Strategies for
Transportation AND Communities

Key Strategies

  • Develop an interconnected pattern of mixed-use neighborhood, village, town, and urban centers that bring destinations and opportunities closer to people.
  • Build a balanced transportation system that makes it convenient to get around with or without a car.
  • Provide a variety of neighborhoods Utahns can choose from, while allowing the housing market to provide a variety of housing options in all communities.
  • Connect communities with a system of trails and parks.
  • Plan development so that future roads, public transportation, power lines, water lines, job centers, etc., can be accommodated easily and inexpensively.

This vision, created by Utahns, for Utahns, establishes a clear context, framework, and direction for policy discussions and actions to achieve the future Utahns want. Although government will play an important role, Utahns recognize that achieving the vision will also require a concerted, cooperative effort by individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations in the private sector.

Many tools to implement the strategies below were created with the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Toolbox. Those tools can be found here.


1. Build mixed-use centers throughout urban and suburban areas that include places of employment, compact housing, shopping, civic uses (schools, churches, etc.), and recreation.

  1. Provide a variety of centers, including the following:
    1. Neighborhood centers, which might include a park, a school, and/or a church within walking distance of homes.
    2. Village centers (e.g., 9th and 9th in Salt Lake City), which might include local shopping (e.g., a grocery store), small-scale employment, compact housing, etc.
    3. Town centers (e.g, Sugar House), which might include regional shopping (e.g., home improvement or department stores), employment, high schools or higher education, compact housing, etc.
    4. Urban centers (e.g., downtown Ogden), which include several places of employment, shopping centers, multistory housing, etc.
  2. Design new communities to be centered around neighborhood, village, and town centers.
  3. Remove barriers to and encourage the development of mixed-use centers within existing communities, particularly in older, underutilized commercial areas.
  4. Design mixed-use centers to make walking and biking convenient.
  5. Locate centers around existing high-frequency public transportation where feasible, and plan new routes to and from centers.
  6. Integrate school and neighborhood planning so students can easily and safely walk to schools.
  7. Locate job, education, and health-care centers near high-capacity public transportation where it is practical.

2. Design a balanced transportation system that makes travel in communities convenient with or without a car.

  1. Create an interconnected network of streets that disperses traffic and increases the convenience of traveling by foot or bicycle.connected_streets_for_web.jpg
  2. Expand the public transportation system (bus, rail, etc.) to improve coverage, frequency, access, and convenience.
  3. Continue to improve and expand roads.
  4. Locate places of employment, schools, and healthcare facilities near public transportation.
  5. Improve infrastructure for walking and biking (sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, etc.), particularly near public transportation stations.
  6. Design streets, where appropriate, to accommodate bicycles, pedestrians, and public transportation, as well as automobiles.
  7. Design buildings to improve access for bicycles and pedestrians by locating entrances near the street and placing parking where it does not impede pedestrian access.

3. Provide a variety of neighborhoods Utahns can choose from, while allowing the housing market to provide a variety of housing options in all communities.

  1. Structure zoning to allow a sufficient supply of a full variety of housing types, while mitigating impacts to existing neighborhoods.
  2. Otherwise ensure that regulation does not hinder developers from providing an adequate supply of housing to meet market demand.

4. Connect communities through a network of parks and trails.

  1. Expand and connect trails to create integrated regional trail systems.
  2. Design and enhance trails so people can conveniently use them to travel either to their destinations or to public transportation.
  3. Cooperatively plan trail networks at community and regional scales before population growth occurs.

5. Strategically plan so that future development and infrastructure can be accommodated as cities grow.

  1. Plan ahead for road/transit/trail/utility corridors.
  2. Ensure the prime areas for mixed-use centers and employment centers are not developed for other purposes (e.g., large-lot homes).