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Resident Engagement Survey Leads City to Upgrade Water Infrastructure and Invest in Neighborhoods

City of Clive

Clive, IA

Since 2012, the City of Clive, Iowa has used resident engagement surveys to guide city planning. The city’s investments in water infrastructure and sustainable neighborhood development in response to resident feedback boosted approval ratings, with 98% recommending Clive as a great place to live.

Topics Covered


Initial: 15.5 Thousand USD


General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

In Progress/Under Construction since 2022

Gov Champion

City of Clive, Iowa

Problem Addressed

City officials needed to survey residents to identify the community’s top concerns, and prioritize time and cost-efficient projects to address them.

Like most local municipalities, Clive officials want to focus their time and money on the community’s most pressing concerns. However, this ongoing effort requires resident engagement strategies to ensure the community concerns being targeted are still the most pressing. Identifying resident concerns helps the city prioritize projects that will address resident feedback and make impactful change in the community. The city also wanted a means to track performance and resident sentiment over a span of multiple years to understand if changes being made are making a measurable impact.

Solutions Used

Clive officials learned that infrastructure and development are top concerns for the community and prioritized projects in those areas. 

Since 2012, Clive has regularly conducted The National Community Survey (The NCS), a scientific resident engagement survey, to gather feedback from residents about local government services and livability. Results from The NCS indicated infrastructure and development are top concerns for Clive residents.

“By performing a citizen satisfaction survey every other year for the past number of years, Clive has been able to identify trend lines where citizen satisfaction may be increasing or decreasing,” said Pete De Kock, Clive’s Assistant City Manager.


Clive has committed to investing in the city’s infrastructure based on resident feedback gathered via The NCS For example, the city invests in gravity sanitary sewers, limiting the stress on the city’s sewer system and requiring less maintenance than other sewer types. Maintenance is also prioritized through annual testing of every water control valve in the city’s water system, allowing Clive to be more proactive about repairs and avoid large-scale water shutoffs.

Clive's forward-thinking attitude is also seen in recently adopted cutting-edge stormwater management regulations, as well as a plan for roads, drinking water systems, the sanitary sewer system, and bank erosion.

“The city feels our continuous investment in infrastructure is necessary to maintain the exceptionally high citizen satisfaction ratings the city has seen for road and utility infrastructure,” said De Kock.


Residents were also concerned about development and wanted Clive’s leaders to focus on maintaining beautiful residential neighborhoods, as mentioned in Clive’s vision to be a “beautiful and safe city with great residential neighborhoods.”

Clive’s leaders are now educating potential developers about the city’s development expectations. These expectations include integrated street design, attractive landscaping, a variety of architecture, and thoughtful material usage. Signed zoning and development agreements ensure these requirements are legally binding and carry forward to future owners of the property. Prioritizing development, so it aligns with resident feedback, has resulted in Clive receiving high ratings on The NCS related to land use, zoning, and code enforcement.

The city has also focused on improving and further developing green space, including its long greenbelt park and trail system for which a master plan was recently approved after 18 months of discussion.

Clive’s efforts have paid off in regard to resident satisfaction. Data from The NCS show that Clive’s residents rate all aspects of community design higher than the national average.



Resident engagement led Clive to upgrade water infrastructure and invest in sustainable neighborhood development


Clive’s work to address community concerns led 98% of respondents to say they recommend Clive as a place to live


The city’s investment in projects to better the community led residents to rate all aspects of community design higher than the national benchmarks


Clive officials can track resident sentiment over a span of years to understand if the changes being made are making a measurable impact on resident satisfaction


The city can confidently make decisions knowing the breakdown of resident support for various topics

Something Unique

For its efforts, Clive received the 2021 Voice of the People (VOP) Award for Excellence in Community Design. The award acknowledges governments with the highest ratings from The NCS and that best use the NCS to improve their communities. This is the only national award that honors local governments based on feedback from residents and is presented by Polco / National Research Center and the International City & County Management Association (ICMA).

Who Should Consider

Counties, cities, or towns that want reliable resident feedback to support the decisions about infrastructure, maintenance, and community design.

Last Updated

Jul 25th, 2022

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