Citizen Preference for Home, Neighborhood, and City in Santa Clara County

by Francois G. Christen

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Part of the San Jose project in which Stefflre Associates, Inc., a market research firm, designed and implemented attitude surveys for the RAND Urban Policy Analysis Group. RAND then analyzed the data. The objectives were to understand and characterize how people in Santa Clara County perceive different living environments and to answer questions about the impact of rapid growth on citizens' attitudes toward their living environment. Three surveys were conducted: (1) an open-ended interview to determine what residents find pleasing about living environments; (2) a judged similarity questionnaire of various environments, with respondents using stimulus words from the first survey; and (3) a rank ordering, by preference, of concepts describing various environments. Among the results, it was found that citizens in Santa Clara County seem satisfied with their way of living, and are mainly concerned about their home and neighborhood rather than the city or area as a whole.

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