PPC Gathers Community to Reimagine Pioneer Park

To: The Pioneer Park Coalition

From: Soren Simonsen

The Pioneer Park Urban Design Assistance Team (Team) is convening this weekend to update and help bring to fruition concepts outlined in Salt Lake City’s 2006 Pioneer Park Master Plan. The Team is comprised of Utah’s prominent urban design community-designers, architects, landscape architects, planners and other technical specialists. The Team will focus on physical improvements to the Park and neighborhood, to support and address in part many complex community issues of the district. These issues range from homelessness, social services, drug-related crime and prostitution, to housing and neighborhood development, mobility, economic development and Salt Lake City history.


The Urban Design Assistance Team is an initiative of the Pioneer Park Coalition (Coalition) and is sponsored by the Utah Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Team is working under the direction of and in close coordination with Salt Lake City.

The Coalition was organized one year ago, and has brought together over 250 stakeholders to bring attention, focus and resources to address issues and expand community building opportunities in the Pioneer Park neighborhood. The Coalition and its partnerships are dedicated to the revitalization of Pioneer Park and working towards effective and sustainable solutions to crime and homelessness in Salt Lake City. Their goal is to make Pioneer Park and the surrounding neighborhood family-friendly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Over a 4-day period, from Friday, February 6 through Monday, February 9, the Team will convene for an intensive design “charrette.” This work session is expected to generate 300 hours of pro-bono urban design and planning services, research and technical assistance. The 15 core team members are expected to contribute 20 or more hours each, with additional support from technical experts and volunteers before, during and after the charrette. The voluntary contributions of the Team represent a financial benefit to Salt Lake City of more than $50,000.

Salt Lake City is coordinating outreach efforts in the neighborhood and more broadly in the community. A Public Open House will be held on Thursday, February 5, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, to launch the charrette weekend and generate public interest and input. The Open House will be held at Big-D Construction, 404 West 400 South, at the southwest corner of Pioneer Park. A second Public Open House will be held following the charrette, and more details will be available as that event is confirmed.

The public is invited to drop in and observe the Team in action throughout the weekend. The Team will be working from the offices of NWL Architects, located directly west of Pioneer Park at 336 South 400 West. Interaction with the Team during the charrette will be limited, allowing Team members to focus on their work efforts. However, an informal progress session is scheduled at 4:00 pm on Saturday, February 7, to allow an opportunity for questions and answers with the public and other stakeholders.

The AIA is the professional association of architects and the architectural profession. Community engagement and service is an important element of the AIA mission. Prior Design Assistance Team projects organized by AIA Utah include the Salt Lake City Second Century Plan, Ogden Downtown R/UDAT, Salt Lake City Downtown R/UDAT, West Valley City Center R/UDAT, Salt Lake Downtown Rising (in partnership with the Salt Lake Chamber), West Jordan DAT, Morgan Valley DAT, Cache Valley SDAT and Tremonton SDAT.

The PPC Park Subcommittee will organize a Coalition Charrette Review in the month of June to present on the UDAT findings, designs, and to address the next step for Pioneer Park development. Stay tuned!

For additional information contact:

Søren Simonsen, Architect & Urban Designer, 801-706-1055soren@communitystudio.us
Heather Wilson, AIA Utah Executive Director, 801-532-1727hwilson@aiautah.org

More in the News: