Education, sustainable homes, transportation priorities for Utahns, survey reveals

Posted at 8:08 PM, Oct 26, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY – Three million people currently live in Utah. And the state’s population is projected to double by the year 2050.

Envision Utah unveiled findings Monday from a two-year study that looked into what 53,000 Utah residents hope to see happen as the state’s population grows.

Gov. Gary Herbert praised Utah for being nationally recognized and ranked as a state with the best economic growth and place to do business.

“We can do this. I am very optimistic about the future. We have never ever in our history been in a better position than we are today,” he said.

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The governor addressed a crowd of business and government leaders Monday, and the president of Envision Utah unveiled a plan for how to deal with the six million people that will live in Utah one day.

“So what is a vision? Well, it’s a clear picture of the future, decided by the people of Utah,” said Robert Grow, president and CEO of Envision Utah. “It’s our collective aspirations and hopes about what we want Utah to be like for coming generations.”

Four hundred experts and 53,000 residents were surveyed about how to create a better quality of life in Utah.

Utahns’ listed high quality education, efficient transportation and sustainable homes and urban development as top priorities, with an emphasis on local agriculture.

“We need to continue to build strong, safe, high quality neighborhoods, but to make sure they’re connected in a way that, as we get busier and add two and a half million more people, people can still get around [and] life is convenient and so on,” Grow said.

The governor says the state is vamping up infrastructure and transportation, getting ready to support a larger population.

“If you don’t prepare, then you’re going to be reactionary, and we ought not to be reactionary to whatever the future holds for us,” Herbert said. “We ought to prepare and anticipate and plan for so that we can, in fact, have the best outcome.”

Herbert says Utahns’ willingness to answer Envision Utah’s survey shows they are prepared to meet challenges of growth and make the state a better place for future generations.

Herbert adds that he hopes the state will continue to be a leader of economic and business growth for the rest of the nation.

For a look at the survey results, visit