Salt Lake City suffers from a problem of density. While it idealizes a vibrant downtown filled with activity, the fact is that Salt Lake, both physically and psychologically, lacks the density to support those dreams. From the lack of occupants – residents living in the downtown core – to the overabundance of available space, Salt Lake cannot truly achieve its desired vision of a thriving downtown without a fundamental re-thinking of how its blocks are developed.
Our entry into this competition, sponsored by the several Utah organizations including the AIA-YAF of Utah and the Downtown Alliance, is an examination of densities – both the physical density of the existing blocks and the psychological density of the experience of downtown. We believed that if we focused on the experience of density – the bustle of people, traffic, activity – we could create a masterplan that would address the current gaps of Salt Lake’s downtown fabric. The result – a new environment filled with the creative energy and constant activity that would draw both locals and visitors alike.