Landscape urbanism plays an important role in the City Creek Center project in Salt Lake City. Redeveloping the aging and failing retail center into a mix of dense residential, office and retail spaces was an urban design challenge and required rescaling the super-sized blocks of Salt Lake City to be comfortable at the pedestrian scale. As the first project in a city-wide revitalization effort known as Downtown Rising, our video, “Reconnecting Downtown Salt Lake City” highlights the essence of the project and process.
Perhaps the most pedestrian friendly area of the city, the adjacent headquarters of the Church of Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ and nearby convention centers attract a variety of events and people with nowhere to go up — until now.
While many may have looked at the large 660ft superblocks or the 120ft street right of ways as large obstacles to overcome, our design team and the ownership believed the blocks held great opportunity. By bisecting the blocks and filling in with this urban landscape, there was a tremendous opportunity to insert a pedestrian layer that complements existing transit flows of automobiles, mass transit, and light rail. The existing urban fabric did not have to completely change and go away but rather this new pedestrian layer could be inserted into the old and a new scale, a new texture, and a new sense of urbanism could come into Salt Lake City.
Aside from retail success, a recreation of the real City Creek on the site was of utmost importance to the client and owner groups. With landscape as the thread that ties the project together, the project accomplished both.