So, how do you like your Columbia?

Thursday, November 2, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:37 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

A total of 415 people responded to a visioning survey conducted by the city of Columbia between Sept. 13 and Sept. 27, and 255 of those indicated an interest in participating in citizen topic groups that will be part of the visioning process. Results of the survey will help guide the discussion over the coming months. Here’s a look at the results.

What are the top three areas you appreciate about Columbia?

17.4% say: Arts and Culture


Results from the Columbia Visioning survey show that residents most appreciate the arts and culture of the town.


“For a city of our size, the emphasis on the arts has been extraordinary.”

“Columbia has many cultural events that are geared for people of all ages. The downtown area provides a hometown feel while offering a cultural experience.”

“Columbia has a lot of attractive features, especially for entertainment and recreation.”

16.5% say: Parks and Greenways

“Columbia has a variety of parks to choose from, which I feel very safe taking my child to.”

“The trails and activities relating to them are one of the things that make the town special. We should try to preserve and expand what we have”

“Several of the parks need updates, like Cosmo-Bethel, and repairs made for safety at others, but I love our park system.”

15% say: Downtown

“I believe it is important that Columbia retains many unique shops, like those found downtown.”

“Downtown adds vibrance and centrality and the college/university environment keeps the community alive and awake!”

“The downtown is phenomenal for a small town: vibrance, arts-minded, historically-minded, diversity, friendly people, etc. It’s a gem we need to preserve and not let get overly commercialized with chains! Keep the unique flavor!”

What are the top three most significant ways Columbia is changing?

25.1% say: Growth and Development


Aaron Roberts cuts concrete at the edge of a driveway in front of a new home he is building on Grizzly Court. (ROBIN HOECKER/Missourian)

“I would like to see empty buildings recycled and used before new development.”

“We want Columbia to grow, but in a slower, more orderly way.”

“Columbia is really growing, and because of that we have new safety concerns”

9.5% say: Economic Development

“There are too many trees being cut down for too many sprawling chain stores and restaurants.”

“Shops downtown need to diversify a bit. No more coffee shops!”

“I am pleased with Columbia’s recent economic development, but I am concerned about growth’s impact on the natural beauty of our area.”

7.6% say: Housing

“We need to calm down on building places for people to live and start building things that will actually get them here.”

“Housing development is getting out of hand: let’s restore, not build new and tear up the place.”

“There are too many ‘all-look-the-same’ housing developments. In some of these, the houses are even the same color.”

What are the three most important areas for planning Columbia’s future?

16.3% say: Growth and Development


Columbia residents said they would like to see less new development, like this building on Grindstone Parkway. (ALYCIA LEWIS/Missourian)

“Too much emphasis is being made on development.”

“We need to make sure we don’t just depend on the university, city and the public schools for our economic development.”

“Let’s build up the downtown and create growth in the city center.”

9.6% say: Transportation

“Interstate 70 is hazardous and needs to be widened. We also need to increase our air traffic.”

“We need much better public transportation. Much of the city is not accessible.”

“We need to vastly improve the pedway system to make the city more pedestrian friendly.”

7.7% say: Preservation of natural areas

“The park department is not keeping up with growth. We need to acquire and preserve them, and only later worry about development.”

“Preservation of natural areas and the environment are obviously connected and terribly important for the long-term future appeal of our community”

“The more natural areas we can preserve, the healthier we, as people, will be, both physically and emotionally.”

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