The Envision Utah project arose out of an effort to educate the public and decision-makers about the issues and consequences associated with rapid growth in the greater Salt Lake City Region. Projections showed the region growing from 1.6 million residents in 1998 to more than 2.2 million by 2020 and more than 5 million by 2050. Envision Utah needed to devise a plan to accommodate for growth while protecting the environment, fostering economic strength, and supporting overall quality of life.
Calthorpe Analytics developed and modeled four regional growth scenarios to communicate the consequences of varying growth patterns and transportation investments. The scenarios ranged from a low-density alternative with predominantly auto-oriented development to a high-density transit-oriented alternative with more compact growth and higher levels of infill and redevelopment.
Envision Utah has become a model for regional planning across the United States. Extensive public outreach formed the foundation of a Quality Growth Strategy for the region, which was adopted by the Utah State Legislature in 1999 and has informed regional and local decisions ever since. The Qualify Growth Strategy has worked to instill a collective mission to conserve land, water, and clean air, improve regional transportation, and increase the quality of housing choices for all Utah residents.