Utah is growing. One of the most popular outdoor recreation and ski destinations in the United States is looking to continue on its path of development. The Point, being a proposed 600-acre city, would be located near Salt Lake City in Draper, UT, and would house residents 30-45 minutes away from the Snowbird, Alta, Sundance, Solitude, and Brighton ski areas.
The Point hopes to become Utah’s most sustainably futuristic city, focusing on the principles of “building community, next-generation mobility, creating an economic catalyst, designing for innovation, a national model for sustainability, regional collaboration, and parks for all.” One of the main goals of the proposed city is to center itself around sustainable transportation by taking a walk/bike first approach, having car-free zones, and making sure that all residents are only a few minutes walk to a transit center.
The Point plans to become a global model for becoming a sustainable city. To do this, the city will have strictly enforced restrictions on residential and commercial carbon emissions, water usage, and waste. Additionally, the city will focus on efficient innovation and smart systems that encourage individuals to live their daily lives more sustainably.
Providing residents with the highest quality of life is also one of The Point’s main goals. To “attract outstanding talent and investment, [The Point will] create scholarships, special programs, and tech summer camps” and will work with local universities and companies that advocate for ingenuity, diversity, and innovation. Health and safety will be two of the top-most priorities, and the economy will be based on resource management and sustainable urbanism. Every resident in The Point will live within a block of a trail, within a five-minute walk to transit, and a two-minute walk to a protected park or open space.
A central park will promote community events and outdoor recreation within The Point. Wasatch Park, for example, will be home to several shops, courts, gardens, food trucks, bike hubs, and art features that endorse a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. The Central Park will have a stage, a pavilion, lawns, playgrounds, and more that will be good for sought-after events or a casual unplanned night. The proposed development will also be full of commercial and entertainment options that are open late.
The Point seems to be an idea that many have had before, yet few have actually done and developed. Much of what developing The Point encompasses is studied and legitimate, but other aspects need further research and discussion. A former Utahn has raised the concern: “Can the state handle this type of growth when a major water crisis is ongoing? They can use the word sustainable all they want, but tens of thousands of people are going to use up a lot of water.”
If The Point can be successfully developed, it will become a global model for sustainable development and urbanism. The planet is currently facing several unique, environmentally-based disasters. If The Point can become a model for diminishing human effects on these, then it will be extremely valuable.