Encourage the Development of Vacant or Underused Parcels Within Existing Urban Areas

Who can implement this: City officials, communities, governmental organizations, and developers

Many parcels within urban areas in Utah County are vacant or underutilized. By developing these parcels before creating new developments at the fringe of urban areas, fewer agricultural lands will be threatened by encroaching commercial and business developments. Redeveloping urban centers and already inhabited areas is crucial to maintaining the quality of life Utahns have come to appreciate in their communities. Urban redevelopment preserves agricultural lands and reduces blight in urban areas, creating more appealing communities and street life. Redevelopment is also a major step toward making cities more walkable and accessible.


Redevelopment agencies in Orem and Provo (as well as any other urban area in Utah County) can provide tax incentives and loan programs to promote the reuse of vacant land parcels. Local governments can provide other incentives for the redevelopment of underused parcels.

  • City councils should consider creating redevelopment agencies in places where they do not yet exist. Redevelopment agencies should be encouraged and expanded to promote the redevelopment of parcels in urban areas across Utah County.
  • Redevelopment agencies should identify and flag underutilized parcels for redevelopment. These parcels can be flagged manually through public outreach or through computer-generated geospatial technologies.
  • Government agencies and private developers should work together to develop a land parcel according to the needs of the community. This will help reduce the amount of development needed at the edge of urbanized areas, where agricultural lands and other greenspace may be threatened by placing urbanization and development above the community’s desires.


Some of Utah’s largest cities have redevelopment agencies specifically focused on reducing blight and encouraging infill development within their municipalities. The Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency and the Provo Redevelopment Agencies are two of the state’s largest redevelopment organizations working to provide economic incentives to encourage infill development and administer programs, grants, and partnerships from city, state, and federal sources (like the Department of Housing and Urban Development).[1] [2]

Envision Utah’s Urban Planning Tools for Quality Growth includes a chapter on land reuse and infill development. See Chapter 4: Reuse and Infill within that document.[3]