While preparing for my run for mayor, we decided to implement a questionnaire survey aimed at getting a closer look at neighborhoods of Nové Mesto and exploring the strengths and weaknesses of life in them. You can download the complete report with the results of the questionnaire survey by clicking on this link.
We collected the data between August 2017 and January 2018. We collected the necessary data with our volunteers directly on the streets of Nové Mesto, as well as via an online form. The questionnaire survey involved 508 respondents – residents and inhabitants of Nové Mesto.
The sample of respondents according to gender was 54% of women and 45% of men. Most respondents were between 25-44 years of age. This group accounted for up to 75% of all respondents. The second strongest group (13%) was the population aged 45-64. Senior citizens over the age of 65 accounted for 5% of respondents and 6% of respondents were young people aged 15-25 years.
In the questionnaire, we also surveyed the quarter in which the respondents are living. The majority of respondents (22%) mentioned Februárka as their quarter . 18% of the respondents were from Tehelné Pole and 10% reported Zátišie as their neighborhood.
In the questionnaire, we examined 3 topics / questions the respondents had to respond to:
- Places in my neighborhood that Ilike to visit (they are nice, interesting, unique, etc.)
- 3 problems in my neighborhood that worry me the most
- 3 changes I would makein my neighborhood if I hada magic wand
Good and interesting places
The first question was focused on good or interesting places around respondents’ residence. Not only did they try to identify the specific places people are looking for, but they also explored the qualities and values in their surroundings. Respondents could have any number of responses to this question.
The most frequent answer to this question was the green areas in Bratislava called Lesopark. Up to 47% of respondents reported the forest, Lesopark, or the Malé Karpaty. More than half of these respondents mentioned the favorite place around Koliba and Kamzík. Among the popular places were also Železná studnička, Pekná cesta and Kačín.
The favorite place of respondents is Kuchajda with its sport-recreational options. This was reported by up to 32% of respondents.
Among the most favorite sites appeared the park Račianske mýto. People are happy to visit the local playground or local pubs. The park on Račiansky mýto was mentioned by 21% of the respondents.
Nearly 15% of the respondents chose the Vineyards of Nové Mesto as a place they like to visit. They are gradually giving in to new construction, but they are still an accessible and popular place for walking in the countryside.
Other popular places include the new Jama Park, the children’s playgrounds at Nová Doba, Osadná and Hálkova, the swimming pool at Tehelné pole, Nová Tržnica and Freshmarket . The Tehelné pole and the Ľudová štvrť with the picturesque family houses and the Ľudové námestie were among the popular neighborhoods for walking.
Collected data served as a basis for the publication of the Map of Good Places in Bratislava – Nové Mesto.
Problems that are most mentioned by inhabitants
The second question we investigated was focused on problems people are perceiving in their neighborhoods. The question was open and we asked about three most pressing problems. We have evaluated the question in relation to individual neighborhoods, as well as the entire city district.
In the overall assessment, shortcomings associated with walking in public spaces were identified as the most pressing issue in the city. People perceived those problems in form of damaged or missing sidewalks, a volume of barriers on pedestrian routes, as well as footpaths occupied by parked cars. Issues related to urban mobility were reported by up to 31% of respondents in our survey. Pedestrian conditions have been markedly bad by the inhabitants of Biely kríž, Dynamitka, Koliba or Kramáre . We have identified this issue as present in almost all neighborhoods.
The second category of problems most frequently repeated in questionnaires was related to parking in the city. Respondents complained about the lack of available parking spaces , chaotic parking in the streets, or lack of an parking policy. Approximately 30% of respondents reported issues with parking in their replies. This problem was present in the respondents answers from all quarters, but it was dominant in the case of Tehelné pole, Februárka, Mezi mytami and Kramáre .
A major topic in questionnaires was also the issue of neglected public spaces. People have been troubled by the state of public spaces in Trnavské mýto, Filiálka or Račianske mýto, and the poor conditions of parks and playgrounds. They criticized the neglected and ruined street furniture or the illumination of public spaces. Up to 20% of respondents reported neglected or poor public spaces as one of the worst problems they perceive in the district. In addition, 6% of respondents mentioned squalid condition of some buildings like Nová Tržnica, Istropolis , ŽST Vinohrady or the Osvetová beseda in Makovický Street.
Another category was the problems related to the current development projects. The inhabitants saw the problem of intensive construction. In particular, they expressed concern about the lack of solutions tackling the growth in car transport, which will be necessarily generated by new construction. Up to 18% of respondents mentioned this type of problem as the one they worry most about. Intensive construction was particularly mentioned by the inhabitants of Pokroky, Koliba and Biely kríž.
The fourth round of answers to the question what respondents most worried about in their surroundings was focused on asocial behavior in the public. People cited the problem of homeless people, or antisocial population groups that drink alcoholic drinks in public, are noisy, defecate in parks or are loitering in the streets. This problem was reported as one of the most serious by almost 18% of respondents. This problem was most prominent in the neighborhoods of Februárka, between Račianske mýto and Trnavské mýto, the Hostinského sídlisko and the Zátišie quarter.
16% of the respondents mentioned the problem of street pollution. Citizens feel especially negative towards garbage in parks and playgrounds, or towards the existence of illegal landfills in the urban area. Here we can also add the topic of the insufficient number of waste bins, pockets for dog excrement, or the unsatisfactory state of container stacks. 8% of respondents saw those issues as a problem.
Other very often mentioned problems were the lack of public greenery or bad state of green spaces (14%), lack of cycle paths (14%) and poor state of roads (12%).
Of the other mentioned problems, they also mentioned the bad traffic situation on the roads, noise and dust pollution, lack of public transportation, missing paddocks for dogs, or public amenities.
When evaluating the question in relation to individual quarters, we found that each neighborhood has its specific combination of issues that people think are important to address. The findings thus make it possible to set priorities not only for the whole district but also to focus on measures in individual neighborhoods.
In the third question we wanted to map out the ideas and suggestions of people about what they want in the city in terms of change and improvement. We wanted to know three things they would do if they had a magic wand, they had unlimited possibilities and could change anything, regardless of the money and power.
Most of the answers were related to the renovation and building of new high-quality public spaces. 29% of people considered it important to see improvements in key public spaces, in particular in Trnavské mýto and Račianske mýto or to create new pedestrian zones in the district. Another topic was the revitalization of public spaces and courtyards in housing units. In addition, people would like to renovate or build new playgrounds, sports grounds and school courts. Many suggestions were concerned primarily with the revitalization of the park next to Račianske mýto, the premises of the Filiálka station, the Trnavské mýto and Kuchajda .
Up to 26% of respondents demanded more green spaces, more trees or more parks. Many times, the idea of green tramways or green roofs of buildings has been repeated . They also considered important to conserve green areas, including forests and vineyards.
A large group of responses were wishes to improve pedestrian conditions. 21% of residents would like to repair sidewalks and remove different barriers from them, create safe routes and pedestrian crossings. For residents of the Biely kríž, Gaštanový háj and Dimitrovka the repair of the overpasses was especially important, as well as the construction of comfortable and safe walking routes between their neighborhoods.
Parking is a big issue. On the question of what would people change if they could, up to 21% of responses were related to parking solutions and introducing new rules to parking through parking policies and residential parking. A further 12% of respondents would like to create new parking lots, build parking spaces or parking houses. Suggestions to improve parking, the introduction of new rules and residential parking were more pronounced among respondents from Tehelné pole, Februárka, or Kramáre , where the demand for underground garages was repeated in increased numbers.
17% of respondents would like to improve the lacking cycling infrastructure. They would like to see new, safe bicycle routes and related cycling equipment in the streets. These were mainly requested by respondents from Tehelné pole, Februárka, Zátišie and Ľudová štvrť.
Almost 14% of the answers were related to new construction development. Nowadays, major residential complexes are under construction in many parts of the district. This construction activity has a significant impact on the quality of life in some neighbourhoods (Biely Kríž, Februárka, Koliba). In addition, people perceive that, despite the addition of a number of dwellings and administrative buildings, the quality of life in those new housing locations is insufficient, especially in terms of transport solutions. Many wishes involved better zoning plans or more efficient regulation of developer projects.
Another 14% of the answers were related to cleaner streets. Respondents wanted more thorough cleaning of streets, more waste bins, or solutions to container stacks so that they were not the cause of environmental pollution or places of illegal dumping of bulk trash.
A strong issue was also the need to address the increasing traffic, the adoption of measures to calm traffic, improve alternatives to car driving and to reduce the volume of cars using the streets for driving or parking. 12% of respondents mentioned different measures in this respect. The same number of respondents requested road repairs in the district’s area.
Other replies to this question may include requirements to improve the quality of public transport (new stops, adherence to timetables, completion of bus shelters), the renovation of public buildings (Nová Tržnica, Vernosť), the establishment of outlets for dogs, or providing a solution of homelessness (available services, social workers in the streets, more frequent police patrols).