Northwest Quadrant: nonsensical, inevitable or both? Last Updated on 2010-07-02 00:00:00Northwest Quadrant: nonsensical, inevitable or both?
Salt Lake City planners imagine a green utopia on empty wetlands.
By Katharine Biele
Wilf Sommerkorn isn’t exactly Brigham Young, but he knows a catchy phrase when he hears one.
“This might be the place,” Sommerkorn says, trying to sway a small group of sustainability advocates who’ve come to hear about this cool new village plan. Right here in Salt Lake City—well, sort of right here.
Plans are progressing to develop almost 19,000 acres of land west of the Salt Lake City Airport [see “This Is the Place,” March 11, City Weekly]. This is not land that you’d normally see developers rushing to snatch. Winding around and through mosquito-infested wetlands of Great Salt Lake, the low-lying, saline parcels are populated by migrating fowl, cattle and sheep farmers, a duck club and a couple... More »
Letter to the Editor (Salt Lake Tribune)Last Updated on 2010-06-12 00:00:00Letter to the Editor:
by Jean Arnold
Developing the Northwest Quadrant would be a big mistake for the City of Salt Lake. The proposed project of placing 70,000+ people west of the airport is being portrayed in almost utopian terms, as green and "sustainable," but this is far from the truth. How green is encroachment upon critical wildlife habitat? How green is frequent insecticide spraying for mosquitoes, so people can live there? How green is an eight-mile commute to downtown, assuming most people will continue driving?
The real green thing is to continue creating more density in the city we already have – the City's goal for a decade. Well-planned, denser cities are more livable, more walkable, and more vibrant. People drive less, and mass transit functions better. Infrastructure costs like roads, power, and sewer are saved. If the Salt Lake City... More »
Northwest territory: Salt Lake's big planning challengeLast Updated on 2010-05-28 00:00:00Northwest territory: Salt Lake's big planning challenge
There are many good reasons why virtually no one lives in the area of Salt Lake City west and north of the airport. Much of the land is dusty playa that barely supports plant life. It smells of the Great Salt Lake, and there are bugs. But anyone who has spent time birding in the marshes of the lake knows it also has a peculiar, desolate beauty, and that the abundance of avian life there is spectacular.
Given our druthers, we would see this area, known as the Northwest Quadrant, remain as it is. The marshes should be preserved as a bird sanctuary, integral as they are to one of the most important flyways in all of North America. The higher ground should continue to support agriculture, mining, warehousing and manufacturing, not housing. The more open space, the better.
But pretending that the... More »
Smart Growth News, May 1, 2010Last Updated on 2010-05-05 00:00:00source: http://www.smartgrowth.org/news/article.asp?art=7626&State=45&res=1024
Salt Lake City Mega-Development Plan Splits City Leaders and Environmentalists
Focused on mixed uses, multi-modal mobility and energy efficiency, a master plan for Salt Lake City's 19,000-acre Northwest Quadrant, envisions housing of perhaps 300,000 residents over the long term. Its passage by the City Council this summer, however, is far from certain.
The quadrant's land-use map, located west of the airport and crossed horizontally in the middle by I-80, outlines large natural areas north of the highway buffering centrally located village, town and neighborhood centers. These centers include housing of various types and densities, retail, schools, and civic space, with a nearby transit-oriented development node in the highway's employment corridor. It also shows smaller employment zones and... More »