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Second MAS Survey Offers Key Indicators of Livability in New York

new york city survey livability attitudesNew York is considered one of the greatest cities on earth, but how do New Yorkers feel about life in the city that never sleeps? We fielded the second annual MAS Survey on Livability to find out what real New Yorkers, the people who live and work here, think about their city.

“New Yorkers remain satisfied overall with living in New York, but when asked about their neighborhoods and their satisfaction with amenities and services on the local level, opinions got less generic and much more personal.


We continue to see some underlying discontent, especially among people living outside Manhattan and those with lower incomes,”
MAS president, Vin Cipolla said.

Some New Yorkers would move out of New York City altogether if given the opportunity but, the majority of those polled like the city and their neighborhoods so much so that even if given the option to move, nearly three out of four New Yorkers would stay in the city—and more than half would stay right where they are or in their current neighborhoods.

The survey, presented at the 2011 MAS Summit for New York, was made possible through the support of The Rockefeller Foundation. The findings were presented by MAS President Vin Cipolla and The Rockefeller Foundation Associate Director for New York City Opportunities Fund and Innovation Edwin Torres.

For example, while there was overwhelming satisfaction with access to public transportation among city residents, services such as street maintenance and repair were rated fair to poor among a majority of residents in Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. Most New Yorkers felt their neighborhoods were not noisy, except for residents of Manhattan and the Bronx.

“With these Livability Surveys, we are establishing a valid baseline to track trend data going forward on a number of these key indicators.” Cipolla continued. “It’s clear that citywide organizations like MAS need to step up our individual and collective efforts and presence in neighborhoods and forge new partnerships with community-based organizations to address these issues,” he said.

Some of the major findings of the survey are:

  • Almost half of all New Yorkers polled think their neighborhoods have stayed the same as a place to live since they moved into them;
  • Overall, New Yorkers are divided on the issue of street repair and maintenance:   this, a plurality (48%) rate street repair and maintenance in their neighborhoods as excellent or good but majorities in Staten Island (65%) and Queens (57%) rate these services as fair or poor
  • As with last year, with the exception of Manhattanites, most New Yorkers are dissatisfied with the variety of cultural and entertainment options in their neighborhood.

The Marist Institute for Public Opinion conducted the telephone survey of 1,000 New Yorkers on September 13th and 14th, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information on the survey results, download the reports or see the embedded presentation below:
MAS Livability Survey: Major Findings and Data Banners