City Think Halifax 2010


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As the catalyst for economic growth and confidence in Greater Halifax, we think it is important for us to support initiatives like this. Produced by Omnifacts and published by Metro Halifax, CityThink is a valuable tool for business
and community leaders because it offers insight into the perceptions and attitudes of citizens on a wide range of current topics.

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City Think Halifax 2010

  1. 1. Survey Results | May 2010
  2. 2. Sponsoring PartnersMetro Halifax OmnifactsWe are pleased to co-sponsor this second CityThink We are delighted to bring you a new edition of CityThinkfor HRM. We feel that part of our mandate is to reflect for Metro Halifax and want to thank Metro and Greaterthe opinions, hopes and concerns of our readers and Halifax Partnership for their support and assistancethe citizens of this area. We believe we have selected throughout this research. We have included questions toan interesting and useful range of topics for this year. give a good overview of public perception on a wide rangeThey range from the economy, to development, crime and of topics. We certainly hope you find the information topersonal financial situations. be helpful.This summary represents an overview of CityThink for This short publication is intended to give a quick overview2010 and over the next week we will use the results from of the major topics included on the survey. Over thethis survey to publish a series of stories looking behind the coming week more detailed coverage will follow in Metro.numbers. We look forward to your reading! Thank you for your interest in our work.Greg Lutes Craig WightPublisher, Metro Halifax Vice President OmnifactsGreater Halifax PartnershipAs the catalyst for economic growth and confidence inGreater Halifax, we think it is important for us to supportinitiatives like this. CityThink is a valuable tool for businessand community leaders because it offers insight into theperceptions and attitudes of citizens on a wide range ofcurrent topics.We hope you find the information interesting and useful.Paul KentPresident and CEOGreater Halifax Partnership
  3. 3. EconomyAs the world begins to recover from the global recession How does that fair compared to the rest of Atlanticand countries like Greece are dealing with a debt crisis, Canada? Pretty good when we look at our recent numbersresidents of HRM are feeling pretty good about the region’s from AtlanticThink (Omnifacts’ quarterly researcheconomic situation. More than half rate HRM’s economy as publication). Residents of HRM give higher ratings forgood or excellent and one third expect things to get even the economy and are more positive about the futurebetter in the year ahead. compared to their counterparts in the rest of Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada.The Economy – Performance and Confidence100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 CityThink – AtlanticThink – AtlanticThink – CityThink – AtlanticThink – AtlanticThink – HRM Nova Scotia Atlantic Canada HRM Nova Scotia Atlantic Canada Economic Performance Economic Confidence (% indicating good or excellent) (% indicating better)
  4. 4. Think the good news ends there? Think again. Perceptions People in HRM are feeling pretty good about their personalof HRM on a variety of measures related to the business financial health as well. Four in ten residents we surveyedclimate are very positive as well. More than four in ten feel indicated they were doing okay while the same numberHRM is a great place to start or grow an existing business. said they were doing well or great. Just one in five peopleAbout half feel they can earn a competitive salary for the said that they can’t cope or are just getting they do and almost two thirds feel residents canwork in the field for which they are trained.Business Climate – Percentage rating “Good” or “Excellent”100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Participate in a Work in the field Develop commercial Earn a Grow an existing Start a new wide range of for which you real estate competitive salary business business leisure activities are trainedPersonal Financial Health 2007 2010 2009 2009 Description CityThink – CityThink – Description AtlanticThink – AtlanticThink – HRM HRM Atlantic Canada Nova Scotia Can’t cope / Can’t cope / 22% 18% 34% 32% Just getting by Just getting by Doing okay 39% 41% Doing okay 42% 44% Doing well/great 36% 38% Doing well/great 23% 24%
  5. 5. Public Transit Public Transit – Percentage who support each 100This year, we asked residents to indicate their level of Strongly supportsupport for two potential developments for the public 90transit system. Their reaction was very positive. 81% were Support 80in favour of HRM using rail lines as a form of public transitservice while 65% gave the thumbs up to creating a high- 70speed ferry service between Bedford and Halifax. 60So how do the majority of people in HRM get around? 50Well, almost nine in ten households surveyed had a vehicle 40while 22% ride the bus at least once a week. We also 30asked those bus riders how they felt about paying moreper trip for an improved bus system. Two thirds of bus 20riders indicated they would be at least somewhat willing. 10 0 HRM using rail lines Creating a high-speed ferry as a form of transit service betweenDowntown public transit service Bedford and HalifaxThere hasn’t been a lot of change in peoples’ attitudestowards downtown Halifax compared to three years ago. 100 Attitudes towards Downtown Halifax –Two thirds indicated they felt the same while just 16% Compared to 3 years ago 90indicated they were more positive and 19% were feelingmore negative. Further, very few people said they were 80highly concerned about the changes happening in the 70downtown area (just 22% gave a rating of 8 or higher). 60That’s not to say people don’t visit downtown Halifax. 50The majority of residents we surveyed go downtown at 40least once every two or three months with one third goingat least once a week. Their reasons for going downtown? 30Top mentions included: 20• Dining/restaurants – 25% 10• Attend an event or show – 21% 0• Shopping – 18% More positive About the same More negative
  6. 6. Crime Downtown Halifax – Percentage who consider it “Mostly” or “Very” safeWe also looked at crime again in 2010. Interestingly, 10071% felt that downtown Halifax was mostly or very safe. Very safeThis was up significantly from 50% just three years ago. 90 Mostly safe 80This trend also extended to other indicators of crime inHRM. In 2010, just 14% indicated they had personally 70been a victim of a serious crime, 47% personally knew 60someone else who had been a victim of a criminal act and 5070% avoid areas of HRM for safety reasons. While most ofthese numbers were down, the fact that so many residents 40still avoid areas of HRM for safety reasons suggests there’s 30work left to do. 20 10 0 2007 2010Crime Indicators – Percentage indicating “Yes” to each100 2007 90 2010 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Personally been a victim Know someone who has been a victim Areas of HRM you avoid of a serious crime of a serious crime for safety reasons
  7. 7. Development Development in HRM – Percentage indicating “Good for HRM”Current development in the region is seen as having 100a positive impact on HRM by the majority of residents.Approximately two thirds indicated that the economic 90growth, residential and commercial development that has 80occurred in HRM over the past 10 years has been goodfor the region. 70 60While growth has been positive, respondents were split 50on whether HRM’s development policies inhibit or favourdevelopment. People from higher income brackets tended 40to feel that they did more harm than good. Residents were 30also divided on whether policies placed the right level ofemphasis on heritage preservation. Despite these mixed 20feelings, respondents did agree that HRM has experienced 10significant growth over the past 12 months – two thirdsdescribed the level of growth as “some” or “a lot”. 0 Economic Residential Commercial Growth – Development – Development – Past 10 years Past 10 years Past 10 yearsMunicipal Politics Municipal Satisfaction – Percentage rating “7 or higher”Despite the array of positive news on issues such as public 2007 CityThink 2010 CityThinktransit, crime and development, things weren’t quite as Mayor 57% 45%rosy when we turned to municipal affairs. Ratings (7+) Council 39% 28%for the mayor and city council have dropped significantlysince we surveyed in 2007. When it comes to the currentnumber of councilors, more than half feel there should bea decrease for HRM.
  8. 8. ResearchMethodologyOmnifacts is pleased to be partnering with Metro Halifaxand Greater Halifax Partnership to bring you this edition ofCityThink for HRM. The research is based on a randomsample of 500 adults in HRM. Data collection ended onApril 28th, 2010. The margin of error for a sample of 500 is±4.4% 19 times out of 20.Comparison data is taken from 2007 results as well asfrom Omnifacts’ AtlanticThink, an exclusive report onAtlantic Canadians based on a quarterly survey of 1,800Atlantic Canadians.