Citizens and Cities : Citizens and Cities
5 EY and citizen-focused cities | 4 | EY and citizen-focused cities Why citizens are fundamental to city decisions • Whole of life perspective — Citizens take a whole- of-life view of their priorities and expectations. They consider a city through a kaleidoscope of needs and desires: the necessity to work, the desire for leisure, the demands of everyday living, their future aspirations. • Emotional engagement — Citizens care about their cities and the outcomes of decision making. As much as they embrace progress, it is not with blind faith. They do not want their quality of life diminished or compromised. They care about city decisions and want to ensure that their city will retain its values and qualities as it evolves. When citizens are highly engaged — they will advocate for their cities, reinforcing positive sentiment and inspiring others. • Digitally connected — Informed by open data and analytics, city challenges become a matter of public domain, with connected citizens who are able to make their preferences known, share real- time information and bring their ideas to the table. This opens up new opportunities for innovative solutions based on people’s needs and priorities. What citizens want in their cities New Australian research by EY Sweeney has found that more than three-quarters of citizens surveyed are proud of the city they live in. The study found that citizens are inspired by the built environment and a city’s atmosphere — and its status. They value the stimulation of an active and evolving city. Citizens who are most positive about their city have a strong emotional connection to it. They don’t just speak of the physical environment, but rather the qualities that make them feel part of the city. They have a pronounced sense of belonging to their community and the city at large. But they also talk about their mounting frustrations with issues such as housing affordability and public transport. They fear that some new developments aren’t adding the infrastructure needed to keep their cities liveable. If these problems are not addressed, the strength of citizen loyalty and pride, which currently give city leaders a cache of goodwill, will be undermined. 77% of citizens are proud of their city Well-being improves when citizens feel connected to their city and are confident they can build the life they want — through infrastructure and digital delivery, physical and social interaction, and emotional engagement. About the research • A series of 10 group discussions amongst citizens of different life stages including: youth, younger and older families and empty nesters/retirees. • An online survey of 2,286 citizens in Sydney and Melbourne. The study was conducted during the period January — March 2016.