A Still More Glorious Daybreak Awaits


I've been telling people in person all about Lucy Raven's multimedia tour of Daybreak, Utah since it came out last fall; it's way past time that I mention it here. Daybreak is a massive real estate development strategy disguised as an advanced, master-planned, Community of The Future. It's Kennecott Copper's parent company's venture to maximize the value of tens of thousands of acres of land they've accumulated--and as often as not, filled or flooded or contaminated with the remnants of their century-old, open-pit mining operation--on the southwest side of the Salt Lake Valley. It's a 70-year plan to build a 100,000 acre suburb.

Or it was. Or is. Or was. Raven's text, photos, and interviews at Triple Canopy caught this industrial-scale city planning operation last year, just after the real estate market went off a cliff. To overextend the metaphor, Daybreak is lying on the ground, twitching, and not quite realizing what happened to it.

Anyway, the part I love to quote is Kennecott Land's Myranda Baxter explaining Daybreak's "village centers", warmed over New Urbanist retail offerings for "all your basic daily needs":

In other words, there'll be a medium-sized grocery store, all your mom-and-pop restaurants and little cafes, bakeries, dry cleaner, hair dresser--but on a small. scale. There are offices above the shopping areas, and the parking, as you'll notice, very little parking on the streets, because it's all tucked. behind the buildings. So it becomes a very pedestrian-friendly area and not a strip mall.

One funny incident was, the last time the commercial director came here he said, "I love all the people you send my way, who are interested in opening businesses, however. If there are any more tanning salons--[laughs]--I have about 30 tanning salons that want to open a business here, and I don't need any more applications."

Daybreak, by Lucy Raven, Issue 7 [canopycanopycanopy.com]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: January 18, 2010.

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