Pop-up green spaces take over roads in downtown Salt Lake City

May 30, 2023, 6:25 PM | Updated: 6:47 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Some downtown Salt Lake roads are filled with hundreds of trees in the middle of the road as a part of a 6-week project called Green Loop.

“So far, I think people are really liking it,” said Jon Larsen, transportation director for Salt Lake City.

About 190 trees are gathered together, creating a barrier between foot traffic and cars on 2nd East.

“The pandemic was really an accelerator for it as far as highlighting the need to create more space that is connective for people outdoors,” Larsen said.

He said the pandemic was really an accelerator for it as far as highlighting the need to create more connective space for people outdoors.

“The idea is that downtown keeps growing vertically, and we keep adding more people downtown, but we can’t manufacture new park space,” the director expressed. “Except for, maybe we can because we have these really wide streets.”

The long-term concept is to create green corridors by adding nearly 10,000 trees — it would be a 5-and-a-half-mile pathway circling downtown and adding 60 acres of an urban forest and park space to parts of 2nd East, 9th South, 5th West, and a combination of South and North Temple.

“We are growing fast, and we need to figure out a way to provide some amenities,” Larsen said. “For the people that are moving down here, whether it’s a place to make downtown more family-friendly, to put in more park space for kids, or a lot of people have dogs, and dogs have needs.”

Until June 10, residents can see the popup, catch some live concerts, and local businesses, play badminton, and try some food trucks.

“Each block is going to look a little bit different, so we really want people’s feedback, and now is the time to kind of get creative with is,” Larsen said.

He said the city welcomes public feedback through their survey on the city’s website.

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Pop-up green spaces take over roads in downtown Salt Lake City