Envision Utah

Envision Utah engages people to create and sustain communities that are beautiful, prosperous, healthy, and neighborly for current and future residents. We are a nonprofit, nonpartisan community partnership that includes both the public and private sectors. Those who are part of Envision Utah share two things in common: a love for the state of Utah and a desire to maintain a high quality of life for decades to come.

Every sitting governor has been an honorary cochair of Envision Utah, including Mike Leavitt, Olene Walker, Jon Huntsman Jr., and Gary Herbert. Larry H. Miller and Spencer F. Eccles have served as private sector honorary cochairs.

Current Executive Committee

  • Dan Lofgren (chair)
    President and CEO, Cowboy Partners
  • Natalie Gochnour (vice chair)
    Associate Dean, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah
  • Alan Matheson (vice chair)
    Executive Director, Utah Department of Environmental Quality
  • Jeff Hatch (treasurer)
    former Treasurer, Salt Lake County
  • Robert Grow
    President and CEO, Envision Utah
  • Scott Anderson
    President and CEO, Zions Bank
  • Pamela Atkinson
    Community Advocate
  • Martin Bates
    Superintendent, Granite School District
  • Bonnie Jean Beesley
    former Chair, Utah Board of Regents
  • Lonnie Bullard
    Chairman and CEO, Jacobsen Construction
  • H. David Burton
    former Presiding Bishop, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck
    State Representative, Utah Legislature
  • Kathleen Clarke
    Director, Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office
  • Spencer P. Eccles
    Managing Director, The Cynosure Group
  • Jeff Edwards
    President and CEO, Economic Development Corporation of Utah
  • Larry Ellertson
    Commissioner, Utah County Commission
  • Andrew Gruber
    Executive Director, Wasatch Front Regional Council
  • Ty McCutcheon
    Vice President of Community Development, Kennecott Land
  • Wayne Niederhauser
    President, Utah State Senate
  • Brenda Scheer
    former Dean, College of Architecture + Planning, University of Utah
  • Charles Sorenson, MD
    President and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
  • Rich Walje
    President and CEO, Gateway Projects, at PacifiCorp

Envision Utah’s History

In 1997, Envision Utah launched an unprecedented public effort to maintain a high quality of life in the face of rapid growth in the Greater Wasatch Area. As a neutral facilitator, Envision Utah brought together residents, elected officials, developers, conservationists, business leaders, and other interested parties to make informed decisions about how the Greater Wasatch Area should grow. Envision Utah’s goal has always been to empower people to create the communities they want.

To understand our neighbors’ hopes for the future, Envision Utah conducted public values research, held over 200 workshops, and listened to more than 20,000 residents between 1997 and 1999. Residents shared a common dream: safe, close-knit communities; opportunities for our children; time to do what matters most; and the security of a good job. To achieve their aspirations, in 1999 Utahns created the Quality Growth Strategy, which provides voluntary, locally implemented, market-based solutions.

Simply said, it’s a strategy developed by the people of Utah to make life better for us and the next generation by providing more choices that match how we would like to live.

Since facilitating the Quality Growth Strategy, Envision Utah has partnered with more than 100 communities in Utah. To date, tens of thousands of Utahns have participated in Envision Utah-facilitated efforts. The Envision Utah approach of civic engagement has been replicated by dozens of regions around the country.

Today, Utah faces new challenges as we prepare for 2.5 million more people who will call Utah home by 2050. How we grow will affect how we and our children will live.

Envision Utah Founders

Some of the concerned citizens who formed Envision Utah in 1997:

  • Governor Mike Leavitt
  • Spencer F. Eccles
  • Larry H. Miller
  • Mayor Tom Dolan
  • Commissioner Gary Herbert
  • Elder M. Russell Ballard
  • Robert J. Grow
  • Bishop George Niederauer
  • William Smart
  • Roger Boyer
  • Kem Gardner
  • Aileen Clyde
  • David P. Gardner
  • Harris Simmons
  • Pamela Atkinson
  • Kelly Matthews
  • Norma Matheson
  • Ardeth Kapp
  • Commissioner Dannie McConkie
  • David Livermore
  • John Price

The Results of the Quality Growth Strategy

Hallmarks of this historic public process include the following::

Critical Lands

We are on track to develop as little as one half of the land we were projected to use by 2020. As a result, we have retained the natural beauty of the outdoors and more open space for farming and outdoor recreation. We’re also spending significantly less money on infrastructure by spreading infrastructure over less land.


The average size of our single-family lots has dropped from one third of an acre in 1998 to about one quarter of an acre in 2013. We are allowing the market to develop housing closer to employment and transportation options, which is improving access to jobs and lowering overall household expenditures.


As residential lot size decreased, so did our water usage, since smaller lots require less outdoor watering. Since 1998, per-capita water consumption has dropped as much as 25%. However, with continued population growth, capacity is being strained more than ever.

Transportation Choices

We’ve rebuilt our freeway system and added 140 miles of light rail, commuter rail, and street car, vastly expanding our transportation choices. Vehicles driven per capita have declined for the first time in many decades.

Air Quality

Even though we’ve added more cars, homes, and businesses, our overall emissions have decreased by 47% among all pollutants. But we have more work to do, especially to improve the air quality during our winter inversions and to combat the increased pollution that will be added as our population grows by another 2.5 million people.