Direction 2030 seeks input from university population

In response to a growing concern with the exodus of well-educated people from the region, and the lack of participation in past public meetings, NKAPC planners focused a recent online survey on university populations to gauge their preferences in the character of the community in which they live. It also sought preferences on the importance of amenities available to them in the surrounding area.

Those who participated were students and educators attending Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College, and Gateway Community and Technical College.

The results are intended to offer a snapshot of the way young people in Northern Kentucky view our area and how they assess its benefits and shortcomings as a place to live, work, and raise their families. One-hundred one people took the survey, including 47 men and 54 women.

A slight majority of participants (54) reports that they are planning to stay in Northern Kentucky, while 16 plan on moving away, stating reasons such as not enough amenities in the area or not enough employment opportunities. Thirty-one survey participants report that they are uncertain as to their future plans for leaving or remaining in the area.

The majority of participants (54) report that they prefer living in an urban setting; 29 prefer the suburbs; and 14 report that they prefer living in a rural environment.

Participants were asked to rank a series of amenities in categories of importance. Participant responses indicate that these individuals feel very strongly about the amenities listed in the survey.

Category                 Important            Unimportant
Earning potential            83%                     10%
After-hour options          88%                      7%
Green living                    68%                     17%
Walkability                      75%                     14%
Mass transit                   59%                     19%
Outdoor rec facilities     74%                     13%

Unfortunately, Northern Kentucky did not fare well in the respondents’ assessments of the area’s provision of these amenities.

Category                 Favorable             Unfavorable
Earning potential              52%                    38%
After-hour options            54%                    45%
Green living                      23%                    65%
Walkability                        24%                    71%
Mass transit                     30%                    54%
Outdoor rec facilities       47%                    44%

Results of this survey support the conclusion that young adults desire amenities such as after-hour options, walkability, and outdoor recreation facilities. To ensure that Northern Kentucky is a desirable place to live and attracts people to the area, planners, civic leaders, and government officials need to give more attention to the amenities that appeal to the vibrant, young, and highly educated people we want to attract to and retain in this area.

The information obtained through this survey will be incorporated into Direction 2030 along with other public input gleaned throughout the planning process.