Utah’s great challenge: Bringing all sectors together to plan for rapid growth

October 05, 2021 (UtahPolicy.com)

The good thing about Utah’s growth planning is that, for the most part, it is bottom up and coping mechanisms are voluntary. No super agency is mandating how growth rolls out or how we deal with it. But we can be decentralized and still improve collaboration among sectors.

We also have a lot of smart people in agencies and think tanks who could work together to figure out how to better integrate all planning efforts. These organizations include WFRC, UDOT, Utah Transit Authority, other councils of governments, the Gardner Institute, Utah Foundation, Envision Utah, chambers of commerce, and agencies and organizations dealing with water, air quality, energy, recreation and housing.

There are also many private engineering, architecture and planning firms with thoughtful and experienced experts who could contribute to the process, providing case studies and best practices from around the nation and world. Solutions would need to take into account innovation, advanced technology, public policy and sociology.

It’s a provocative and challenging question: How can we holistically plan for growth, integrating all the sectors that will be impacted by growth? Utah has a lot of intellectual firepower to focus on the problem. We ought to do it.

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