2012 Quality of Life Study Update
ACTION: Receive a report on the 2012 Quality of Life Study
Staff Contact: Bobbie Shields, General Manager
Operating under a Smarter Cities Challenge grant from IBM to Mecklenburg County, a team of five IBM executives worked full-time between November 1-19, 2010 to analyze the issue of integrating capital master planning in Mecklenburg County and recommend a course of action that addressed the disconnected manner in which capital infrastructure investment decisions were made across multiple government jurisdictions within Mecklenburg County. Mecklenburg County asked IBM to recommend an approach for conducting Joint Master Capital Planning across all Mecklenburg County departments and the entities that collectively constitute local government within the political boundaries of the County.
At the Board's February 1, 2011 meeting, IBM presented its final report, titled "Think as One, Act as One." The IBM team concluded that all local government entities, including Mecklenburg County, should collaborate on decisions about capital project priorities and funding. IBM's recommendations emphasized that the decisions about which capital infrastructure projects to fund should be made collectively rather than within each project category silo, using quantifiable data to prioritize projects based on achieving the best result for the community at the neighborhood level. (See Attachment I).
The first step recommended by the IBM team was establishing formal support for joint capital master planning among various stakeholders, largely the municipalities within the county. On August 2, 2011, The Board approved the final resolution of support representing approval of resolutions from Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and the Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville (See Attachment II.).
Another recommendation being implemented as a result of the Smarter Cities Challenge is the expansion of the Charlotte Neighborhood Quality of Life Study. In previous iterations, the City of Charlotte used a multi-variant index, including property values, among others (crime rates, teen-age pregnancy, access to transportation, etc.), to assess neighborhood quality of life in Charlotte neighborhoods. The 2012 Quality of Life Study has been expanded to represent the entire geography of Mecklenburg County and establishes new base-line data to assess neighborhoods. The IBM team recommended using data, such as the Quality of Life Study, as the basis for developing the common quantifiable data to prioritize projects based on the impact infrastructure investments have in improving the quality of life in neighborhoods.
The 2012 Quality of Life Study is in the final stages and will be available to the public in January. The Board is being presented a full update on this project. Additional background information is being included for review (See Attachment III.).