Ten at the Top Launches Survey to Ask Upstate Residents “What Matters Most” As Region Grows

    Upstate, SC – As the Upstate region prepares to add more than 235,000 residents and 200,000 new jobs over the next 20 years, the regional collaboration and planning organization, Ten at the Top (TATT), is launching a public input survey on May 10, 2010 to get input from residents on how they would like to see the region grow.

    The “Regional Vision Survey” is available for residents to complete between May 10 and May 31 and asks a series of questions dealing with the issues of growth, land use, economic vitality, natural and cultural resources, education and quality of life. It is available online at www.sharedupstatevision.org and in printed form at a variety of locations including municipal buildings, hospitals, libraries and community buildings throughout the Upstate counties – Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union.

    “Input from Upstate residents is vital to creating a regional growth vision that illustrates what people in the region value and what community leaders and elected officials need to consider as we grow,” said Irv Welling, Chair Emeritus of Elliott Davis and the Chair of TATT. “It’s more than just the question of where should we build new subdivisions and businesses, but how we need to look at transportation and road systems, where are new schools needed, how important is historic preservation, and what about farmland and open green spaces.”

    TATT worked with the Appalachian Council of Governments and the Metropolitan Studies Institute at USC-Upstate to develop the questions for the survey. The Metropolitan Studies Institute will monitor the results to ensure statistical validity and sufficient representation across the entire region.

    “Because it is important to ensure that all residents of the region are represented appropriately, we are distributing the survey as widely as possible through area businesses, municipalities, chambers of commerce, religious organizations, non- profit organizations, the media, and will even reach out to some residents over the phone,” said Dr. Kathleen Brady, director of the Metropolitan Center at USC-Upstate.

    Following the survey period, TATT’s Vision and Values Committee will review the survey and develop the elements of a Shared Upstate Growth Vision. Chaired by Dr. John Stockwell, Chancellor of USC-Upstate, the Vision and Values Committee includes representatives from a wide array of stakeholder groups across the entire region.

    “The Shared Upstate Growth Vision will help identify the issues of regional scale and significance that go beyond city or county levels to give regional organizations and elected officials an understanding of what elements of our future growth matter to residents,” said Dean Hybl, executive director of TATT.

    The Shared Upstate Growth Vision will be unveiled during a Regional Summit on September 28, 2010. During October and November, TATT will hold Community Forums in each of the ten counties of the region during which they will ask residents for additional input on how to implement the vision. An implementation strategy for the Shared Upstate Vision will be finalized during the first quarter of 2011, and it is the goal of TATT to then present the vision and implementation strategy to all city and county governments, as well as businesses and community organizations, across the Upstate.

    “Our purpose in Creating a Shared Upstate Growth Vision and implementation strategy is not to tell cities and counties how they should grow,” Hybl said. “It is instead to use the input of residents from across the region to help community leaders understand how their residents envision the future and to identify what elements of a shared vision are appropriate to implement locally and regionally.

    “The Upstate is already a great place to live, learn, work and play and we hope that by identifying opportunities to work together to enhance and grow our quality of life that it will continue to be a special place for our children and grandchildren.”
    Printed copies of the survey can also be obtained through Ten at the Top by calling 864.283.2315.