Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Our House In the Middle of the Street

If you have ever visited Salt Lake City or other cities settled by Mormons, you might have noticed unusually wide streets. The reason is that their grids were based on an agricultural utopian plan devised by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. The plan decreed that every street be wide enough for a loaded ox cart to flip a uey; this translates to at least four modern lanes (and often more) with widths ranging from 66 to 172 ft. While this bit of urban planning might have been great for ox-cart drivers and those they served (both constituencies having passed 100+ years ago), it didn’t lay the foundations for dense, walkable city centers. An organization called The Kentlands Initiative is proposing to find new uses for these wide lanes, adding housing and commerce to the medians of SLC’s commodious streets.


Kentlands already set up a successful popup installation called Granary Row. It featured a shipping-container housed beer garden and various shops plopped in the median of a sleepy stretch of road. They are now trying to obtain a 99 year lease for the land, facilitating more permanent structures.


The concept, while a bit unorthodox, is kind of hard to argue with. First, they’re not eliminating any thoroughfares–merely trimming them to a size that’s proportionate to traffic to their existing traffic. Secondly, since the city owns the streets, they would be the leaseholder and directly benefit from the plan.

Via Gizmodo

  • Moving to SLC

    Im all for using space efficiently, but, this guy is not considering the consequences of narrowing the roads. Has he ever been to Denver? Narrow streets and heavy population equals slower traffic, equals more cars sitting on the road idling and causing higher emissions! Does SLC really want more pollution just to have more shops and restaurants? Not to mention the wide streets are what makes SLC such a nice,safe city to ride your bike in, i.e. ,even less pollution! I think SLC should reconsider this project and find what is really important to them. More shopping or better air quality? Hmmmm, I choose better air quality!