Thank you, Eddie. And thank you again for The Rockefeller Foundation’s support of this very important initiative, one that we at MAS want to establish as an annual endeavor. Later in the program, I will formally introduce Eddie and tell you more about his work at Rockefeller and his many other accomplishments. MAS is very grateful to the Marist Institute for Public Opinion for working with us so closely on the questionnaire and for conducting the survey. More than 1,000 adult New Yorkers were polled by telephone – a combination of random landline and cell phone numbers were used -- from September 29 th through October 6 th . The sample was balanced so that each borough reflects its proportion to the overall city population, and the results are statistically significant within 3.1 percentage points. I also want to thank Sue McCulloch from Marist, who’s in the room with us today. This survey gives us wonderful information on livability in New York from the people who brave the subways each day, work here, raise families here, and have watched our city change.
There’s no question that, overall, New Yorkers are satisfied living in the city, and in their neighborhoods. But when you look more closely at the data – by borough, race and ethnicity – you see areas where people are not so content. Overall, 84% said that they are satisfied or very satisfied living in New York. Only 4% of respondents were not at all satisfied.
When you look at borough results, you see that some residents are happier than others. Manhattanites lead in satisfaction, with 95%. Staten Island, Brooklyn and the Bronx are less positive, with 80, 79 and 77% satisfied, respectively.
Same with neighborhoods. 82% of New Yorkers like living where they do.
Let’s flip the data and look at who’s unhappy. And here’s where you start to see some real differences between Manhattanites and the rest of the city. Here, you see that about a third of the Bronx, and a significant number of Brooklynites and Queens residents said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their communities.
If they had the choice, most New Yorkers – 62% -- would either stay put exactly where they are, or just move down the block to another part of their neighborhood. But, almost a quarter would opt to move out of New York City altogether.
Take a look at who would leave New York. Almost 40% of Bronx residents, and almost a quarter of Queens and Brooklyn residents say they would leave the city, as opposed to only 11% in Manhattan.
In this section, we asked New Yorkers to assess different neighborhood features and city services, from public transportation to cleanliness and safety. Here, we see that a clear majority agreed that -- they have good access to public transportation -- their neighborhood is a good place to walk -- their neighborhood is clean -- they have sufficient parks and green spaces -- they feel safe out at night -- they feel comfortable raising children in their neighborhoods There was less positive comment about -- the quality of the schools -- the richness of their community’s history -- the level of noise in their neighborhoods
For each neighborhood feature and service, the responses varied by borough. Who feels safest walking at night? Manhattanites and Staten Islanders. Least safe? Bronx and Brooklyn residents. What about noise? More than half of Manhattanites and half of Bronx residents think their communities are noisy. Not so with the rest of the city. Almost three-quarters of Staten Islanders do not consider their neighborhoods to be noisy.
New Yorkers are more divided – and less positive overall – about the quality of some city services and what I’ll call neighborhood amenities. Clear majorities positively rated -- the quality of grocery stores and markets – 71% -- the level of police protection – -- the quality of shopping – and the variety of restaurants – But they were less positive about -- the quality of street repair and maintenance – with only 51% rating it as excellent or good -- the quality of their cultural offerings – and the variety of entertainment –
When you look at the borough data, again, you see disparities. More than 40% of Bronx residents rate their grocery stores as fair or poor. Staten Island, Queens and Bronx residents rated street repair and maintenance as fair or poor – as opposed to just 42% of Manhattanites. Only a majority of Manhattanites felt they had a good variety of culture and entertainment options.
Rounding out the assessment of neighborhood are questions about housing and business development. The response to this question on housing definitely interested us. When given a choice on what they’d like to see in terms of housing development, the answer that got the greatest response was “no more!” Second most frequent was more affordable housing. More than 20% favored preservation – we wish this number were higher.
Unlike housing development, New Yorkers want more business. People felt very differently about business development in their communities. 78% preferred either supporting what they currently have or bringing more business into their neighborhood. Only 15% said “stop.”
Some of the borough breakdowns in this series are striking: An overwhelming number of Staten Islanders oppose any new housing development. One-third of Manhattanites favor preservation and restoration of existing building stock. Brooklyn residents favor affordable housing over all other development. Brooklyn also favors development of large businesses that employ many people.
This was another set of interesting findings. Most New Yorkers want large chain retail stores – even for groceries. 54% prefer to shop at large stores for groceries, and 66% prefer large stores for clothing. And, while some of us think that our city has been taken over by chains, most New Yorkers – 72% -- think they have plenty of small, locally owned businesses in their neighborhoods. A majority also feels that their neighborhood landmarks have been adequately preserved.
Given the responses to the questions about small versus large chain stores, this answer was surprising. Clearly New Yorkers favor the price breaks that large stores offer. But they overwhelmingly feel that a “made in New York” label meant helping the local economy rather than paying too much for an item. This finding will be very helpful as we continue our work on manufacturing in New York, particularly in the Garment District.
We at MAS were very happy with this set of answers about the importance of parks and green space. When asked what was most important to have – parks and open space or new development, New Yorkers overwhelmingly picked parks and open space. We also were happy to see that New Yorkers felt they were making good use of their park space, with 60% stating that they used parks often.
But not everyone is able to enjoy their community’s parks. When you look at the data sorted by race, 20% of Latinos don’t use their local parks because they don’t feel safe in them. Almost 20% of Staten Islanders state that they don’t use parks because there aren’t any in their neighborhoods. And, about a third of us don’t use the parks because we just don’t have the time. That’s a classic New York answer.
We asked this series of questions to get a sense of New Yorkers’ perceptions about the five boroughs. Clearly the responses reflected borough pride, but there were some surprises. Here, more than 30% of New Yorkers consider Manhattan the best place to live, followed by Brooklyn and Queens with 24% each. If you look at these data based on income, more people earning $75,000 or more voted for Manhattan than residents earning less.
Here, almost 40% of New Yorkers felt Manhattan was safest. There was no contest here. Queens is a distant second with 19%, and Bronx is last, with 5%.
Manhattan is perceived as the friendliest borough, followed closely by Brooklyn and Queens.
Where’s the best place to raise a family? New Yorkers think it’s Queens, at 30%, followed closely by Brooklyn at 28%. Interestingly, more Manhattanites voted for Brooklyn than for their own borough. 31% voted for their home borough, while 32% opted for Brooklyn.
The Bronx wins this one, with 26% of the vote, followed by Brooklyn with 23% and Queens a close third with 21%. Not surprisingly, Manhattan comes in last with 4%.
We knew that the responses to this question would receive the lion’s share of attention, more than some of the weightier issues, but we included it anyway. There’s been a great deal written about the grim, cautious mood of the nation and the high level of discontent. So we wanted to see what New Yorkers were feeling. Turns out we’re pretty happy. 91% of us are either happy or very happy. Only 1% is not happy at all. When we looked more closely at the data, we found that income was a factor reflected in the responses. New Yorkers earning $75,000 or more were happier than those earning less. 42% to 29%. Foreclosure rate: NY region (metropolitan statistical area) ranks 72 out of 366 at 5.6% Number 1 is Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL at 17.8 % And, twice as many Latinos and African-Americans than whites described themselves as not at all happy.
Before we convene our panel reacting to these findings, I want to close by saying that we at MAS are thoroughly mining this data, to use in program planning and advocacy. It’s clear that city-wide organizations like MAS need to step up our presence in neighborhoods beyond Manhattan, and increase the number of partnerships we maintain with community-based organizations. I invite you to look at the results. They’re posted on our web site, mas.org. Thank you.
The MAS Survey on Livability
Supported by The Rockefeller Foundation
Conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion
Satisfaction with NYC/ Overall, are you very satisfied, satisfied, not very satisfied, or not at all satisfied with New York City as a place to live? 84% of New Yorkers are satisfied or very satisfied very satisfied satisfied not very satisfied not at all satisfied
Satisfaction by Borough/ Satisfied or very satisfied with New York City as a place to live: Bronx 77% Queens 85% Brooklyn 79% Staten Island 80% Manhattan 95%
Satisfaction with Neighborhood/ Overall, are you very satisfied, satisfied, not very satisfied, or not at all satisfied with your neighborhood as a place to live? 82% of New Yorkers are satisfied or very satisfied very satisfied satisfied not very satisfied not at all satisfied
Dissatisfaction by Borough/ Dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with your neighborhood as a place to live: Queens 16% Brooklyn 20% Staten Island 10% Manhattan 9% Bronx 31% 31% of Bronx residents are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied
Would You Move?/ If you had the opportunity, would you: 5-10 years Continue living where you are now Move to another part of your neighborhood Move to another area in New York City Move out of New York City all together 11% 15% 24% 51%
Would You Move? Borough Responses/ Would you move out of New York City all together? Yes: Queens 23% Brooklyn 23% Staten Island 33% Manhattan 11% Bronx 39%
Neighborhood Assessment/ *Presents percentage reporting either ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ Has easy access to public transportation Is a good place to walk Is clean Has good parks & green spaces I feel safe walking at night by myself Is a good place to raise children Is rich with history 93% 85% 76% 74% 72% 63% 76% People frequently move in & out Is noisy 62% 55% 46% Has good schools
Neighborhood Assessment Disparities/ Safe walking along at night? YES—Manhattan (89%) & Staten Island (80%) NO—Bronx (59%) & Brooklyn (69%) Noisy? YES– Manhattan (56%) & Bronx (50%) Good place to raise kids? YES—72% of New Yorkers Good parks & green spaces? NO—32% of Brooklyn
Neighborhood Services/ For each of the following, please tell me if you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement:* *Presents percentage reporting either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ Quality of grocery stores & markets Police protection Quality of shopping Variety of good restaurants Street repair & maintenance A place to experience culture, such as museums & the arts Variety of entertainment, such as cinemas & theaters 71% 67% 65% 51% 42% 41% 63%
Neighborhood Services Disparities/ Good grocery stores and markets? NO—40% of the Bronx & 27% of Manhattan YES– 74% of Brooklyn & 75% of Staten Island Street repair and maintenance? POOR or FAIR—59% of Staten Island Cultural outposts? YES—61% of Manhattan & 47% of Brooklyn Access to entertainment? YES—57% of Manhattan & 40% of Staten Island
Housing Development/ Which one of the following comes closest to your view? Development of housing in my neighborhood should: Build new housing but only in the style of existing housing Build new housing which is affordable regardless of the style There shouldn’t be any more housing development in my neighborhood 14% 28% 37% Preserve & restore existing buildings 21%
Business Development/ Which one of the following comes closest to your view? Business development in my neighborhood should: Support development of small businesses that fit into my neighborhood Support development of large businesses that will employ many people regardless of whether it fits into my neighborhood There shouldn’t be any more business development in my neighborhood 42% 22% 15% Preserve & support existing businesses 14% Unsure 6%
Development Findings/ New large scale business developments? YES—26% of Brooklyn New housing developments? NO—37% of New York & 67% of Staten Island Develop new businesses? YES—78% of New Yorkers
My Neighborhood/ 43% 54% Unsure: 4% I prefer to shop at large, chain, retail stores for food or groceries I prefer to shop at locally-owned, small stores for clothes I prefer to shop at large, chain, retail stores for clothes Unsure: 5% 29% 66% There are plenty of locally owned small businesses in my neighborhood Large, chain retail stores & restaurants have replaced many of the locally owned, small businesses neighborhood 72% 21% Unsure: 7% My neighborhood has done a good job at preserving its historic buildings and landmarks Many of the historic buildings and landmarks have been replaced or not maintained 54% 32% Unsure: 14% I prefer to shop at locally-owned, small neighborhood stores for food or groceries
Made in New York/ When you see a “Made in New York” label, which comes closer to your view: contributing to my local economy unsure paying too much for product
Protecting Open Space/ Is it more important to you to have: unsure open space new business
A great deal. A good amount Not very much Not at all Protecting Open Space/ I don’t use public space and parks because: THEY’RE DANGEROUS—10% of Manhattan, 6% of Queens & 8% of Staten Island; 1 in 5 Latinos THERE AREN’T ANY—19% of Staten Island I DON’T HAVE TIME—33% of New York How much do you use the parks and public spaces in your neighborhood?
Best Place to Live/ For each of the following, please tell me which borough of New York City, that is, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Staten Island, comes to mind? Bronx 7% Queens 24% Brooklyn 24% Staten Island 9% Manhattan 31% Unsure 5%
Safest/ For each of the following, please tell me which borough of New York City, that is, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Staten Island, comes to mind? Bronx 5% Queens 19% Brooklyn 11% Staten Island 14% Manhattan 38% Unsure 14%
Friendliest/ For each of the following, please tell me which borough of New York City, that is, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Staten Island, comes to mind? Bronx 7% Queens 23% Brooklyn 24% Staten Island 7% Manhattan 28% Unsure 11%
Most Family Friendly/ For each of the following, please tell me which borough of New York City, that is, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Staten Island, comes to mind? Bronx 7% Manhattan 15% Brooklyn 28% Staten Island 12% Unsure 8% Queens 30%
Most Affordable/ For each of the following, please tell me which borough of New York City, that is, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Staten Island, comes to mind? Queens 21% Brooklyn 23% Staten Island 13% Unsure 12% Manhattan 4% Bronx 26%
New Yorkers Are Happy/ Overall, in your life, would you say you are: Borough Comparisons* *Presents percentage reporting either ‘ very happy’ or ‘happy’ Queens 93% Brooklyn 89% Manhattan 91% Staten Island 95% Bronx 86%