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4th Annual Mayor's Symposium Gets Big Draw by U's Dept. of City and Metro Planning

Bob Nelson

What is Salt Lake City going to look like in 2050 with double the population predicted along the Wasatch Front? The University of Utah’s Department of City and Metropolitan Planning hosted the 4th Annual Mayor’s Symposium Thursday. Participants worked on that population question with the theme Mountain Urbanism, Mountain Modernism. Nan Ellin is the chair of the department.  She says the intent of the event is to catalyze the conversation about how to build harmoniously in the mountain landscape.

“There’s a lot of tremendous work already being done and we feel that this is a very ripe moment to bring more and more into the conversation,” she says.

Ellin says simply focusing on the challenges like air quality is counterproductive.

“Our attitude is we start from our strengths and we build on those and as we build on those, we address the problems but by this time when the problems arrive,” says Ellin. “we see them as opportunities.”

Credit Bob Nelson
Nan Ellin, chair of the University of Utah Department of City and Metropolitan Planning, opening the 4th Annual Mayor's Symposium.

She points to goals like becoming the nation’s most bike-friendly city or the city with the best transit system.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams was the only mayor at the symposium. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was attending a meeting of the White House Climate Task Force. Instead he delivered a video message to the crowd. About 250 people participated in the symposium at The Leonardo in downtown Salt Lake City.

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