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Salt Lake City residents are just a text message away from letting planners know what they like and don't like about their town and how they'd like to see it 20 years from now.

A new "community feedback tool" called Textizen will allow residents to text city planners with opinions and insights for the next four weeks. The information will be used in shaping Salt Lake City's new comprehensive plan, according to planning supervisor Nole Walkingshaw.

For the next month, residents and commuters may find posters asking, "What's your favorite thing about Salt Lake City?" and a phone number: 801-430-9863.

"They can see it while waiting for TRAX and say, 'I'll do this right now,' " said Karen Hale, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ralph Becker.

After an initial response, the resident will receive a return text message asking what he or she does not like about Salt Lake City.

When the resident or commuter responds to that inquiry, another text message will come back asking how that person would like to see Salt Lake City in the coming decades.

The system was pioneered by Washington, D.C.-based Code for America and enables residents who are unable to attend city meetings the opportunity to participate in government, Hale said.

"We are so lucky to have technology at our fingertips where people can play a significant role in planning this city's future," she said. "For us not to use that would be short-sighted."

The four-week Textizen program is coming at the end of the city's "Plan Salt Lake" program, which has been gathering data and citizen input for the new comprehensive plan, Walkingshaw said.

The text information collected during the next four weeks will be added to other data to formulate the comprehensive plan, which Walkingshaw described as an over-arching plan that will serve to guide the myriad master plans for locales and programs within the city.

Be a 'Textizen'

I For the next month, you can text your kudos, complaints and long-term vision for Salt Lake City to 801-430-9863.

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