Utah’s first 15 Minute City begins development
Point of the Mountain — Design Workshop Inc., an international landscape architecture, planning, and urban design firm, is pleased to announce it’s working with The Point of the Mountain State Land Authority (POMSLA) just outside Salt Lake City, Utah, along with key collaborators Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as the urban design and planning lead and Hales Engineering, Sam Schwartz, WSP, Great Basin Engineering and SJ&A in supporting roles.
As Utah continues to expand outward from existing city centers, more people are forced to drive farther between their homes and jobs. This results in more congestion, air pollution, and lost productivity for Utah’s workforce. The Point is a rare opportunity to reverse the trend by redeveloping a former state prison site into the first ‘15-minute city’ developed in the US where new jobs, housing, transit, and open spaces will improve health, prosperity, and vitality of Utahns. Planned as a 600-acre mixed-use development, The Point will become a key economic catalyst for approximately 14,000 people.
Design Workshop has completed a public realm framework plan and set of design guidelines for the streets, parks, open spaces, and trails that will be used by future developers to design and implement the vision created by state leaders and citizens for the property. The Point will offer an open space network that provides a completely connected pedestrian and bike network, allowing anyone to get to their destination within the property by foot or bike in less than 15-minutes.
“The approximately 140-acre open space network will provide a variety of parks, community gardens, greenways, and trails, and every development parcel is adjacent to the landscape network,” says principal Jim MacRae, leading the public realm design for Design Workshop. “Everyone at The Point will have a range of mobility choices from bikes and pedestrian paths to a rapid bus and an electric circulator vehicle that ensures that all residents and workers can quickly access public spaces such as a park, plaza, sports field, or recreational trail. One of the signatures of the park system will be River-to-Range Park, a linear open space that connects the Jordan River greenway to the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, creating a significant, mile-long ecological and recreational corridor for the project and surrounding cities.”
The parks and open space system will provide multiple benefits including a dedication of 50 percent of the public areas to naturalized landscapes, increasing the biodiversity of the site by 100 percent, treating 100 percent of stormwater through landscape features, and increasing carbon sequestration by 25 percent over conventional means.
“With our outstanding partners, we have a generational opportunity to transform an outdated prison site into a model 21st-century innovation community. The plan builds on extensive public input, rigorous analysis, and creative design solutions to create a place that is welcoming, respects Utah’s beautiful natural setting, incorporates leading technology and future-focused transportation, and provides world-class career opportunities,” says Alan Matheson, Executive Director of the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority.
The project is expected to start construction of the first phase of development in 2024.
About Design Workshop
Founded in 1969, Design Workshop is an internationally renowned design firm specializing in landscape architecture, urban planning, and strategic services with eight studios in the US and projects spanning the globe. Our work focuses on the intersection of art, community, environment, and economics to increase social equity and create places of meaning and resonance. For additional information visit us at www.designworkshop.com and follow @designworkshop on LinkedIn and Instagram.