PROVO -- Fifty years ago Provo residents were shopping at Taylor's Department Store, having lunch at Walgreens soda fountain, buying albums at Murray Music Center and listening to the top 40 on KOVO, KIXX and KEYY radio. On Wednesday, city leaders, stakeholders and residents will gather at the Provo+50 summit to discuss what the city will look like and what people we be doing in downtown come 2063.
Community development director Gary McGinn and Mayor John Curtis said after they had completed the 2030 visioning process they wanted to take the next step.
"Community development began working," McGinn said. He noted that when you talk about a few years out most people personalize their wants, but long term is different.
"We've been pushing the word out to everybody on this summit," public relations coordinator Whitney Booth said. "We anticipate more than 200 will be involved in the discussion."
Booth said residents may register through Monday at provoplus50.org. The cost is $15 and includes lunch.
"When you think long term we find people start thinking more about the common good than themselves. That's what we're hoping to accomplish at Provo+50," McGinn said.
The event will hold eight-minute power sessions to discuss topics like Provo's demographics, housing, transportation, economics, education, health care and more.
According to McGinn, one third of Provo's population, including baby boomers, young couples and singles, want to live in urban centers.
"That's why the new Provo City Center Temple, convention center, restaurants, theaters, music venues and more are becoming more popular. People like to watch other people, and they like to be seen and be a part of the scene," he said.
Discussion leaders include Ann Millner, former president of Weber State University; Alan Matheson, environmental adviser to Gov. Gary Herbert and former chair of Envision Utah; Steven R. Smoot, regional vice president of Intermountain Healthcare; John Pestana, cofounder of Omniture and owner of ObservePoint and Exact Rail; state planning coordinator Michael Mower; Amy Holloway, president of Avalanche Consulting; and Carlos Braceras, interim executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation.
Following the sessions, those attending will join in discussion groups based on information from the sessions. During the luncheon live polling will take place via texting with real time results on what residents think should happen.
To finish up the summit H. David Burton, the former presiding bishop of the LDS Church, will speak. McGinn said Burton was asked to speak because of his extensive knowledge serving in a multi-billion dollar corporation that is in numerous countries throughout the globe. He has seen their economic, welfare, education and other systems, while at the same time he is familiar with Provo and its demographics.
"He will share lessons he has learned, trends he has seen and what we can do to prepare for the future," McGinn said. "In 50 years buildings we have not yet built will be built, used and torn down. We want to narrow our focus and reveal glimpses of what Provo could be."
"This conference is not a 'here we are, we know the answers,' but 'here are questions we need to think about,' " McGinn said.
Following the Provo+50 summit Curtis is inviting those attending to join in a special press conference on the convention center's third floor terrace where a much-touted announcement will be made He will be joined by Herbert, state and local leaders, legislators and educators. Everyone is invited.