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Voice of the People Awards
Chanhassen named WINNER in four Facets of Livable Communities!

In 2013, National Research Center (NRC) conducted a citizen survey to gain residents’ views on key community services and issues that will help guide future planning of the community. Nearly 400 people participated in the survey. Some of the key points from the survey were:

  • Chanhassen residents enjoy an exceptional quality of life;
  • The natural environment is a key feature and asset that residents appreciate and want to protect; and
  • A strong economy is another feature that makes Chanhassen a desirable community.

The city has contracted with NRC since 2005 to conduct surveys every 2-3 years. This allows us to compare and contrast the survey results over the years and how Chanhassen compares to like communities throughout Minnesota and the United States.

This year, NRC created an award entitled the “2014 Voice of the People Awards.” This award is only given to local governments based on the opinion of community residents and are conferred jointly by the NRC and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Communities that are selected embody the spirit of the National Citizen Survey and display commitment to best practices in moving their communities forward.

Livable Communities
Chanhassen has been selected as the best community in the country for the Excellence Award in four of eight facets of livable communities. The facets are:

 Facets of Livable Communities 
Protection from danger or risk (e.g., safety in neighborhood, safety in downtown/commercial area, police services, fire services, animal control, resident crime victims, emergency preparedness) 
Natural Environment*
Resources and features native to a community (e.g., open space, water, air quality, cleanliness) 
Maintenance of a diverse economy (e.g., vibrant downtown, cost of living, economic development, shopping opportunities, employment opportunities) 
Education and Enrichment
Learning and enrichment for children, youth, and adults (e.g., K-12 education, public libraries, cultural/arts/music activities, religious and or spiritual events/activities) 
Built Environment*
Design, construction, and management of the human-made space in which people live, work, and recreate on a daily basis, including the buildings, streetscapes, parks, etc. (e.g., housing options, overall quality of new development, land use, planning and zoning, code enforcement, sewer services, power utility)
Recreation and Wellness*
Recreation, healthy lifestyles, preventative and curative healthcare, support services (e.g., fitness opportunities, recreation centers, parks, health services) 
Community Engagement
Quality and frequency of social interactions (e.g., civic groups, volunteering, neighborliness, voting in local elections, contacting local elected officials, attending or watching public meetings, public information) 
Accessibility of a community by motorized and non-motorized modes of transportation (e.g., ease of travel, traffic flow, ease of walking, availability of paths and walking trails) 

Each of the facets represent the overall aspects that make a community a place where people want to live (e.g. overall quality of life and services, sense of community, confidence in local government, welcoming citizen involvement).

Being selected as the best community in the country for the 2014 Voice of the People Awards recognizes the hard work and commitment of the Mayor, City Council, Commissions, and City Staff on a national scale. It also singles Chanhassen out as a great community that can share our best practices with communities around the world.

On behalf of the Mayor and City Council, thank you for participating in our citizen surveys and for being involved in the overall direction of the City of Chanhassen.

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