LOS ANGELES (April 10, 2019) -- An overwhelming majority of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) residents are optimistic about the direction of their neighborhood and enjoy living in Downtown, according to a public opinion survey conducted by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles (StudyLA) at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Jessica Lall, President & CEO of Central City Association (CCA), presented results from the "2019 Downtown LA Community Study" at Forecast LA, LMU's annual conference held today at The Center at Cathedral Plaza.
"Downtown has undergone an incredible transformation in the last couple of decades," said Lall. "It is now home to nearly 70,000 residents and expected to reach 200,000 residents by 2040. We partnered with LMU to take a data-driven approach and assess how Downtown residents are feeling, especially as we prepare Downtown to be more civically engaged in upcoming elections. We are pleased that this survey shows that CCA's advocacy efforts, which have been centered around making Downtown a vibrant and welcoming place to live, have been effective."
Nearly 70% of residents think Downtown is going in the right direction, 86% like living here and 61% are likely to stay in Downtown for the next five years. They like Downtown because they enjoy their high quality of life, including food and beverage options, shopping and entertainment, access to public transportation and walkability. The survey showcases that the investments made to make DTLA an attractive place to live have been beneficial.
However, although Downtown residents are very optimistic, they have concerns. CCA has been focused on addressing homelessness and livability, and this survey shows that these are indeed important areas that need effective advocacy. More than 60% think the homelessness situation in Downtown will get worse this year and a majority thinks the efforts to address homelessness are poor. In addition, residents do not believe they have access to quality K-12 education and child care in Downtown. In fact, less than a quarter of DTLA residents say that Downtown is a good place to raise children, despite nearly three-quarters saying it's a good place to live overall.
CCA also announced the launch of DTLA Insights, an interactive data portal focused on DTLA. This portal, which is sponsored by the DTLA restaurant Mrs. Fish, brings concrete numbers and statistics to measure the tremendous progress DTLA has made over the past several decades and help diagnose what conditions still need to be addressed. DTLA Insights is available at ccala.org/dtlainsights.
Lall added, "Data is not only helpful to track our progress, but it also plays a critical role in establishing a common set of facts that provide a basis for policies and investments that will drive the future of DTLA. That's why we're rolling out two new initiatives -- DTLA Insights and the DTLA Community Study. With these tools, we're able to more acutely identify DTLA's needs and opportunities and strategically guide our advocacy efforts."
LMU surveyed 610 Downtown residents in person in January and February 2019. The boundaries of Downtown were defined by its two respective Community Plan areas: Central City and Central City North. The Downtown Community Study was a part of StudyLA's 2019 Los Angeles Public Opinion Survey of 2,008 LA County residents, which is the largest annual general social survey of an urban center in America, that provides a snapshot of the region and explores possible future trends.
Here are highlights of how Downtown residents feel about their neighborhood.
- 69% think their neighborhood is going in the right direction, compared to 66% in the city
- 86% like living in DTLA
- 61% are likely to stay in Downtown for the next 5 years
- 49% say their quality of life is good, compared to 33% in the city
- 65% rate food & beverage options, as well as shopping & entertainment, as good
- 25% rate housing options as good
- 81% support new housing in Downtown
- 8% feel that a majority can afford to buy a condo/home in Downtown
- 51% rate public transportation as good, compared to 36% in the city
- 63% rate walkability as good, compared to 31% in the city
- 90% support streetscape projects
- 22% rate quality of K-12 education as good and 18% rate access to quality child care as good
- 23% say that Downtown is a good place to raise children, compared to 57% in the city
- 61% think the homelessness situation in Downtown will get worse this year
- 86% think efforts to address homelessness are not good
- 19% think crime & safety is good
- 26% has a person in their household who has been a victim of violence in DTLA