UOIT questions Durham’s quality of life.

People who live, work in Durham can have their say

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The more people who respond the more likely they are to get the best results that will help our community. Dr. Hannah Scott, UOIT
DURHAM — The University of Ontario Institute of Technology wants to know how your life is going.
The university’s Centre for Evaluation and Survey Research is now hosting its second Durham Area Survey. This Durham-wide online quality of life study aims to identify Durham residents’ interests such as work, commuting, safety and stress. It’s secure, anonymous and confidential, says Dr. Hannah Scott, a UOIT associate professor and director of the centre.

“We will never know who you are but we would like to know how you’re doing,” she says.

In last year’s pilot study, 443 people took part, and the results and comments were taken into consideration when the centre prepared this year’s questionnaire.
They did want to know more about the environment,” says Dr. Scott.So questions regarding vacation were taken out and replaced with queries on attitudes toward environmental issues such as nuclear energy, for instance.

These Durham-specific results will allow the university to prepare locally-based research reports, and offer insight that could benefit community partners and businesses.

“We want to be able to expand this every year so we can see how Durham is doing,” says Dr. Scott.

She hopes the number of survey participants will double this time around.

“The more people who respond, the more likely they are to get the best results that will help our community,” she says.

Last year Dr. Scott was glad to see participation from Oshawa residents, but found areas such as Ajax and Pickering, and especially rural spots such as Brock and Scugog, were underrepresented. Since Durham is unique with both urban and rural dwelling, participation from all over the region would garner the best results.

“Rural folks have different issues than city folks,” she says.

Those without access to the Internet can go to their local library, an Internet cafe or a friend’s place, suggests Dr. Scott.

The survey takes about 20 minutes and is available until Aug. 17 to all people who live and/or work in Durham. Results from last year’s study can be found online too.

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