Envision Utah is a “Public/Private Partnership formed to guide the development of a broadly and publicly supported Quality Growth Strategy - a vision to protect Utah's environment, economic strength, and quality of life.”
As a coordinating group, Envision Utah has helped bring together thousands of Utah residents, local organizations, research and technology experts, and Utah State Government. The ongoing Envision Utah planning process includes research concerning core values of Utah residents, workshops with key stakeholders to address where and how to grow, and extensive public awareness and education efforts asking Utah residents to express their preferences for their communities’ future. Key issues include environmental protection and conservation, transportation and housing options, governmental efficiency, and long-term visioning.
Envision Utah’s overall process follows a popular model for comprehensive planning, starting with an “Inventory” (including visioning) stage, moving to “Scenario Development,” and finishing with development of a “Quality Growth Strategy” and “Implementation;” the process included familiar elements and tools such as workshops and committees, charrettes, and surveys. The more unique aspects of the project are the scale and scope, the well-established public-private partnership, and some specific elements for visioning and implementation.
Envision Utah's goal throughout the process has been to involve key decision-makers and the community to gain support at the ground level. Envision Utah commissioned a nationally recognized polling firm, Wirthlin Worldwide, to conduct an in-depth study and a broad survey of area residents. The study proved to be very beneficial in determining the best course of action for the project with findings validating Envision Utah's initial principles on community involvement.
One of the most unusual aspects of the project was extensive and robust public engagement. Envision Utah estimated that the first phase of the project alone involved 135 public meetings, more than 4500 participants, distribution of 930,000 questionnaires with 23,500 responses, and 70,000 hours of technical work.