SOMERVILLE — In case you stay in Somerville, or frequent the 4.2-square-mile metropolis for enterprise or private causes, your happiness issues.
Somerville, which has about 80,000 residents, has been providing the survey each different 12 months since 2011. Its outcomes are used to assist metropolis leaders resolve tips on how to make it a greater place to stay. The survey takes about 10 minutes to finish and incorporates 62 questions.
Somerville claims to be the one neighborhood in Massachusetts to conduct such a survey. It cites a number of related efforts elsewhere within the nation, together with in Santa Monica, California; Louisville, Colorado; Seattle; and Clayton, Missouri.
In accordance with Harvard College’s Information-Sensible Metropolis Options, by incorporating information metrics into their happiness indexes, U.S. cities acquire precious perception into components influencing well-being and are higher geared up to make evidence-based choices that foster happier and extra affluent communities.
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Questions within the Happiness Survey
Survey questions relate to high quality of life, together with “How glad are you with the cleanliness of your neighborhood?” and “How glad are you with the price of housing?”
Different questions relate to neighborhood and authorities, corresponding to “How glad are you with Somerville Public Faculties?” Nonetheless others deal with the Police Division, social neighborhood occasions, the Inexperienced Line extension, hybrid and digital public conferences, out of doors eating?
There are additionally questions associated to packages funded by ARPA, corresponding to town’s housing stability initiatives and assets for COVID-19.
Total happiness outcomes since 2011
Since 2011, the query “How comfortable do you’re feeling proper now?” has registered an mixture rating of between 7.2 and seven.8 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being happiest.
“They’re pretty constantly comfortable, (however) there’s pockets of issues we will do higher,” mentioned Anna Gartsman, director of Somerstat, the mayor’s workplace of innovation and analytics.
Areas of concern
Areas of concern embody housing affordability and concern of being pushed out, mobility and security, mentioned Gartsman.
“Folks nonetheless do not feel very secure biking on the busy streets, however it’s getting higher as we make extra investments,” she mentioned.
Previous survey outcomes additionally present that rats have been a constant concern since 2011.
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Responses thus far
As of Aug. 1, metropolis officers mentioned about 1,500 responses have been acquired. The survey was mailed to a random pattern of 5,000 houses in June and is now open to the general public. Previously, its response charge has been about 20% to 25%.
Gartsman mentioned a listing of metropolis tasks is stored, with many survey questions asking individuals how they really feel about them.
How the outcomes are used
Gartsman mentioned town has carried out many enhancements primarily based on previous survey outcomes. Examples embody planting extra bushes and zero-sort recycling.