The results of the Greater Madison Vision survey show residents want Dane County to grow using renewable energy and green infrastructure.

Steve Steinhoff, deputy director and director for community and regional development planning at Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC), provided an overview of the results May 28 at the McFarland Village Board meeting and the June 3 Monona City Council meeting.

Steinhoff said the survey, which was available in the fall, served as a mechanism to determine what residents envision the region’s future growth that can be used to guide public and private decisions about how the region grows.

The 9,186 survey respondents, mainly from communities in Dane County, had the opportunity to prioritize 16 growth strategies. The findings showed people would like CARPC to focus on environmental challenges and seek out ways to increase renewable energy and green infrastructure.

According to the results, more than 3,000 people ranked renewable energy as the highest priority. This includes using more electric vehicles powered by renewable energy as one possible way to reduce greenhouse gases.

About 3,0000 responses indicated green infrastructure was a high priority. Steinhoff said part of this could include ways to decrease the amount of runoff into bodies of water. He noted this priority may have been influenced by last year’s massive flooding.

The second two highest priorities were providing more community-based resources.

People would like to see communities have more access to places like community centers, employment training, health facilities and nonprofits. The results determined population groups ranked as most likely to have economic hardships ranked this as a top priority.

Tied to this strategy was better connecting education and work and finding a way for increased access.

“It’s really about better pipelines for education and job training into the employment sector and better partnerships between employers and trainer providers and schools,” Steinhoff said.

The CARPC member said these are not just trends in the Madison region but across the nation.

Other notable top priorities were expanding transit and housing options, and preserving farming areas.

Based on the completed surveys, CARPC found the majority of respondents would like the region’s growth to focus on conservation, innovation and community.

“We want to put this data to work,” Steinhoff said.

The regional planning group will use the results to guide the creation of a regional land use plan to be used as an advisory document to area communities.

Complete survey results can be found online at https://greatermadisonvision.com/survey-results.

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