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Downtown DSM: Future Forward

The Greater Des Moines Partnership, in collaboration with Bravo Greater Des Moines, Catch Des Moines, City of Des Moines, Des Moines Regional Transit Authority (DART), Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce, Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), FuseDSM, Operation Downtown and Polk County, are working to develop a Downtown DSM: Future Forward, a community-driven Downtown vision plan and action plan, to help position Downtown Des Moines (DSM) for short-term economic recovery and long-term economic vitality and vibrancy.


What are Your Big Ideas for Downtown DSM?

The Downtown DSM: Future Forward project is underway. Several partners have come together to review past plans, talk with community members and put together a new vision and action plan for Downtown DSM. Stakeholders will focus on short-term recovery, long-term vibrancy and develop a plan that works for everyone.

A community plan needs community ideas. The Future Forward Steering Committee is interested to hear feedback from community members throughout the region about the many qualities of Downtown DSM including:

  • New amenities they would like to see
  • Their favorite public places and spaces
  • Where they work or enjoy amenities and activities in Downtown DSM
  • How Downtown DSM can be a community hub
  • How they get to and around Downtown DSM
  • Any other ideas they have for additional improvements

Ways YOU Can Get Involved

Planning Studio Open House

  • Date & Time: Tuesday, Dec. 14 from 3 – 6 p.m.
  • Location: Wellmark YMCA at 501 Grand Ave., Downtown DSM

Downtown DSM: Future Forward is a community-driven plan and will require community input to be successful. Attendees can stop by for 15 minutes (or longer) to interact with a series of displays on different emerging ideas about Downtown DSM (vision/goals, transportation, recreation, etc.). Planners will be present for informal discussions about your ideas.

The open house is a family-friendly event. Attendees can come solo or bring the whole family to learn more about, and weigh in on, the potential future of Downtown DSM. The open house event is set up for independent viewing to help each participant fully immerse themselves in their dream Downtown DSM and will include activities for children. The displays will be open throughout the 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. timeframe, allowing attendees to pick a time that is convenient for them to drop-in.

Interactive Mapping & Survey

Engage in additional activities:

Get Involved

Please contact Molly Hanson, Conservation & Community Outreach Specialist with RDG Planning & Design, if you have any additional questions.

About Downtown DSM: Future Forward

This inclusive process will be designed to build upon the momentum of Downtown DSM and set up Downtown DSM for future success. The growth of the Downtown population, amenities and overall vibrancy has mirrored the growth of the region in the last 20 years, and this vision plan creates a roadmap for the next chapter of Downtown and helps the region build upon the excitement that already exists Downtown through events, attractions, major projects, major employers and more.

Downtown DSM: Future Forward will also roll up into the Capital Crossroads regional vision plan, which will be updated in 2022. As part of the process, the plan's leaders and consultants will engage with the public to garner feedback and ideas for the future of Downtown DSM. Public engagement information will be announced in September.

The Downtown DSM: Future Forward Steering Committee will work extensively with a consulting team made up of local, regional and national experts who have international downtown experience as well. The team consists of Bâton Global, Civitas Consultants and RDG Planning & Design.

Future Forward Steering Committee Chairs

  • Jake Christensen, President of Christensen Development and Co-Chair of The Partnership's Downtown DSM Board
  • Angela Connolly, Chair of the Polk County Board of Supervisors and Quad Chair of Capital Crossroads regional vision plan
  • Mayor Frank Cownie, City of Des Moines
  • Kathryn Kunert, Vice President of Economic Connections and Integration at MidAmerican Energy

See a full list of the Future Forward Steering Committee Members.

Future Forward Council Leaders and Liaisons

  • Teree Caldwell-Johnson, President and CEO of Oakridge Neighborhood
  • Jen Carruthers, President of Capital City Pride
  • Mary Sellers, President of United Way of Central Iowa

See a full list of the Future Forward Council Members.