BUSINESS + ECONOMY

‘Guiding our Growth’ survey helps policymakers shape Utah

Oct 19, 2023, 10:00 PM | Updated: Oct 20, 2023, 10:10 am

Utah capitol -- Utah lawmakers are tackling the high costs of adoption, proposing changes that coul...

(Adobe stock)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Many Utahns want to ensure the state’s growth is not negatively impacting what matters to them. 

The Guiding Our Growth survey asked Utahns how the state should respond to the challenges and opportunities growth brings. The survey is part of an initiative by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget to start a statewide conversation about Utah’s growth. According to Guiding our Growth, the initiative began in July 2022 and will run through December 2023. 

The survey received more than 28,000 responses. According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, residents responded to the survey between May and August of this year. 

Utahns provided input on housing options and price points, water conservation efforts, transportation options and open space preservation. 

Utah growth survey results

Six out of 10 Utahns said they’re for developing new housing around major streets and town centers. And, they’re up for whatever method gives us as much new housing as possible.

State Planning Coordinator Laura Hansen told Utah’s Morning News that most Utahns know growth is not something we can avoid.

“Over 75% said ‘We recognize that growth brings opportunities and we need to keep building housing.’ It is a fact that if you have more supply, then the prices will come down.”

One highlight from the results is that 74% of urban residents support developing transportation options in town centers. This includes convenient walking, biking and public transit options. 

Another takeaway is that 61% of urban residents support waterwise landscaping, compact development and retrofitting existing landscapes. When it comes to water conservation for rural residents, 70% support rebates and incentives for landscape conversions.

“Utahns want to see aggressive water conservation efforts. And the piece that I found most interesting there was they really realize that this is a shared responsibility,” Hansen said.

As for preserving open space, 75% of urban residents want the state to invest in recreational amenities. 

“It’s great to see so many Utahns voicing their preferences on issues that will affect every community in the state,” Governor Spencer Cox said in a press release.

“This data will give policymakers the information they need to make solid decisions that will shape the future of our communities. We appreciate everyone who took the survey and hope Utahns will continue to be involved in state and local growth conversations.”

Adam Small contributed to the reporting of this story.

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‘Guiding our Growth’ survey helps policymakers shape Utah