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Capital Crossroads 2.0 Update: June 2017

Capital Crossroads Ten Capitals in DSM USA

June 30, 2017

As the community launched Capital Crossroads 2.0 in February, our group of volunteers understood the significant journey that laid ahead of us: Implementing a nearly 130-page comprehensive community development strategy that spans topics from economic development to mental health to arts and culture. Not only is this plan significant for the Greater Des Moines Partnership (launching Capital Crossroads 2.0 and its implementation strategies in conjunction with community partners is part of The Partnership’s 2017 strategic priorities), it is also integral to the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region at large.

Community development is a marathon, not a sprint. In the first few months of executing on the vision plan, Capital Crossroads 2.0 volunteers have made significant progress across all ten Capitals or work platforms.

Business Capital

The Business Capital, which is implemented through the Greater Des Moines Partnership, worked with local economic development organizations in the second quarter to retain and expand businesses such as Atlantic Bottling, Compressor Controls, Facebook, Global Atlantic, Siegwerk USA and Windsor Windows.

Capital Core

Part of the Capital Core team is updating a retail study that was published in late 2013. We also have a team working on developing a Downtown Des Moines (DSM) workforce housing plan, which will serve as a template for other areas of the region upon its completion.

Cultivation Corridor

The Cultivation Corridor generated investment leads through trade shows and expos across the nation. The organization also has released several new pieces of collateral designed to help share the message that Central Iowa is the premier destination for agricultural investment, talent and research.

Cultural Capital

Officials convened a dozen conversations open to the public, individual artists, nonprofit arts organizations and for-profit creative businesses and professionals to inform the Regional Cultural Assessment. The Assessment will be complete later this summer and will frame the work of the Cultural Capital.

Governance Capital

The Governance Capital’s Local Government Collaboration (LGC) Project continues to be a shining example of what can be accomplished through regionalism. Fourteen jurisdictions are expected to approve the uniform building code developed through the LGC’s Central Iowa Code Consortium. It is also working on developing the Fair Play Agreement 2.0 along with the Business Capital.

Human Capital

The Partnership collaborated with the University of Iowa to establish year-round housing options for interns at the Iowa Center for Higher Education, bolstering the work of the Human Capital. Representatives from The Partnership and United Way of Central Iowa also helped pass a bill expanding alternative pathways for residents to achieve their High School Equivalency Diploma this legislative session.

Natural Capital

The Natural Capital supports the work of Connect Downtown to enhance walkability in Downtown DSM. The beginning stages of the regional parks plan has started in collaboration with Iowa State University, and two events were held as part of the Current Conversations on Water Quality: an Upstream-Downstream Exchange in partnership with Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance.

Physical Capital

The Des Moines Area MPO awarded more than $13 million to 16 transportation projects, playing a significant role in the Physical Capital. Officials also developed a proposed governance model for DART, and now efforts are underway to study potential funding models for implementation of DART Forward 2035. An engineering study is underway for the regional water trails plan, infrastructure in a few communities is being upgraded to provide for up to gigabit internet connectivity and work to establish a land bank continues to move forward.

Social Capital

The Social Capital is working with various stakeholders to begin identifying community goals particularly focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. In May, the Community Foundation hosted a training on Leading with Civility in partnership with the Ray Center and Capital Crossroads.

Wellness Capital

The Wellness Capital has created a survey tool that is currently being piloted to assess and improve workers’ social and emotional well-being, while our friends at the Healthiest State Initiative have launched the Iowa Walking College, an interactive and no cost, six-month program to explore ways to improve walkability around the state.

Read the full report.

Overall, Capital Crossroads continues to aggressively ignite the region as one collaborative effort to push Central Iowa to new heights — with much more exciting work to be done on the horizon.

Want to get involved? Sign up to volunteer with Capital Crossroads. Learn more about Des Moines’ Regional Vision Plans.

Bethany Wilcoxon

Bethany Wilcoxon leads McClure's community development team, developing and guiding cross-discipline planning opportunities that enhance the quality of life in Upper Midwest communities. She previously led the development of The Tomorrow Plan and served as director of Capital Crossroads. Bethany and her husband live in Des Moines.