said they were least satisfied with overall efforts to improve homelessness.

But some good news: residents were satisfied with the overall quality of fire services, emergency medical services, trash collection services, parks and the number of walking and biking trails.

The survey also asked questions like: How well is the city planning for growth?

“Respondents mostly were unsatisfied with the direction the city was taking when planning growth, which is bad news. But putting it in context as well, the trend is similar to what we are seeing in other cities,” said Riedl.

City leaders said they use the results to help with strategic planning and future project ideas.