Our region’s newcomers tend to be concentrated in small pockets throughout the Salt Lake Valley, in neighborhoods where the cost of housing is low. Because transportation and language tend to be a barrier for these communities, these neighborhoods can feel isolated from the rest of the region and typically lack access to healthy food, jobs, schools, parks/recreation, and government/community services.
‘Livability’ is the sum of the factors that add up to a community’s quality of life—including the built and natural environments, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity, and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities, and community identity.
Salt Lake County is working with its partners and the community to improve the livability – or quality of life –through community events, neighborhood infrastructure improvements, and by bringing services to the community.
Example: Sunnyvale/West Millcreek Community
Sunnyvale is a neighborhood in Salt Lake County with a large population of immigrants and refugees living in the many apartment complexes along 3900 S between 500 W and 1300 W. The neighborhood is in ‘no man’s land’, located on the edges of 5 different jurisdictions: Murray, Taylorsville, South Salt Lake, West Valley City, and unincorporated West Millcreek. Because of its location, the neighborhood lacks many services within walking distance of its residents. For many of the residents, language and transportation are a barrier, making the community feel isolated. The community is also physically isolated because there are no connection points to other neighborhoods. For example, to the east, the community is cut off by a large overpass spanning the freeway, an industrial area, and the railroad. Sunnyvale Neighborhood Center (operated by Asian Association of Utah) and the West Valley Center Park (operated by Salt Lake County Parks & Rec and located at 4013 S 700 W) are key community spaces in the Sunnyvale neighborhood.