Provo asks for BYU students’ city planning ideas

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The Provo City Council is asking for residents’, including BYU students, input in designing a new city General Plan.

The General Plan is “a policy document that outlines our city’s future, specifically focused on the built environment or development,” said Provo City Council member Shannon Ellsworth. It considers components such as housing, transit, public facilities, infrastructure and natural spaces.

The current General Plan was written in 1997 and has received occasional updates, but Ellsworth said it is time for a new plan to adapt to the growing city’s needs. In this initial stage of the planning process, the City Council has created a survey for Provo residents to submit their ideas and make their needs heard.

Ellsworth said it is “critical” that BYU and UVU students living in Provo take the survey. “I know there’s a lot of students that feel disconnected from our community or feel like they’re only here for a short time, or feel like they aren’t heard or their needs aren’t met, and this is a top way for them to communicate those needs.”

Students who take the survey aren’t only representing themselves, Ellsworth said. They’re also representing students who will live in Provo in the future. Students might want anything from different kinds of parking to higher quality housing.

“That’s what we need them to tell us because we don’t read minds, and we really value their input,” Ellsworth said.

There are three phases in the General Plan creation and implementation process. The first phase is doing research, including the survey for residents. Phase two is to synthesize and prioritize the research. This phase includes public engagement and drafting the plan. The third phase is to finalize and implement the General Plan. This phase will also involve putting the plan through a public process.

Residents will have opportunities to give input in all phases, but the deadline for the initial survey is 5 p.m. on Dec. 21.

Good city planning has always been a top priority for Ellsworth. She said she wants this plan to anticipate the needs of the growing population and prepare for the people who will live in Provo in 2050.

Anyone who wants to take the survey or find more information about the new General Plan can visit provogeneralplan.com.

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