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Survey Rates City Services, Community Issues

Sunnyvale received positive marks from residents in the National Citizen Survey, a biennial survey designed to gauge the city’s “livability” compared to other cities nationwide.

Overall, the findings suggest that most residents experience a favorable quality of life in Sunnyvale, with 90 percent of survey respondents rating Sunnyvale as a “good” or “excellent” place to live and 92 percent rating their overall feeling of safety as “good” or “excellent.”

The National Citizen Survey, conducted by the National Research Center Inc. (NRC), is based on a national template of questions in categories such as safety, mobility, natural and built environments, economy, recreation and community engagement.

Most of Sunnyvale’s ratings were similar to the national benchmark and show that Sunnyvale continues to be a great place to live. In keeping with other Bay Area cities, the NRC noted that while many long-term trendlines have remained stable since 2007 for Sunnyvale, there were some declines, particularly in the areas of affordability and housing. This trend is common in the Bay Area in recent years and elsewhere across the country in areas with high real estate values.

The City included in this year’s survey two open-ended questions to assess the top three community issues and the top three City services on which residents would like the City to focus in the coming year. The top community issues were traffic, transportation and road conditions and safety; affordable housing; and crime and safety. The top City services were roads maintenance, traffic and street lighting, and parking; police, fire and safety services; and water, sewer, cable and utilities. Affordable housing and low-income services, along with parks, recreation, libraries and open space followed very closely.

Survey Reports:

  • Community Livability Report – The primary report providing a detailed summary of the survey results compared to the national benchmark.
  • Dashboard Summary of Findings – An at-a-glance chart comparing the 2017 ratings to 2015 and the national benchmark.
  • Trends over Time – A fast way to get an overall sense of the data using tables to compare survey results to prior years and to the national benchmark. Note: NRC changed their benchmark calculations in 2015 to widen the range for much higher or much lower ratings; this makes comparisons to years prior to 2015 seem lower for Sunnyvale.
  • Open-ended Responses – The verbatim responses to the two open-ended questions about the top community issues and City services on which residents would like to see focus.
  • Technical Appendices – The complete survey instrument with responses along with benchmark comparisons and survey methodology information.
  • Supplemental Online Survey Results – In addition to the mailed survey, the City also participated in a pilot effort to collect survey data online which enabled anyone to take the survey. Unlike the statistically validated mailed survey, the results from this opt-in online survey have not been weighted to community demographics or analyzed by NRC.

February 7, 2018