What should Utah change by 2050?
By 2050, Utah will be home to 2.5 million more residents — who will need jobs, education, roads and transit and affordable housing. They’ll add to the demand for clean water, clean air and the state’s recreation areas.
To develop strategies to manage and thrive in a more crowded future, eight task forces convened by Envision Utah are getting underway and will be reaching out to Utahns for ideas and feedback as part of the "Your Utah, Your Future" campaign.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced the planning effort in October and wants to develop a vision and strategy to achieve consensus goals by 2015.
Leaders of the teams outlined their challenges at Rice-Eccles Stadium Tuesday.
Air » Cleaner fuel and vehicles will decrease auto emissions by 80 percent, but Utah will need to do more. The action team will recommend a "complete set of holistic strategies" to help. Find its suggestions so far here.
Education » Almost half of Utah’s state and local taxes are paid by the 28 percent of the population that have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Now, 42 percent of white Utahns hold an associate degree or higher, compared to 31 percent of African Americans and 17 percent of Hispanics. Utah aims to have 66 percent of its working adults hold a college degree or professional certificate by 2020, which will require more resources for education, greater access for diverse populations, and more rigorous K-12 preparation.
Economic development » To add 2.5 million people, Utah will need another 1.3 million jobs. Generating new jobs requires education, infrastructure, reasonably-priced utilities and other supports.
Energy and disaster resilience » About 80 percent of Utah’s population lives within 15 miles of the Wasatch Fault, and the probability of a large earthquake in the next 50 years is 1 in 4.
Utah will need to generate more power by 2050, and faces decisions about whether it will ease reliance on fossil fuels, protecting transmission corridors and maintaining infrastructure.
Housing and cost of living » There are more housing choices now than 20 years ago, but as less land is available, how can housing and transportation remain affordable?
Much of the growth is predicted to occur in southwest Salt Lake County and in Davis and Weber counties east of the Great Salt Lake and Willard Bay.
Natural lands, agriculture and recreation » Do Utahns want to preserve the ability to produce their own food? While recreation is an economic driver, there are competing uses of natural lands that must be balanced.
Transportation and communities » By 2050, every driver could face two to four times the delays seen today. There’s only 37,000 vacant acres left in the Salt Lake Valley, and about 13,000 acres in Davis County.
By 2030, there will be little vacant land between Ogden and Provo, potentially pushing development into valleys with little access to transit.