Utahns who live in the booming Salt Lake City area
need to manage growth now, says Baseline Scenario, a study by the
nonprofit Utah Quality Growth Partnership. The partnership is a
coalition of government, civic and business leaders concerned about
urban sprawl in a 10-county area, including Salt Lake City. In the
1960s and "70s, when jobs were hard to find, many young people left
the state to find work, says Stephen Holbrook, director of another
nonprofit, the Coalition for Utah's Future, which sponsors the
partnership. Now there are plenty of jobs and plenty of problems,
too. "It's one of those two-edged swords," Holbrook says. "Jobs
drive growth." While there are 1.6 million people in the area
today, there will be 5 million by 2050, according to the report.
That means half the valley's tillable farmland will be paved or
developed, and commuting times and distances will double. "When
you're used to growing up with towns scattered with orchards, and
your city is on the way to (becoming) another Philadelphia, it's
time to think about planning," Holbrook says.
Baseline Scenario is $10 and may be purchased
from the Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget,
801/538-1619, or write 116 State Capitol, P.O. Box 140611, Salt
Lake City, UT 84114-0611 (www.qget.state.ut.us).