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Downtown DSM: Future Forward

Downtown DSM: Future Forward Initial Summary Reception

  • Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
  • Time: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Location: Skywalk level on the south side of the Wellmark YMCA building in Downtown DSM

After a multi-month planning effort and a robust and inclusive community engagement process for the Downtown DSM: Future Forward Vision Plan and Action Plan, the plan’s leaders have compiled recommendations for public review and input. The recommendations will be presented at an initial summary reception where participants are welcome to stop by, review and provide feedback on the vision for the future of Downtown Des Moines (DSM) in a series of Vision Boards drafted with community-driven ideas.

Attendees can enter through the YMCA entrance at the street level and follow signs upstairs to the skywalk level. The event is open house style. Please feel free to come at a time during the event’s duration that works for you.

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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.


DSM Workforce Trends & Occupancy Study

The Greater Des Moines Partnership, Bâton Global and Reworc have released the results of the DSM Workforce Trends and Occupancy Study as it relates to the regional workforce, including Downtown Des Moines (DSM). The study included nearly 5,200 participants from 18 organizations to identify trends specific to the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region and Downtown DSM. This is the first-of-its-kind community-level study of knowledge workers in the world. Insights will be used to drive action steps in the Downtown DSM: Future Forward vision plan and action plan.

See the Initial Summary of the Downtown Workforce Trends & Occupancy Study:

Download Initial Summary

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.

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.