When asked about the city’s most important problem, the issue of traffic is by far the top priority for the people of Cologne. 29 percent of those surveyed consider this to be the most pressing political problem. The topics of housing (14 percent), education (seven) and security / fighting crime (five) follow at a considerable distance. The corona pandemic – currently the dominant topic in all discussions – is only assessed as a subordinate problem by Cologne residents at the municipal level. This may also be due to the fact that political responsibility for this is seen more at the state and federal level. In any case, the way the city deals with Corona when naming the political problems that, in the opinion of the voters in Cologne, should be resolved as a matter of priority, ranks on par with the topics of administration / bureaucracy, infrastructure / urban development, environmental protection / climate change, foreigners / integration and cleanliness .
For the handling of the city authorities and the administration with the corona pandemic, the people of Cologne give those responsible a largely good report. 67 percent say they are very satisfied (13 percent) or satisfied (54 percent). 28 percent are less (21 percent) or not at all satisfied (seven percent). AfD voters, in turn, deviate most from this cross-section, of whom 23 percent are less and 34 percent are not at all satisfied. However, the dissatisfaction among voters of the Left Party is also comparatively high (23 percent less satisfied, 15 percent not at all satisfied.)
It is interesting to compare it with the problems in other cities. The people in Düsseldorf, Aachen or Bonn see the situation in a similar way to Cologne. In Essen and Dortmund, too, the subject of traffic is right at the top of the list of problems. In contrast, in the student city of Münster, the question of affordable housing is the top priority. In Duisburg, on the other hand, the citizens primarily encounter what they consider to be an excessive proportion of foreigners or insufficient integration. In Dortmund, on the other hand, the issue of foreigners / integration takes second place behind traffic when it comes to urban problems.
The people of Cologne are very satisfied
Satisfaction with the living conditions in Cologne is very high among the citizens. A total of 85 percent say they are “very satisfied” (18 percent) or satisfied (67). According to their own statements, only 15 percent of Cologne residents are less or not at all satisfied. This sentiment goes right through the age cohorts and party preferences, with the exception of AfD supporters. These are the only ones with a clear majority that are less satisfied (46 percent) or not at all satisfied (eleven percent). Still, 42 percent of this clientele were at least satisfied.
In a long-term comparison, the satisfaction of Cologne residents has remained constant for many years – with a slightly positive trend. Between 2004 and 2009, satisfaction increased from 80 to 84 percent. The proportion of dissatisfied fell from 19 to 16 percent in the same period. Since then, the values have remained at this level.
Contrary to the popular assumption that the people of Cologne are unbeatable in their love for their city, the overall satisfaction with the living conditions among the residents of other large cities in North Rhine-Westphalia is similarly high, in some cases even higher. 93 percent of Münster residents said they were overall satisfied in their city. Almost half (45 percent) are even “very satisfied”. That’s only 18 percent in Cologne. In Aachen the overall satisfaction is 90 percent, in Düsseldorf and Bonn 89 percent and in Dortmund and Essen 82 percent. In Duisburg, on the other hand, only 70 percent of people express themselves positively overall. According to the demoscopes from infratest dimap, the gradient “is hardly surprising given the different economic and social situation on site”.
For the city survey of the WDR in cooperation with the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” as well as the “Bonner Generalanzeiger” and the “Aachener Zeitung / Aachener Nachrichten”, the polling institute infratest dimap asked 1000 citizens in addition to Cologne in ten other municipalities in the state of Aachen to Bielefeld. As for Cologne, the survey took place between August 11th and 27th.