Enhancing Community Curb Appeal

This is the seventh installation of a series focusing on the 2014 Voice of the People Award winners. The Voice of the People Awards are presented annually to outstanding communities that have conducted The NCS.

 

The built environment serves as the backdrop to life and has an impact on us as communities and individuals. The functionality and aesthetics of the built environment influence the very character of communities and create a sense of place that reminds us where we are. This week, we are featuring communities that have made their built environments a priority for design, development and upkeep.

Excellence

Urbandale, IA

LakeviewParkShelter
The Lakeview Park Shelter and trail in Urbandale.

Development is a top priority for the City of Urbandale – the City works with builders, developers and housing associations to guide city development. Urbandale’s Park Land Dedication policy promotes open spaces in all new developments. The City has also instituted a five-year capital improvements program to improve community infrastructure and livability. Urbandale cites an inclusive development process as a reason for high resident satisfaction with the built environment – volunteers, builders, associations and residents are asked for input. Another large contributor to resident satisfaction is the availability of both affordable and higher-end housing within the city. In the future, the City hopes to continue ensuring access to affordable housing while including volunteers, the local business community, builders and developers in its capital planning process.

 

Chanhassen, MN

Chan_housing
Access to a variety of housing options are a top priority for Chanhassen

Chanhassen residents are never far from nature. In fact, each home in Chanhassen is within one half mile of a park. The City focuses on making new development attractive, accessible and well-made. Strategic planning and land use on behalf of the City and citizen groups ensures new development compliments the existing built and natural environments. Chanhassen also focuses on maintaining clean and appealing streetscapes. In years to come, Chanhassen will continue to uphold its high standards on built environment.

 

Gilbert, AZ

Gilbert
Old Town Gilbert has a long history and historic buildings.

 

Gilbert, AZ is one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S. The population almost tripled between 1990 and 2000 and has doubled in the past 10 years. This surge in population has led to the built environment being a top priority for City officials. Civic engagement through stakeholder groups, open houses and surveys offers residents a chance to participate in the planning and development process. Gilbert continues to focus on providing outstanding office space for all sizes of businesses as well as safe, clean and inviting outdoor spaces.

 

Transformation

Gunnison County, CO

Stallion Park Condos
The Stallion Park Condos are maintained by the Gunnison Valley Housing Authority.

After an overwhelming response from citizens identifying built environment as a top priority, Gunnison County has been focusing on improving affordable housing, land use and planning and sewer and water services. In improving access to affordable housing, the Gunnison County Housing Authority owns and operates housing units for low and moderate-income seniors and persons with disabilities.

 

Gunnison County created the Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority in 2013 to plan for and provide a long-term supply of desirable and affordable housing in the county. This commitment to improving access to housing has been noticeable: results for housing from The National Citizen Survey™ climbed dramatically in the most recent survey. The availability of affordable quality housing increased from 17{7d2d4cb14c544bbeb3cd4763dc2b1aa4e79f5bb51403ad6dac1e84ac9d980b0d} in 2009 to 27{7d2d4cb14c544bbeb3cd4763dc2b1aa4e79f5bb51403ad6dac1e84ac9d980b0d} in the 2013 survey; the variety of housing increased from 24{7d2d4cb14c544bbeb3cd4763dc2b1aa4e79f5bb51403ad6dac1e84ac9d980b0d} to 40{7d2d4cb14c544bbeb3cd4763dc2b1aa4e79f5bb51403ad6dac1e84ac9d980b0d}. Moving forward, County officials will continue to focus on the quality of infrastructure, environment and community health while using The NCS to inform and direct decisions and activities moving forward.

 

Peoria, AZ

BuiltEnvironment-Municipal Court Final Photography_Page_10_Image_0001
The Peoria, AZ municipal court building embraces modern design.

The City of Peoria stands apart as one of the first communities in Arizona to adopt a Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) in order to guide land use. Following their 2009 administration of The National Citizen Survey, the Peoria City Council adopted a strategic policy goal of enhancing resident quality of life by maintaining a commitment to preserving the environment, community livability, enhancing City services, preserving open space, enhancing Peoria’s image and prioritizing economic development. Peoria will continue to implement the goals of its SAP and take citizen input.