Op-ed: Plan would enhance access to trails and green space in Utah

Written by: Staff

Think about the last time you went hiking in Utah. Did you lose yourself in the beauty of this great state, hearing only the sounds of nature? Or did you get stressed while hunting for a place to park your car and then end up passing scores of other hikers, bikers and dogs along the trail? Think about the last time you were enjoying an urban hike – along the Legacy Parkway Trail, the Jordan … Continued

Op-ed: ‘I want to be a police officer when I grow up’ used to be a common dream. How do we bring it back?

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Negative perceptions are hurting police staffing. How can we get young Americans to support police?   “Andy Griffith Show” reruns. “Kojak” on prime time. “Columbo.” “Starsky & Hutch.” Once upon a time, you could turn on the TV and find that the cops were almost always good guys. Crockett and Tubbs occasionally discovered that an officer was involved with the drug trade, but the “Miami Vice” duo stayed above the fray and took the bad … Continued

Op-ed: Utah should grow into its gaps

Written by: Peter Reichard

When we think of growth, we often picture developers buying an old farm or ranch and building a subdivision. We picture a growing civilizational footprint, turning what was once green into something gray. But Utah can look within the existing footprint for opportunities to grow. That means identifying sites within developed areas that are vacant or underutilized. Development of these sites is known as “infill.” Multiple factors are now converging in Utah to make infill … Continued

Op-ed: If you feel like something is ‘off,’ you are not alone

Written by: Peter Reichard

Utahns just aren’t feeling as good about life today as they were four years ago. That’s one of the big takeaways from the latest Utah Foundation report, “The 2022 Utah Personal Quality of Life Index: Is the Well-Being of Utahns in Decline?” The report focuses on personal quality of life – based on a survey where Utahns rate their well-being on a series of seven factors. In 2022, the Personal Quality of Life Index stands … Continued

Op-ed: Utahns lead the nation on social capital — but do we spend enough time with our kids?

Written by: Peter Reichard

When it comes to the network of relationships people use to benefit themselves and the larger community, Utah stands apart from the nation at large. In late July, the Utah Foundation released the eighth report in its Social Capital Series, summarizing the findings of the series and tallying the metrics we deployed. Utah emerged with a strikingly high composite score of 94. This contrasts sharply with the national number, 54. Social capital comes in many … Continued

Op-ed: Utah’s economy is roaring, but how’s quality of life?

Written by: Peter Reichard

As the pandemic began, we predicted that Utah would emerge economically stronger than the rest of the nation. That’s what happened. On multiple measures, Utah tracks among the nation’s tippy-top performers. Take, for instance, the GDP growth from 2019 through 2021, the unemployment rate, population growth or the poverty rate. The Beehive State also leads the nation on multiple measures of community and family life, along with social mobility. The Utah economy has been roaring, … Continued

Op-ed: Rising inflation and housing crisis — Where is the American dream?

Written by: Peter Reichard

High housing costs. Rapidly rising interest rates. Surging oil prices. Escalating inflation.  If you don’t already own a home or if rising grocery costs don’t fit your budget, you might be excused for feeling a sense of dread. The American dream is built on homeownership and the idea that you can earn more in real dollars than your parents. But the elevated housing costs and surging interest rates are suddenly putting the first part of … Continued

Op-ed: Utah should be broadening educational horizons

Written by: Peter Reichard

Few dividing lines in our nation are as bright as the line between those who have some form of post-secondary degree or certification and those who do not. A shortfall in post-secondary educational attainment diminishes both social capital and economic prospects. And the consequences echo through generations, as the children of those with low educational attainment are more likely to follow suit. Some of the steps to expanding post-secondary attainment involve long-term, bottom-up changes. But … Continued

Op-ed: America’s middle class is in trouble, but not in Utah

Written by: Peter Reichard

The nation’s middle class has gradually been shrinking. Fifty years ago, more than 60% of Americans were in the middle class. Now the percentage is less than 50%. It’s worth noting that the upper class grew during that time. But so did the lower class. In short, our nation is becoming increasingly stratified. This is particularly evident when we look at America’s major cities and the urban-rural divide. A robust middle class provides a pipeline … Continued

Op-ed: How communities can change the playbook to expand housing options

Written by: Peter Reichard

Scanning the older cities of Utah (or indeed any state) you encounter in the historic core a mix of lot sizes and uses. You might see small setbacks and often find single-family homes alongside small multi-family housing. Often, these areas appear designed for pedestrian commuting, shopping and recreation. As you move away from the historic core into the suburbs, the old patterns dissolve into a new one: All of the residential lots are larger and … Continued