Editor’s note: prepared remarks delivered by Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie to a delegation of business and community leaders from Orlando, Florida visiting Salt Lake City.
Well let me tell you … It doesn’t get better than having such an extraordinary delegation of business and community leaders from Orlando visiting our beautiful city. On behalf of the Utah business community … Welcome. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your interest in Salt Lake City. And thank you for allowing us to share our best thinking when it comes to city building.
I’d like to ask members of the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors to stand up and be recognized for their business leadership.
I’d also like to acknowledge our business host and sponsor – Zions Bank.
Throughout the day, and now from our governor, you’ve heard about Salt Lake’s collaborative spirit. It is collaboration that helped us to build an extraordinary transporation system, to secure an invitation to the PAC12, to land a World Trade Center, to support world-class science, technology and research at our universities and to support a great NBA franchise … the Utah Jazz.
Yes, I even think collaboration has something to do with BYU and Jimmer’s success!
Collaboration is messy, difficult, frustrating and … indispensable. It is the secret sauce to our success in Salt Lake City. We’ve applied the principles of collaboration to foster a profoundly successful quality growth partnership – what you know as Envision Utah.
By any standard, Envision Utah is a regional planning success story. Tonight, we will dive into the core of Salt Lake’s regional vision – where we are tonight … downtown Salt Lake City.
Great regions have great centers of commerce. Every region needs a heart.
- New England has Boston
- The Great Lakes have Chicago
- The South has Atlanta (or should I say Orlando)
- The American Northwest has Seattle.
- And the Intermountain West has SALT LAKE CITY.
- (I might add that Kansas has Denver)
We like to say that Salt Lake City is “On the rise.” And during this visit, you will see that for yourself.
Four years ago, we took collaboration in Salt Lake City to a whole new level. It’s something called “Downtown Rising.” It is a movement to create a Great American City.
The fruits of this movement are well documented by the sites and sounds that are a apart of your visit. Rather than describe the vision, which will be very evident to you by the time you complete your visit, I would like to take a few minutes and share with you a few of the lessons learned from Downtown Rising.
You will then be able to see Downtown Rising in action as Mark Gibbons provides an overview of one of the nation’s largest mixed use projects currently under.
Your understanding of Downtown Rising will further solidify as you visit the University of Utah tomorrow and continue to experience this rising city in the interior west.
The first lesson of Downtown Rising is that PLACE MATTERS. I’m fond of an often used quote from Winston Churchill. He said, “First we build our cities, and then they build us.”
Indeed, the built environment – roads, buildings, transit networks, parks, trails, civic places – all become part of who we are as people. God gave us these rugged and beautiful mountains … it is up to us to create a livable city in their valleys.
The second lesson of Downtown Rising is that DOWNTOWN BELONGS TO ALL OF UTAH. In a very real sense, if you are a Utahn … you are a Salt Laker. This city is our identity to the world. It is the gateway to everything else in this beautiful state, including world-renowned national parks and recreation areas. We better make sure that downtown SLC has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
Earlier today you visited the award-winning Daybreak community. Downtown belongs to them.
While traveling their on our Mid-Jordan TRAX line, you traveled through South Salt Lake, Murray, Midvale, and West Jordan.
Downtown belongs to them too.
I live north of here in Davis County and yes, downtown belongs to me and my neighbors as well.
In fact, you could say that downtown Salt Lake City is the front door and living room to most of Utah. It’s where both residents and visitors enter our state.
Lesson number three – UNITY. We learned very quickly in Downtown Rising that multiple visions are like no vision at all. It’s just fine for property owner A, property owner B and property owner C to have separate plans for their footprint downtown.
For example, the LDS Church certainly has a vision for their properties adjacent to Temple Square, just as the owners of much of the property in mid-town have their plans for the future.
But at some level … all property owners benefit from having a common vision about their collective future. Together, these property owners have created not a program, not an initiative, but a movement. A movement called Downtown Rising.
A movement is when people with a common ideology unite to achieve transformational goals.
What is our common ideology? A love for this community, for this place and for the people of Utah.
What are our transformational goals?
To become a world city. A place where global matters are right at home.
To be a city of learning. A place where residents enthusiastically embrace lifelong learning, outstanding schools and top-notch research universities.
To be a welcoming city. A city that builds upon our stellar success in hosting the Olympic Winter games and welcoming the world to our home.
To be a city with soul … a city that is the foremost center in the Intermountain West for arts and entertainment.
To be a green city … a city that thinks, looks and acts green and develops in ways that are healthy, sensitive and sustainable.
And to be a city with the finest public transit system for any city of our size in America.
Well today and tomorrow, we invite you to “See for Yourself.” And as you do so I believe you will say to yourself … “It doesn’t get better than this.”
I will now welcome Natalie Gochnour, who has played a leadership role with Downtown Rising, to join me at the podium as we respond to your questions. After a few questions, I will turn the time over to Mark Gibbons to show you concrete evidence of Downtown Rising in action.