2013 IMCL Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award to Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City


Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City was presented with the 2013 IMCL Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award at the 50th IMCL Conference in Portland, OR, June 25, 2013. The Award was made in recognition of his “exemplary Livability Initiative, a program to make Salt Lake City one of the greenest, most inclusive and economically viable municipalities in the country.” The initiative improves conditions for walking, cycling and public transit, in conjunction with a focus on creating “vibrant, walkable neighborhoods, community hubs, and housing for a full range of incomes.”   

Mayor Becker’s passion to create more walkable neighborhoods anchored by lively neighborhood business districts, and connected by a network of trails, complete streets, light-rail and streetcars was palpable in the presentation he gave at the 50th IMCL Conference. By tweaking the zoning, more small-commercial clusters can be encouraged to locate near neighborhoods.

These strategies are all part of the Mayor’s goal is to make Salt Lake City the nation's first net-zero city. Planning to move his city beyond the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation, Mayor Becker wants to make SLC’s buildings truly self-sufficient. The net-zero goal is inspired by the city’s $125 million public-safety headquarters, which produces as much energy as it consumes through efficiencies and renewable technologies.

The special named award is in honor of Joseph P. Riley Jr., Mayor of Charleston, SC since 1975, guiding spirit in the US Conference of Mayors, founder of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and Member of the IMCL Advisory Board. This is the first year this special award has been presented. It will be reserved for Mayors who follow in Mayor Riley’s footsteps – who are visionary, passionate about shaping the built environment to enhance the lives of citizens, and who follow the principles of True Urbanism.