The Wasatch Choice Vision provides a blueprint for how transportation, land use, and economic development can be shaped to improve the quality of life for residents along the Wasatch Front. The 2016 meeting focused on refreshing the Wasatch Choice vision looking out to 2050 to reflect the dynamic changes in the region, the Your Utah Your Future statewide vision, and local efforts like Salt Lake County’s The Future We Choose. The Consortium was combined with Utah’s Active Transportation and Health Summit to highlight the importance of building vibrant communities that promote active living.
We need your voice to help shape the future of Utah. By the year 2050 Utah’s population will nearly double. What will that mean for our schools? The quality of our air? Our water? Our economy? What do you want Utah to be like in 2050? You can decide by taking the Your Utah Your Future survey at envisionutah.org. Your answers will help create a vision for keeping Utah a great place to live.
At the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium meeting on October 29, 2013, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert announced the “Your Utah, Your Future” initiative designed to proactively plan how to meet Utah’s future growth challenges. The collaborative Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium leadership also released a new community planning toolbox, equipping communities with state-of-the-art methods and tools to begin now to plan for tomorrow’s challenges.
Utah’s population is expected to almost double by 2050. Both the long-range visioning initiative launched by Governor Herbert and the new community planning tools will help to develop solutions to Utah’s growth challenges.
“In Utah, we don’t believe in sitting back and seeing where growth will take us,” said Governor Herbert. “We seek to be visionary and to actively secure our future. Together, we will develop a voluntary, locally-implemented, market-driven vision to help keep Utah beautiful, prosperous, healthy and neighborly for current residents and future generations.”
The new suite of planning tools created through the Wasatch Choice for 2040 partnership and released to the public during the event provides local officials, private organizations and Utah’s citizens with tools to envision and create communities that accommodate the coming growth while maintaining community values and quality of life.
“For the first time, local communities—using this toolbox—will be able to get a comprehensive look at their future, based on how they decide to address issues such as housing, transportation, schools, shopping and open space,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. “It will empower us like never before to choose what our future quality of life will be, even as rapid growth and a global economy are powerful forces shaping Utah today.”
The tools allow leaders, planners, and citizens to understand current and future housing, transportation, and development needs; create and analyze different future paths for growth; and understand how to overcome barriers and create places within communities that support stakeholders’ view of the future.
The “Your Utah, Your Future” process will take a multi-generational look at the top issues facing the state by involving key stakeholders and the public in examining possible choices and future outcomes – with the goal of establishing a vision and a strategy to achieve that vision. The initiative will be led by Envision Utah, who facilitated the original Quality Growth Strategy in 1999. For more information on the “Your Utah, Your Future” initiative, visit envisionutah.org.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, David Eccles School of Business’ Natalie Gouchner, Wasatch Front Regional Council’s Andrew Gruber and Ted Knowlton, and Envision Utah’s Robert Grow also participated on the program.
The Spring 2013 Consortium Meeting was held on May 29, 2013 at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City. The meeting coincided with the 21st session of the Congress for New Urbanism. Two CNU speakers, Jeff Speck of Speck and Associates and Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns, attended the Consortium and provided their perspective via keynote speeches. Following the keynote presentations, Consortium attendees divided into groups for “Consortium conversations” or roundtable discussions with featured organizations regarding the following topics related to growth around the region.
- Active Transportation and Public Health, featuring Shawn Teigan, Bike Utah and Brett McIff, Utah Department of Health
- Water Conservation, featuring Bart Forsyth, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District
- Air Quality, featuring Erin Mendenhall, Breathe Utah and Christine Osborne, UCAIR
- Open Space, featuring Wendy Fisher, Utah Open Lands and Julie Peck-Dabling, Salt Lake County Urban Farming Program
- Intergenerational Poverty and Housing, featuring Tracy Gruber and Karen Crompton, Voices for Utah Children and Tara Rollins, Utah Housing Coalition
The Fall 2012 Consortium meeting was held on September 27, 2012 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. Keynote speakers included Representative Greg Hughes, Chairman of the Utah Transit Authority Board of Trustees, and Robert Grow, President and CEO of Envision Utah. Following the keynote session, meeting attendees attended breakout discussions.
The Spring 2012 Consortium meeting was held on March 27, 2012 at the Salt Palace. Speakers included Pam Perlich with the University of Utah, Robert Grow with Envision Utah, Andrew Gruber with Wasatch Front Regional Council, and David White with Salt Lake County.
The first Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium meeting was held on September 26, 2011. Approximately 300 attendees divided into small groups to discuss regional housing, Envision Tomorrow Plus (an innovative land-use software being developed), zoning challenges, financing transit-oriented development, six catalytic sites in Utah, and transportation planning.