Davis Chamber CEO
“The future is not some place we are going, but a place we are creating. The paths to it are not found, they are made.”
This quote by Jane Garvey summarizes the essence of the long-range planning I am involved in through the Wasatch Choice 2040 initiative led by the Wasatch Front Regional Council.
Intelligently planning for our future doesn’t just happen. And if we leave the development of our resources to chance, we run the risk of creating seriously deficient communities that are woefully inadequate to meet the needs of our growing population in years to come.
If you ask someone my age what they want their legacy to be, they usually will say something like “I want to leave the world a better place for my grandchildren.” We want to preserve the environment that we enjoy and the standards that have shaped our lives and our communities. Unfortunately, a recent article revealed that today’s generation will probably not be as well-off as their parents.
Our visions for the future are natural extensions of the values that we share as a community. But which values are the most important? Are my values more important than yours? Is it simply “majority rules” or do we want to consider the values of all of the constituencies in our county?
What are these values I am talking about? Values are stable Р think about steady tides, not breaking waves. Values are widely shared and represent the consensus of the entire community. Things like easy access to transportation, safe neighborhoods, environmental awareness, open spaces, etc. are examples of values that can be universally accepted.
Even more specific, the list of values could include physical wellness, access to nature, service opportunities, spirituality, neighborhood schools, higher education, lifelong learning, neighborliness, community interactions, family interaction, quality recreational activities, employment, peace of mind . . . . the list goes on and is only limited by our ability to visualize a great future for ourselves and our grandchildren.
Our vision will help us preserve the best options for our tomorrow. The general consensus across the country is that decisions regarding the optimum way to handle projected growth are best left to the general public, to people like you and me. However, that means we need to be involved, to have our voice heard, with a desire to influence the changes that are coming. The worst thing you can do is sit back and worry about what is going to happen, or do nothing at all.
Remember Р the first planning commission meeting in Utah was held on July 27, 1847, just three days after the Mormon pioneers arrived in the valley. At that meeting they decided to require the streets to be wide, the houses to have a setback from the street, and to not allow certain animals to be kept within the city limits. Aren’t you glad they had the vision to plan back then? More importantly, will your grandchildren say they are happy that you got involved in planning today for the world they will grow up in? Your Chamber of Commerce is involved Р are you?