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Windshield Survey

A windshield survey is an assessment of a community conducted by traveling around the

community in a car or using public transportation to making observations about a community
and its dynamics. The results should yield a basic description about the community, its health
and members. The data gathered will help identify healthcare strengths and weaknesses in the
specified community. Community Health Nurses use information gathered in a windshield
survey to identify the unique features and needs of an individual community. The data is used to
make inferences about community healthcare needs, shape nursing practice, and interventions by
identifying how the geographic, cultural and functional dimension of the community affects
community-nursing care. The group conducted a Windshield Survey of Concord, North Carolina
(zip code 28027) on March 17, 2010. The information gathered in this survey allowed the
surveyors to make basic assumptions about this community and assisted in the identification of
the needs for a specific population within the community.

Elements & Descriptions

Community Observations

What the natural, physical and economic
boundaries? What signs are there of where this
neighborhood begins and ends? Does the
neighborhood have an identified name?

The boundaries of the community are mainly
physical. The physical boundaries include
highway 73 also called Davidson Highway,
Highway 601 and Highway 49. There are no
clear boundaries that indicated where this
community ends or begins.

The economic boundaries in this community
are very distinct. The area surrounding
Concord Mills Mall contained newer higher
income housing developments and a few large
apartment complexes. The rural areas in this
community contained a mix of both high
income and low-income housing. Many higher
income neighborhoods had signs indicating the
name of the development. The lower income
housing for the most part did not have any
identifying information and were not located in
traditional neighborhoods.
Housing and Zoning
What is the age of the housing, architecture?
Are all the neighborhoods similar in age and
architecture? How would you describe the
differences? Are they detached or attached? Is
Housing and Zoning
The age of the housing ranged from brand new
to being built in the early 1900s. The large
homes tended to be new construction from the
1980s to the present. The new and old homes
there space in front and behind? What is their
general condition? Are there signs of disrepair?

were spread evenly throughout the community.
Many of the rural homes were located on
farms. Most of the housing was single-family
homes, but there were a few attached housing
complexes located in the area.

There are apartments with vinyl and brick
exteriors including the newer apartments
within walking distance of Concord Mills
Mall. Section 8 housing and apartments are
older, probably built in the 1980s.

The single-family homes consisted of
traditional and manufactured homes. The
houses were constructed from brick, wood,
aluminum, vinyl siding, and shake materials.
The older houses were typical traditional ranch
style, while much of the new housing was two
story brick. The homes that appeared to be
built prior to the early 1990s were on large
several acre lots. In comparison, newer and
high-income homes tended to be in
neighborhoods on small landscaped lots (less
than .25 of an acre) that were well maintained.
Many of the rural low-income homes appeared
to be in a state of disrepair. They had broken
doors, rotting siding, and overgrown lawns
with rusting cars. Some open land contained
abandoned dilapidated barns.

Most new neighborhoods have open spaces
behind the homes, but typical the house is
surrounded by other homes on all sides. Older
houses typically have large front and back
Signs of Decay
Is the neighborhood on its way up or down? Is
it alive?

Signs of Decay
In the urban area, there were many retail
spaces empty and a few abandoned buildings.
The streets had a moderate amount of litter.
The area surrounding Concord Mills and near
I-85 had many new retail centers that were well
maintained and busy. The rural areas of this zip
code appeared to have several closed and/or
abandoned businesses. The most notable
business closings observed in the area were the
Philips Morris Plant and a large car dealership
on one of the main streets.
Open Spaces
How much open space is there? What is the
quality of the open space? What is the lot size
of the houses? Do you see trees on the
pavements, a green island in the center of
streets? Is the open space public or private?

Open Spaces
There is a great deal of open space in this
community. The majority of the open space
appeared to be grazing land for cattle or used
for other farming purposes. In the urban area,
there was limited open space, no trees and no
green ways in the center of the streets. The
open spaces were privately owned. For the
most part, there were no sidewalks in the urban
area or the neighborhoods in the community.

Cabarrus County Country Club is a private golf
course in the community. There is one public
park, Frank Liske Park. The park had a pond,
paved walkways, playground equipment and a
covered picnic area. The survey was completed
on a sunny day and several families were seen
at the park walking and playing.
Common Areas
What are the neighborhood hangouts? For
what groups, at what hours? Does the
commons areas appear to open to the public?

Common Areas
Joes Sports Bar and Grill appeared crowed. It
was located in Afton Park and is a place for
sports fans to come together on the weekend or
after work. It was advertising the NCAA
basketball tournament. There were several
shopping plazas, with Concord Mills being the
most popular. Many people (especially
teenagers) walk around the mall as a way to
socialize. Children were observed playing on
the playground at the elementary school.

The common areas, particularly located near
Lowes Motor Speedway and Concord Mills
Mall, appeared welcoming and open to the
public. It was inferred that this is related to the
draw of people from all over the region, state
and country to these venues.
Street People
Whom do you see on the street? Do you see
anyone you would not expect? Is the dress of
those you see representative or unexpected?

Street People
Very few people were seen walking around or
on the street. Several people were seen
pumping gas and going into retail
establishments. The appearance ranged to
professional dress to dirty torn clothing.
Several workers were seen doing landscaping
and road improvements. The people observed
appeared to be representative of the community
and the groups expectations
Are the residents Caucasian, African-
American, or of another minority group, or is
the area integrated?

Taking note of the makeup of the people
observed in the community, the majority of the
community was Caucasian and African
American. There appeared to be areas of
integration but the majority of the housing
appeared to be divided not only along
economic but racial lines.
Are there indices of ethnicity?

There was little evidence of ethnic diversity in
this community. A small Hispanic influence
was noted in the community. There were a few
restaurants that indicated this influence one of
which was Mexico Lindo.
Of what religion are the residents? Do you see
evidence of heterogeneity or homogeneity?
What denominations are the churches? Do you
see evidence of their use other than on Sunday

Several religious establishments were observed
in the community. All that were seen were of a
Christian denomination. There was some
variability in the type of Christianity. An
Apostolic (Pentecostal Christian denomination)
and Baptist church were seen. The survey was
conducted during the week and no activity was
noted at the churches. The community showed
evidence of homogeneity in religious
How do people get in and out of
neighborhoods? Are the streets and roads
conducive to good transportation and to
community life? Is there a major highway near
the neighborhood? How frequently is public
transportation available?

The primary mode of transportation appeared
to be the car. This is a large and mostly rural
community with no sidewalks, so walking is
not a viable means of transportation. Public
transportation signs were noted in more
populated areas, but the public transportation
was not seen during this survey. Since much of
this community is rural, a car would be
necessary. The community is also home to the
Concord Regional Airport.I-85 bi-sects this
community from North to South and provides
connectivity to the entire Piedmont Region.
What are the major industries? Are there any
apparent occupations?
Retail related to Concord Mills Malls appeared
to be a major industry, along with Lowes
Motor Speedway and NASCAR.
Manufacturing and Food Processing were two
other major industries identified. Perdue,
Sysco, and S.D Coffee are located in this
community. In addition, a cement processing
facility and PreGel provide employment
opportunities for community residents. This
area has recently sustained industrial loss with
the closing of the Philip Morris Plant.
Where do residents shop? How do they travel
to shop?

Residents shopped at Harris Teeter, Food Lion,
Wal-Mart Supercenter, Aldi and Lowes Foods
for groceries.

Concord Mills Mall, Target and several small
shopping centers appeared to be busy place for
shopping. Due to limited public transportation
and no sidewalks, the majority of people
traveled in cars to do their shopping.
Service Centers
Do you see social agencies, clients, signs of
activity at the school? Are there offices of
doctors, dentists, palmist, and spiritualists? Are
there parks? Are they in use?

Service Centers
The hospital that serves this community is
Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) Northeast.
In addition, there are several physicians and
dental offices. The community is also served
by Urgent Care at Poplar Tent and Piedmont
Healthcare-Urgent Care. Another healthcare
resource in this community is Concord Place
Assisted Living on Rock Hill Church Road.

There are several pharmacy options in the
community, which include CVS, Rite Aide,
Walgreens and Medicap Pharmacy.

There was activity noted at both the public and
private schools in the community. One private
school that was seen was the Cannon School.
The Sunshine House provides education
services and tutoring to children for a fee.

Several social service agencies were seen in
the community including Lifespan Enrichment
and Employment, Church of God Childrens
Home for children who have been abused or
abandoned and the Adult and Adolescent
Counseling Center. While touring the
community, a Department of Social Services
vehicle was seen, in addition to police and fire

The YMCA on Langford Avenue is a faith-
based facility that provides childrens
programs, exercise class and many more
family focused activities.
Health and Morbidity
Do you see evidence of acute or chronic
disease or conditions? Of accidents,
communicable diseases, alcoholism, drug
addiction, mental illness? How far is the
nearest hospital or clinic?

Health and Morbidity
There were few outward signs in the
community of acute and chronic diseases or
conditions. People were observed smoking
cigarettes and a few obese residents were seen.
An increased acceptance of smoking in this
community maybe related to the tobacco
industry being a major employer in this
community until 2009. Many fast food
restaurants were noted and appeared to have a
steady stream of customers. Two fitness
facilities were observed, but one had gone out
of business. There were no sidewalks noted
throughout the entire community. One ABC
store liquor store was seen in the community.
The nearest hospital is CMC Northeast and is
only a few minutes outside of the community.
Several manufacturing facilities were noted in
the community, which can have a significant
effect on health depending on the emissions,
environmental impact to the community and
the working conditions.
Do you see any political campaign posters? Is
there a headquarters present? Do you see
evidence of a predominant affiliation?

Larry Kissells office, the 8
representative in the United States Congress,
was seen but no other signs of political activity
in the community were noted.
Do you see outdoor television antennas or
satellite dishes? What magazines and
newspapers do residents read? What media s
most important to the residents? Are there
information posters and advertisements?

Several outdoor television antennas and
satellite dishes were seen on homes throughout
the community. The most important source of
media appeared to be television. The news that
was seen around town was the Charlotte
Observer. There were local advertisements on
billboards for local business and service
throughout the community. Information and
advertisement were also seen on telephone

Modified from Stanhope, M. & Lancasater, J: Foundations of Nursing in the Community, Third
Edition, St. Louis: Missouri, 2010, Mosby Elsevier