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Knoxville Regional
Transportation Planning Organization

400 Main St, Suite 403
Knoxville, TN 37902

email: contact@planeasttn.org
phone: (865) 215-2500
fax: (865) 215-2068

Why Do We Live Where We Live?

Posted 06/20/2012

According to a recent University of Tennessee survey, our ideal neighborhoods would have top-notch schools, provide easy driving access, but would offer places to walk and nearby walking destinations.

If you were to move from your present home to a new home, what might influence your decision about where to live? Would you choose the same neighborhood or community? Or would you prefer an area that offers something different than your current neighborhood?

The University of Tennessee’s “Community Survey,” a telephone poll of 2,000 residents conducted this spring, sheds some light onto the factors that drive our decisions about where we would like to live.

Throughout the region, high-quality public schools was the top priority among people if they were to consider a new place to live, with 68 percent of survey respondents rating the factor extremely important.

Second among location preferences, 62 percent of persons polled stated that being within a 30-minute drive to work was an important decision factor.

Over half of the survey participants (53 percent) placed a very high value on having sidewalks and places to take walks, while easy access to major highways and walking distance to other things in the community rounded out the top five location preferences.

A similar question was posed in a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors. It asked people across the country the same question about the things they find important when choosing a place to live.

Among 16 location factors offered, four of the top-five selections matched those reported in our region in the UT preference survey: 44 percent of respondents nationwide selected high-quality public schools as a very important location requirement, 36 percent said short commutes were important, 31 percent rated places to take walks as very important, and pedestrian access to places was listed as important by 24 percent of survey takers.

The results of both surveys provide considerable insight into residential location preferences of people, valuable information to realtors looking to assist buyers and sellers of property. At a larger scale, though, the survey findings offer community and regional planners important information about what citizens want to see in their communities today and in the future, as planning efforts advance a strategy to ensure high quality of life for our children and grandchildren.

To view the full survey results, visit www.planeasttn.org.

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