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Urban community development -- Utah -- Salt Lake City, Transportation -- Planning, City planning-- Utah -- Salt Lake City, Regional planning -- Utah -- Salt Lake City, Land use -- Planning


A “polycentric” region is a network of compact developments (centers) that are connected with each other through high-quality transportation options. As the antidote to sprawling suburbs, compact centers can encourage all the things that sprawl discourages: public health, environmental sustainability, social cohesion, and economic diversity. But how can metropolitan planning organizations ensure that their regional plans will actually meet these goals? Polycentric development has been advocated by urban and transportation planners for more than a decade. However, effective practice must be backed by solid research, and to date there has been little or no research that quantifies the transportation benefits of having multiple centers – or defines what actually makes a center. A new study from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) offers the strongest evidence yet produced on the transportation benefits of polycentric development. Researchers partnered with local agencies to help the Salt Lake County region in Utah make informed decisions about future growth patterns.


This is a summary of TREC research project NITC-RR-1217 Reducing VMT, Encouraging Walk Trips, and Facilitating Efficient Trip Chains through Polycentric Development, which can be found online at:

Final Report NITC-RR-1217 can be found at:

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