Utah is growing. In fact, by the year 2050, our population will nearly double in size. They’ll be your kids, your grandkids, your co-workers, and your friends.
Just like you, they’ll need power, water, homes, schools, jobs, places to shop, places to play and ways to get between them all. This is nothing new. Utah has a history of growth, and a successful track record of planning for the future. It’s part of why the quality of life here has remained so high. How do we keep it that way?
Envision Utah is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to exploring the challenges and opportunities of growth in Utah. They engage people to create and sustain communities that are beautiful, prosperous, healthy and neighborly for current and future residents. With the right vision, we can accommodate Utah’s growing economy and increasing population without sacrificing the incredible quality of life that makes Utah great.
In 1997, Envision Utah launched an unprecedented public effort that brought together residents, elected officials, developers, conservationists, business leaders, and other interested parties to make informed decisions about how we should grow. Through a historic series of workshops and surveys, Envision Utah helped lay the groundwork for actions including:
- Development of TRAX and Frontrunner to add 140 miles of light rail, streetcar and commuter rail to Utah
- Creation of innovative housing and commercial projects like Daybreak and City Creek
- Dramatically slowing the rate of development of Utah’s lands to preserve more open space for agriculture and recreation
- Decreasing household water consumption by 25%
- Decreasing our emissions by 47% among all pollutants
- Saving billions in reduced infrastructure costs
INTRODUCING YOUR UTAH. YOUR FUTURE.
With Utah’s population projected to grow by 2.5 million in the next three decades, Envision Utah is making history again with the Your Utah Your Future project, a statewide process that invites the public to get involved and decide how Utah will grow. Governor Herbert kicked the effort off in October 2013 and will kick off the public involvement effort this fall.
Your Utah Your Future is tackling eleven key issues.
- Air Quality: Considering one of the most visible consequences of growth in Utah can be seen in the air we breathe, how do we clear the air?
- Education: How do we improve student performance and give children the knowledge and skills they’ll need to compete in a strong economy?
- Energy and Infrastructure: As Utah continues to grow, how will we find new ways to supply enough energy for everyone at affordable costs?
- Housing and Cost of Living: How we can ensure people at different stages of life, with a wide range of incomes, can afford a good quality of life?
- Jobs and Economy: With one of the strongest economies in the country, how do we maintain a broad spectrum of good jobs?
- Natural Lands: How do we balance the competing uses of our natural lands, like recreation, habitat, and energy production?
- Recreation: How can we make sure Utahns and our many visitors always have access to amazing places to play?
- Agriculture: How do we preserve Utah’s rich legacy of farming to provide healthy, locally produced food?
- Transportation and Communities: How do we reduce gridlock and provide well thought-out communities that place citizens closer to the things they need?
- Water: How will we provide sufficient water in one of the country’s driest states, even as our population continues to grow?
- Disaster Resilience: How will we make sure our economy and quality of life stay strong in the weeks, months and years following a catastrophe?
The Your Utah Your Future project has four steps:
First, a broad range of stakeholders and experts will identify choices and solutions for key issues and show the results of these choices.
Next Envision Utah will conduct an extensive public outreach campaign so Utahns can get involved and pick the choices that matter the most to them.
Documenting and Sharing
After the outreach campaign, the public’s choices will become a vision and a plan to be documented and released publicly.
Envision Utah will empower Utah communities to turn their vision into real and lasting actions that will help keep Utah great.
50,000 VOICES STRONG
Envision Utah’s goal is to make history by involving 50,000 Utah citizens to create a voice for the future that’s strong enough to drive positive action. This fall, Envision Utah will be doing workshops around the state and releasing online games through which people can learn about the issues and share their choices for 2050.
Written by Robert Grow, Envision Utah president on .