Getting to the heart of the city

The most popular reason that people choose to live in the CBD is its variety and closeness to social and cultural activities.

The latest survey of residents by Residents 3000 shows that 57 per cent of respondents chose this as a factor which influenced their decision to live in the CBD.

Other popular reasons for living in the city include:  Proximity to work – 44 per cent; Location – 43 per cent; Access to public transport – 32 per cent; Convenience – 31 per cent; and Proximity to services – 25 per cent.

Some 71 CBD residents responded to the survey, held during early April.

Asked to rate their overall experience of CBD living, on a scale of -5 to +5, the average response was +3.

Asked what things about the city they most liked, the most popular response was “restaurants, bars and cafes”, with 67 per cent of respondents ticking this box.  Other popular responses were: Entertainment – 55 per cent; Green areas and parks – 53 per cent; Availability and proximity to services – 45 per cent; Architecture – 41 per cent; and Cultural diversity – 39 per cent.

One respondent commented: “The overall vibrancy of living in an international, 24 hour city with so much to offer socially and culturally.”

And, while there are plenty things that residents like about living here, there are also plenty of things they don’t like.

Topping the list are beggars, the homeless, smokers, construction zones, cleanliness and graffiti.

A year ago, when Residents 3000 last surveyed residents, the most popular complaint was noise.  In 2017 only 23 per cent said noise was a concern.

Overtaking it is “Beggars in the street”, which 67 per cent of respondents complained about.  Coming closely behind was “Homeless persons and rough sleepers” – 65 per cent and “Smokers in the streets” – 50 per cent.

In the comments section, respondents also took aim at amplified busking, loud motorcycles, drunks, rubbish and the perennial issue of multiple garbage trucks roaring around at night.  “Euro backpackers” were also singled out for rorting charity systems designed to support the homeless.

Lack of third-party planning appeal rights and short-term rentals were also mentioned.

And if you think some respondents are fond of complaining, you are right.  Some 68 per cent admitted to contacting the relevant authorities with their concerns in the past 12 months.  Most remain unfulfilled however, with 51 per cent saying that nothing had been done about their concerns.

In response to an open question about how the city could become more liveable, the following positive suggestions were contributed: More bike paths; More hidden little nooks with gardens; Providing accommodation for the homeless; More say for residents; More trees; and Better heritage protection.

The list of things residents wanted banned included: Cars; Leaf-blowers; Hoons; Graffiti; Non-commercial traffic; Convenience stores; High rise residential buildings; and Over-crowded apartments.

One resident wrote: “The increasing trend to over-occupying in apartments has lowered the value of properties.  I’ve seen my newish building go from funky and excellent to unsellable and slum-like.”

Another said: “For a 24/7 city, we don’t have council providing a 24/7 service … our local laws, environmental/litter, parking and building enforcement/compliance officers.”

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