Salt Lake City’s Parks and Streets Collide With New Green Loop Network

Salt Lake City, Utah’s Downtown Plan calls for the development of a Green Loop linear park network integrated with city streets. The Green Loop will feature an urban forest providing shade, landscaped areas to receive stormwater, habitat for birds and pollinators, and green corridors for people to safely walk and bike. The long-term project has the potential to create up to 60 acres (0.6 hectares) of forest integrated into 5.5 miles (~8.9 km) of city streets.

Now, residents will be able to explore a temporary installation of the Green Loop, for six weeks in May and June. The pop-up installation will offer residents a chance to experience on a small scale what it would be like to have green space encircling the downtown area. The installation will begin set-up on April 17 and is scheduled for opening May 1. According to the city, the full Green Loop is likely to be developed over the next 5-10 years. 

“The streets on the Green Loop have been selected partly for their lower traffic volumes relative to their current width,” said Jon Larsen, Salt Lake City’s director of transportation. “These are streets where we believe the downtown forest can be prioritized, while maintaining access for local residents, businesses, and deliveries.”

Along with approximately 200 trees in large soil bags, the pop-up will feature plazas, seating, concerts, badminton, food trucks, and a beer garden on Saturday evenings. Vehicle traffic will be carefully managed, with space reserved for deliveries and nearby construction needs.

“With 190 trees temporarily added to this single block, this pop-up will allow our community to sample a greener design for 200 East. I invite residents and businesses to experience this unique event, and help us dream up a bold, permanent design for the future,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall.