Utah is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation and, particularly in Salt Lake County, the population is changing.

So, what does the future of Utah look like? How will the economy, people, landscape and even recreation change?

We can find some of those answers by exploring the Salt Lake Valley’s dynamic west side.

This area is the most racially diverse in our historically homogenous state. And it is growing fast. Many of the schools are majority minority, the businesses cater to people in many languages, and its homes and apartment buildings are filling fast. It’s also gaining political clout as the last undeveloped land in an area that’s quickly being filled by big businesses, highways and homes.

The west side is also, however, often overlooked by state power brokers.

So what are the lessons we can learn about the future of Utah from the west side? To seek answers to that question, The Salt Lake Tribune will start by listening.

This conversation began about nine months ago when The Tribune created the Why Utah? Facebook group — a digital space intended to spark a discussion about the state’s increasing population. We started by asking what brought new residents to the Beehive State and what kept the born-and-bred Utahns here. From there, we started asking members to offer their insight into what’s happening in their communities.

Now, we’re bringing this conversation off social media and into the public sphere so we can increase dialogue, understanding and trust between our reporting staff and these communities.

The Tribune is looking for a diverse group of west-side residents to participate in a series of focus groups about what’s happening in the valley, what its future looks like and how we can better serve the whole community. These conversations will be held in West Valley City, Magna, Kearns, Salt Lake City and West Jordan. The first will be in West Valley City on Monday, Nov. 4.

If you’re interested in participating, please answer a few questions here.

There is a limited number of spaces, but those who fill out a survey will be updated about the project and have the chance to offer their own questions and input.

In the meantime, please feel free to reach out with any questions and concerns; send emails to sweber@sltrib.com or call at 801-257-8765.