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Health, Science & Environment

Mayor Becker, Infrastructure Officials Discuss Building to Conserve

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Nicole Nixon
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Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker speaks at the fifth annual Mayor's Symposium.

Salt Lake City mayor Ralph Becker came together with public utilities and infrastructure experts on Wednesday to discuss planning and building in a way that conserves land, water and natural resources along the Wasatch front.

The theme for the fifth annual Mayor’s Symposium was Green-Blue City; it focused on the natural land and water systems that support the Salt Lake Valley.

Mayor Ralph Becker says the symposium is an opportunity to share and receive input from the public about how to build and plan for the future. “We’re I think looking at how, as we develop our infrastructure, how we can best minimize costs, improve environmental results and provide for this community,” he says.

Mayor Becker attributes the quality of life, numerous recreation opportunities and the growth of Salt Lake City’s economy to natural resources.

Jeff Niermeyer is Director of Salt Lake City Public Utilities. He says it’s important to balance development with conservation. “We need to integrate those two concepts together because if we go hard on a built environment in the natural environment, we lose a lot as a community,” says Niermeyer.

Niermeyer says he is particularly concerned about providing clean water.

Citing recent reports in the news calling Salt Lake City “The Next Silicon Valley” and a growing place for business, Mayor Becker says it’s still important to think about sustainability and caring for natural resources, watersheds and open spaces in urban areas during periods of growth.

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