Design Your Neighborhood for Living (not driving).

For 50 years America has been conducting an experiment in urban planning–designing all of our cities around the needs of automobiles. Lots of “free” parking, lots of highways, and lots of fuel subsidies to keep cars fed.  I think we can all agree that this experiment is coming to an end, and nearly every community[…]

Plant of the Week: Red Tip Photinia

I didn’t discover photinia until this year–a random find at Millcreek Gardens at the beginning of summer. This gorgeous shrub is a broadleaf evergreen, with a dark green, waxy leaf. New growth is bright red, giving the plant a really distinct look in spring and summer, and a sharp contrast from all the green out[…]

Community Building Through Community Gardens

To say that community gardens are growing in popularity along the Wasatch Front is a bit of an understatement.  “Empty” parcels all over the valley are being repurposed to facilitate food production, and many groups have found that social connections are an added benefit to gardening as a community. The Deseret News published a story[…]

Plant of the Week: Purple Sage

I saw this plant for the first time in my friend Katie’s backyard, and now I’m seeing it everywhere! Salvia officinalis ”Purpurea” or “Purple Sage” is an ideal border plant for the Rocky Mountain climate. It thrives in dry climates, needs little maintenance, provides a strong fragrance, has a long blooming season, and its purple[…]

Carmageddon: Why Did Nothing Happen?

Despite months of hand-wringing and apocalyptic warnings of doom and destruction, Los Angeles’s weekend of “Carmageddon” resulted in exactly nothing happening.  Tales of traffic being backed up “to the Mexico border” and “worse” were told for weeks, and officials warned the populace to prepare for the worst as the 405 was shut down for 53[…]

Salt Lake County Economic Development Best Practices; Salt Lake City, UT

VODA worked with LYRB and Salt Lake County planning and economic development staff to create  a new “Best Practice” document to guide future economic development in the region. This document was added to the Best Practices document developed in 2008 by VODA, CRSA, and others for inclusion in Salt Lake County’s Township General Plans. The Economic Development Best Practice focuses on specific funding mechanisms that will best assist local governments in ensuring development is guided and sustainable.   In 2010 the Township General Plans were awarded a “plan development” award by the Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association.

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Sugar House gardens thrive where tennis players once did

The article below was published recently on the Sugar House Community Garden, a project VODA has been volunteering with in recent months. By TONY SEMERAD The Salt Lake Tribune First published Jul 05 2011 Its plants and fertile beds may be temporary, but the Sugar House Community Garden could have a lasting effect on how[…]

Rowhaus Residence; Salt Lake City, UT

Working with a very small space can often encourage more efficient use of precious square footage. With an outdoor space measuring only 22 feet by 24 feet, every inch was important for the client of this Rowhaus Residence. VODA designed a simple, modern space, with clean lines, reflective of the Bauhaus aesthetic of these townhomes. […]