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Livable Livermore

by NRC
3 min read
August 9, 2016

- By Erin Dixon -

Livermore, California – a City of approximately 86,000 residents on the eastern fringe of the San Francisco Bay Area - has transformed from a small community, known for its wine production, to a hotspot for technology and innovation.

Mayor John Marchland agreed that this seemingly contrasting transformation makes Livermore a unique community. “We are the oldest commercial wine-growing region in the State of California, and yet we’re [on] the cutting edge of technology,” he said.

Livermore winery

Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery. Livermore, CA. Sharon Hahn Darlin. Flickr. CCBY 2.0

After conducting The National Citizen Survey™ (The NCS), The City of Livermore took home the 2015 Voice of the People (VOP) Award for Transformation in Foundations of Livability. The VOP Awards, presented by National Research Center (NRC) and the International City County Management Association (ICMA), are based upon the opinions of the residents themselves. Livermore’s efforts to initiate actionable strategies based on the results of citizen feedback paid off as resident satisfaction increased.

Livermore receives 2015 Voice of the People Award

Livermore receives Voice of the People Award from National Research Center, Inc.

 The NCS data showed Livermore what the residents wanted to see improved, and the City used that information as a tool for strategic planning and goal setting for the community. “We have goals that enhance the downtown livability and viability, we’ve had a goal dealing with business expansion and retention, we have had goals to deal with our drought. All of those are items that the citizen survey ultimately showed what the residents were concerned about and translated in to city goals for us to actually work on,” said City Manager Marc Roberts.

Livermore aims to continue its focus on community engagement, quality of life and creating a sense of place to foster a vibrant lifestyle for its residents.

Why Residents Love Living in Livermore

The Foundations of Livability VOP Award encompasses all that makes for a desirable place to live (e.g. overall quality of life, services, sense of community, confidence in local government, and welcoming city involvement).

Livermore resident and entrepreneur Brandon Cardwell was glad to see technology start-ups invigorate the community’s livability and economy. “Ten years ago, Livermore was one of the bedroom communities of the Bay Area. Now we’re seeing a thriving innovation economy as evidenced by our own start-up communities building here,” Cardwell said.

Roberts stated that residents helped transform the downtown area, which was improved based on feedback from the community. “Livermore residents love their downtown; when asked about its vitality, they ranked our downtown as second in the nation,” he said. Ratings showed that building a buzzing downtown environment and economy was a major factor in making the City more livable.

Livermore, Livability and the Long-Run

Officials describe citizen engagement as a key factor in the successful partnership between the City and its residents and driving the local economy. “Expansions going on our downtown, with our Downtown Specific Plan, also the expansions of our outlets - those are the sorts of things that require planning and thought and looking into the future. Those are the types of things we’ll be doing on an on-going basis to make sure we retain our economic competitiveness here in Livermore,” said Roberts.

Livermore plans to continue listening to citizen feedback to make the improvements that residents want to see most. To build public trust, enhance civic engagement and drive the overall success of Livermore the community. Livermore hopes to excel in Foundations of Livability for many years to come.

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