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A new 15-minute city is being developed near Salt Lake City

In 2018, the Utah State Legislature passed a bill creating a new land authority to guide the future development of 600 acres of state-owned land in Draper, Utah (just south of Salt Lake City). It’s near an area called The Point of the Mountain and so that’s what’s this project is now being called — The Point. Here’s a map to help you get situated:

In addition to this being a big and meaningful development opportunity with an estimated 7,400 new households being contemplated, the land authority also wants this to become an innovation hub and a model “15-minute city.”

There has been a lot of talk about 15-minute cities over the course of this pandemic, but the idea is simply to have all/most of your daily needs within walking distance of where you live and to not have to always rely on a car. This is a difficult thing to achieve in many cities, but I think it’s one the greatest urban amenities out there.

A big part of this is creating the right street network and planning for enough density, which is why this can be so challenging to do after the fact. Street grids, in particular, tend to be extremely sticky and mostly immutable. In this case, the plan is to create car free zones (or limited vehicle zones) across the various centers of the development.

Developing walkable communities from scratch is a lot harder than slotting into existing urban fabrics, particularly when you have a contrasting context all around it. You have to get a bunch of different things right for it to be successful. But we continue to see lot more of these urban-focused masterplanning efforts and I think the trend will only continue.

If you’re a developer who would like to participate in The Point, the RFP door is currently open.

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