Having grown up in suburban LA, Pasadena has always seemed like an ideal city to compare to Provo. It’s a regional anchor, has a great old town, and is comparable in size to Provo. Though I’m not really a fan of southern California today, Pasadena in many ways (though not all ways) embodies what Provo should become.
But there are some major differences, most notably including income levels. Pasadena isn’t as rich as nearby San Marino, but it is still a fancy place compared to Provo. As a result, I think it will be a fascinating urbanist experiment to see if we can use development and regulation to become more like Pasadena, rather than having development grow organically out of local wealth. It’s an experiment I’m very much in favor of conducting (not that I have a say) but one with results that remain unclear.
(If and when it comes time for Provo to construct a new city building, we would be wise to look to Pasadena.)