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Creating a Sustainable Des Moines

Young Professionals Connection A Sustainable DSM USA

April 10, 2012

Last year Greater Des Moines (DSM) got lucky.

It was one of just a few regions to receive a grant for what is known as “The Tomorrow Plan.” This sustainability study began in July 2011 and will continue into 2013 to ensure that the Greater Des Moines region has a sustainable plan for development over the next 30 years.

I know, it doesn’t sound like the sexiest topic in the world. So how is it that “The Tomorrow Plan” is now such a strong topic of interest to me and should be for you, too? I care about making the best possible future for Des Moines. Wow, talk about sounding cliché!

But it is true.

And whether you like it or not, you are part of Des Moines’ Tomorrow Plan also. Everything you do everyday affects the future of the region you live in. Where you live, where you work, and where you play are all intertwined and are impacting what Des Moines will be like in 30 years.

The planning is endless. It is a constant give and take cycle. It is crazy to learn that every choice you make in an effort to achieve one objective can change your ability to achieve another objective somewhere else in the region.

One of my favorite aspects of the plan though, is that it is not being created in a bunker somewhere. The Metro Planning Organization, which is leading the plan, is consistently hosting community-wide events to make sure everyone has a chance to learn about the process and contribute their ideas.

YPs: The Future of "The Tomorrow Plan"

Since it is a 30-year sustainable plan, it is arguably the young professional generation that should have the most influence. In fact, there is now a Young Professional Advisory Committee for The Tomorrow Plan to ensure YPs are engaged and have a chance to make an impact.

On April 19, the committee will host its first event at People’s on Court. You’ll have the opportunity to network while trying out a new interactive scenario tool that allows you to learn and give feedback at the same time. Check it out and share your thoughts, because what you say — or don’t say — can affect your tomorrow.

Jason Wells
Past-President