This section provides a few implementation examples from one area in which Envision Utah has worked extensively. The organization has worked alongside many partners to help people throughout the greater Wasatch area (the larger Salt Lake City metropolitan region) to recognize the long-term impact of today's decisions on tomorrow's growth. Here is a closer look at instances of local and regional projects that demonstrate how the actions of individuals and groups working toward a common vision can create real change.
Making the Vision A Reality
Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Light Rail and Commuter Rail Systems and the Unified Transportation Plan
Public rail systems were not always popular in Utah, but a successful initial project and regional visioning paved the way for unprecedented transit system development. The public passed two transit referendums in six years, getting pieces of
a transit system initially envisioned by 2030 built by 2015. The current FrontLines 2015 program is a group of four light rail lines and one commuter rail line that adds 70 miles to UTA's existing 64-mile rail network.
The collaboration that began with the Quality Growth Strategy led to the state's first Unified Transportation Plan, which coordinates the state's anticipated multi modal transportation needs and incorporates regional visions for land use and transportation that have been completed across the state. Utah is the first state in the nation to compile statewide and regional transportation plans into one document. The Unified Plan builds upon the pioneering work of Envision Utah and reflects the regions approach to providing transportation choices to its residents, responding to the anticipated population and job growth, and maintaining the transportation systems that are already in place.
In the past 50 years, three influential regional efforts, most recently Envision Utah's 1997 Quality Growth Strategy influenced the development history in downtown Salt Lake City. After the completion of the Quality Growth Strategy, it was time to take another look at the region's heart. Downtown Rising was born.
A new age of unprecedented investment the downtown area prompted consideration of the broader implications of an array of significant, but individual, developments. Downtown Rising was created to be the glue to link those disparate parts together in a visionary whole. Envision Utah provided support for the Downtown Rising process and vision, conducting community visioning workshops and visual preference surveys, as well as providing urban planning support throughout the process.
Unlike the "old" way of doing things - typically federal, state and local - modern economies and societies organize themselves in the categories of global, regional and neighborhood. We live in a global economy, where regions (not a political jurisdiction, but rather an area with a shared labor market, broadcast area, and centers for trade and commerce) compete for economic relevance. Regions are most effective when they have a globally connected, metropolitan world city at their core. High quality neighborhoods that attract and keep the talent necessary to be successful in the information age are another component of successful regions. The Downtown Rising vision relates to all three of these categories and adopted a parallel structure to achieve the vision.
Form Based Code Template-The Wasatch Choice for 2040
A form-based code template was developed as part of the toolkit to implement the Wasatch Choice for 2040 (WC2040), a four-county land use and transportation plan. A form-based code is a tool that provides a simplified and flexible approach to zoning that focuses more on the form of buildings rather than the use of buildings. This simplified approach allows a more streamlined process to building and development. The form-based code is being applied to select demonstration sites as part of the WC2040 implementation effort. The template is intended for local calibration to various jurisdictions, and includes guidelines to help communities interested in this approach adapt and apply the code template.
Private sector stakeholders can play leading roles in vision implementation. Daybreak is a 93,000-acre development located in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. Kennecott Land collaborated with the City of South Jordan to create a shared vision for building an enduring community on reclaimed land that was once a part of mining operations. The community plan incorporates significant rapid transit, open space, community amenities, and a range of housing types with easy access to business and employment centers. Envision Utah's smart growth principles have been a guiding vision for Daybreak planners.
Jordan River Commission
The Blueprint Jordan River is the first comprehensive effort to develop a publicly supported vision for the future of the entire Jordan River corridor and an implementation plan to turn the neglected river corridor into a defining amenity for our region. The vision intended to capture the collective imagination of residents and to build an appreciation for the important environmental, social, and economic role the river has played and can play in the region. The results of the Blueprint convey the "Big Ideas" that are possible and lay out a framework for how those may be implemented over the coming decades.
All 15 municipalities and three counties along the river participated. A majority of the 15 cities have passed resolutions supporting the Blueprint principles. A critical component to the success of the Blueprint is the long-term implementation of this vision among the various local governments and State agencies that oversee its stewardship. The Blueprint report recommends the formation of a "planning entity" to ensure river-wide implementation of its vision in a cohesive and consistent fashion. This planning entity evolved into the Jordan River Commission (JRC).