Utah’s Daybreak Shows a Way Forward for American Suburbs

Suburban dwellers are increasingly calling for more mixed-use development, walkability, and access to transit.

2 minute read

August 30, 2022, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View of houses against backdrop of snowy mountains from across a lake at sunset or sunrise

InnovativeImages / Daybreak, Utah

An article by Patrick T. Brown in Deseret News highlights the Utah community of Daybreak, which Brown argues can serve as a model for the more walkable, sustainable suburbs of the future. 

“In July 2020, three-quarters of Americans told pollsters that being within walking distance of destinations like shops and parks were important to them, yet too many new developments still assume a car-dependent lifestyle.” Consequently, developers are starting to build denser, mixed-use suburbs in an effort to provide both more spacious living quarters and access to amenities. 

“In contrast to restrictive zoning and land use restrictions that hinder development in many suburbs, Daybreak’s agreement with the city of South Jordan allows the developers to build housing at any density the market can support, with the potential of reaching 20,000 housing units over 4,200 acres.” Daybreak aims to offer housing at different price points and connects to the regional light rail system.

Brown argues that “The success of the Daybreak concept — using denser, traditional styles of development with amenities that attract families and keep housing costs affordable — should be one that spurs similar approaches throughout the country.” Like Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s campaign to make Paris a 15-minute city, American mayors should, in Brown’s view, take an intentional approach to cultivate dense, walkable, developments that buck traditional suburban norms. As Brown writes, “Booming metro areas will appeal to families when homebuilders are allowed to create developments where community life can organically occur.”

Monday, August 22, 2022 in Deseret News

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