City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

Percent of Citizens Satisfied with Recreation Programs

Measure Description
The percent of citizen satisfaction with recreation services is a key indicator that measures favorable responses received by citizens from the annual City of Austin Community Survey. The survey is prepared and conducted by an external third-party vendor to the City of Austin. A statistically-valid sample of randomly selected addresses are used as a representative sample of the general population of the city. The representative sample includes roughly 200 respondents from each council district. This measure captures how well the City is providing quality recreational services, such as programs for youth and teens, athletic programming, senior activity programs, cultural arts and museums programming and special events offered to the citizens of Austin by the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD).
Calculation Method
This measure is the sum of “very satisfied” and “satisfied” responses divided by the total number of respondents who reported an opinion to this question. The data reported excludes survey respondents who left the question blank or reported “don’t know.”
FY 2015-16 Results
According to the 2016 City of Austin Annual Community Survey, 74.3% of citizens who responded to the question were “very satisfied” and “satisfied” with recreation services.
Assessment of Results
Two major goals of the Parks and Recreation Department Strategic Plan, 2017-2021 are: to provide accessible, diverse, inclusive and innovative programs and services to the citizens of Austin and to achieve and maintain a standard of excellence for park systems. Measuring overall satisfaction rates helps the department determine participation in programs and the likelihood of participants recommending programs and services to others. This data helps the department evaluate how effectively PARD is meeting the needs of the community.
This year, PARD moved closer to reaching its target goal of 75% satisfaction, showing a slight increase in prior years and a three percent increase over the last five fiscal years.
PARD continues to be a leader in the parks and recreation industry.  Currently, the national average for citizen satisfaction of recreation services is 63% for cities with a population greater than 250,000.  Austin’s rating exceeds all but two of the seventeen U.S. cities included in the study, Las Vegas (76%) and Arlington (88%).  
Next Steps
PARD continues to work diligently over the next five years to implement strategic initiatives outlined in the Parks and Recreation Department Strategic Plan, 2017-2021. The following strategic initiatives will address programming gaps in services and identify underserved populations in order to more effectively serve the needs of the growing Austin population. Additionally, the strategic plan will: prioritize land development proposals and related projects to address parkland, amenities and programs gaps, evaluate the distribution of programs across the City of Austin, provide safe parks and facilities, deliver excellent customer service, and attain national industry standards for parks and recreation services. These strategic initiatives will better position the department to provide the highest quality of services to the Austin community effectively and efficiently.
Contact Information
For more information contact Lucas Massie, Community Recreation Programs Division Manager, (512) 978-2601.