Register for the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium, Help Plan for the Future

Draper City was a rural farming/bedroom community of 7,500 people in the early 1990s. 

Over the past two decades it has grown into a metropolitan area with more than 42,000 residents. A few farms remain but they are islands within a mixture of horse properties, historic homes, high-density apartments, townhomes and high-rise office buildings.

Draper's experience could apply to nearly any other community along the Wasatch Front. The population in the region is projected to increase by approximately 60 percent by 2040, with more than 1.4 million new residents who will need 650,000 new jobs. According to estimates conducted by the University of Utah, it is projected that two-thirds of the buildings that will exist in 2040 have yet to be built.

"Growth isn't anything new for Utah," says Robert Grow, President and CEO of Envision Utah, "but we need to look forward and take the right steps to make sure we maintain a strong economy and high quality of life as we grow."

Fortunately, Utah has a vision.

A regional vision called "Wasatch Choice for 2040" focuses on growth along the Wasatch Front region, while a broader, statewide vision called "Your Utah Your Future" focuses on growth statewide. Implementing the regional and broader visions will be discussed October 23 during the all-day Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium at the Salt Palace Convention Center, which is open to everyone. You can register here.

The Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision grew out of Envision Utah's Quality Growth Strategy in 1999, where residents from across the region came together to explore a variety of potential future scenarios and the benefits and disadvantages of each. Through a number of workshops and public input, it was refined to a more specific vision for the Wasatch Front region. Participants in the process agreed upon nine growth principles and a Vision Map that shows how the principles would work across the region.

The public is invited to join Consortium members for morning breakout sessions where a panel of elected officials from communities across the Wasatch Front will discuss how they have used the Wasatch Choice for 2040 visioning principles and tools to guide their development.

In the afternoon, the attendees are invited to provide feedback through interactive booths developed by Envision Utah's Your Utah Your Future initiative. This initiative is bringing Utahans together to form a statewide vision across 11 topics: agriculture, air quality, disaster resilience, education, energy, housing and cost of living, jobs and economy, public lands, recreation, transportation and communities, and water.

"We hope local residents will join leaders from our local municipalities, state government, real estate, financial and private sectors, education officials, chambers of commerce and businesses for this event. We encourage all to attend," says Andrew Gruber, executive director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council.

A keynote address by Christopher Leinberger, president of LOCUS, a national coalition of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable urban development in metropolitan areas, will connect the morning and afternoon sessions.

The two efforts–Your Utah Your Future and the Wasatch Choice for 2040–are inextricably linked, but they are different in scope, scale and timing.

Wasatch Choice for 2040 is a regional vision for growth and development. It is focused on providing tools and strategies to the four counties along the Wasatch Front. Communities can use these resources to proactively consider how growth, transportation and open space can help to improve the quality of life for residents now and over the next three decades.

Meanwhile, the Your Utah Your Future vision has a broader geography than Wasatch Choice for 2040, will deal with a broader spectrum of topics and will look longer-term to 2050. Your Utah Your Future involves a broad range of stakeholders that seek to establish a growth vision based upon key choices and solutions selected by residents across the state. Envision Utah is conducting a variety of outreach campaigns, after which the public's choices will become a vision and a plan to be documented and released publicly. Your Utah Your Future will empower communities across the state to turn their visions into real and lasting actions that will help keep Utah great.

Gov. Gary Herbert has said, "In Utah, we don't believe in sitting back and seeing where growth will take us. 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."

Now, after extensive public input and market analysis, the consortium is leading the effort to implement the Wasatch Choice for 2040 vision, which will help municipalities preserve their incredible quality of life, save billions of dollars in infrastructure costs and accommodate the near doubling of the region's population.

If communities implement the vision principles the benefits are significant. The savings will come from many regional benefits such as walkable communities near transit stations, less traffic congestion, reduced infrastructure costs and better management of public services. By coming together, we will improve air quality, have more transportation choices, better access to jobs, a stronger economy and ultimately, a better quality of life.

Register now for this important event to be a part of shaping Utah's future.

Eventbrite - Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium & Your Utah Your Future