Utah Valley Growth and Prosperity Summit discusses sustainable future of Utah

Utah’s leaders came together to address concerns and make plans for the future at the Utah Valley Growth and Prosperity Summit. Illustration by Ysabel Berger.

To make room for the influx of people, Utah’s leaders came together to address concerns and make plans for the future at the Utah Valley Growth and Prosperity Summit. According to research done by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, Utah County is calculated to have the largest population growth of the state in the approaching decade. 

Utah County’s population is projected to increase by 177% from the population in 2015, reaching 1.6 million by 2065, comparing closely to the population of Salt Lake County. Predictions of the Policy Institute also place 28% of Utah’s population in Utah county alone by 2065. 

We can see the growth of the Utah Valley happening right in front of our eyes. As of the fall semester, UVU had its largest student body count yet: 41,262. UVU has the largest student body population out of every university in the state. Fall semester of 2021 has the highest enrollment of female students and Black and African American students in UVU history. 

“UVU continues to be a place where students from all walks of life can achieve their academic goals and positively contribute to our state, said Tuminez in a report by UVU. “We believe every individual has unlimited potential and deserves the transforming benefits of a high-quality education.” 

The Utah Valley Growth and Prosperity Summit (UVGPS) was hosted by Utah Valley University (UVU) on Oct. 28. Many of Utah’s experts and professionals were in attendance, such as local political figures, environmental leaders and health professionals among others. President Astrid S. Tuminez was one of the highlighted speakers, in addition to several panel discussions–one featuring current Utah governor Spencer Cox and former Utah governor Gary Herbert. 

Eight main panels were held throughout the day, listed on the event’s schedule. Each panel highlighted topics that are vital in the conversation of the growth on Utah Valley’s horizon. Professionals and experts in each topic were featured on the panels to present and discuss ideas with attendees. In order, the eight panels included: Education & Workforce Development, Healthcare, Attainable Housing, Business Environment, Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Water, and Economic Outlook. 

Preceding the panels were speakers President Tuminez, Curtis Blair, Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, followed by a plenary panel titled, “Utah Valley Growth and Prosperity.” The summit concluded with a “Fireside Chat” which discussed the future vision for Utah Valley, and a signing of the, “Utah Valley Growth and Prosperity Compact.” 

The compact is a document outlining, “the principles that will govern the continued growth and prosperity of Utah Valley,” according to coverage of the event by UVU. Summit attendees signed the document as a commitment to adhere to these principles. 

Full coverage of the summit reported by UVU can be found here

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