Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Calgarians give The City a passing grade

Calgarians have given their city a passing grade despite economic upheaval, according to Vital Signs, a “quality of life” report by The Calgary Foundation.
The third annual survey shows that this year citizens gave higher grades in seven of 12 key areas, with no areas receiving lower scores than last year.
“The Calgary Foundation engaged more citizens than ever before in having their say about quality of life in Calgary,” said Eva Friesen, President and CEO of The Calgary Foundation. “Considering the economic turmoil, the grades are surprising.”
According to the report, Calgarians are more positive abou the opportunities for life-long learning, the access to sports and recreation services, and the increased presence of arts and culture, however financial well-being and affordable housing continues to challenge many citizens’ quality of life, and they are concerned about sustainability being addressed.
The 12 key issue areas questioned in the survey are: Learning, Safety, Health & Wellness, Arts & Culture, Financial Well-Being, Getting Started, Environment, Work, Housing, Belonging & Leadership, Sustainable City and Recreation & Sport.
The report’s highlights:
  • Calgary topped Maclean Magazine’s 2009 “Most Cultured Cities” list
  • Calgary received the highest score in Canada in the area of life-long learning
  • Calgary’s violent crime rate in 2008 was the lowest crime rate in 17 years
  • Calgary’s per person water consumption rate is decreasing annually
The report’s lows:
  • Calgary’s youth unemployment rate is twice as high as the general population
  • Calgary’s sense of community belonging dropped sharply in 2008 and is lower than both national and provincial levels
  • Immigrants needing ESL programs, representing over 70 language groups, increases by 2000 students per year
  • In February 2009, the median emergency room wait-time was 16.6 hours, 31% longer than in February 2008
According to its website, The Calgary Foundation was established in 1955 to facilitate collaborative philanthropy between donors and community organizations for The City of Calgary and surrounding area. In 2008-2009, The Calgary Foundation saw $25 million in new contributions, had an asset base of $274 million and granted $22 million to 655 charitable organizations.
***Image Source: The Calgary Foundation's Vital Signs Report

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