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How We YPC - Morning Meetup

Young Professionals Connection Tomorrow Plan

April 20, 2012

Today's Morning Meet-up addressed the Tomorrow Plan. Brian Springer and Shane Hefty give their takes on the event and the future of Greater Des Moines (DSM).

The Tomorrow Plan: Take 1

Shane Hefty

The Tomorrow Plan.  It sounds like a procrastinator’s mantra, but in this case, it’s proactive plan for the future of Des Moines (DSM). 

For those of you unfamiliar with The Tomorrow Plan, it’s a sustainable growth plan for Des Moines until 2050.  To put into perspective how big of a deal this is, I turn 30 this year.  I will be 68 in 2050. Is this a big deal for YPs? I think the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

This morning the Impact Downtown Committee’s Monthly Morning Meetup (say it five times fast... May’s Monthly Morning Meetup is at Start-Up City — cheap plug) took place at the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) headquarters in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). The MPO is heading up The Tomorrow Plan and playing moderator between the public, planners and policy makers. Design My DSM was the focus of our Monthly Morning Meetup. 

Design My DSM is an online “game” that takes about 10 minutes to play. Basically, you choose what’s important to you in terms of living, working and playing, and then you allocate limited funds and choose policies that make sense to you. This data is compiled and aggregated with the data that’s been collected since the plan started, and then that mountain of data is sifted through to develop an actual plan that will be implemented in the coming years.

At the Morning Meet-Up, Bethany — who is also a YPC Ambassador — gave a quick overview of what the plan entails, and then everyone in attendance played a lo-tech version of Design My DSM.  Each person took a different perspective: YP, retiree, urbanite or suburbanite.  We then prioritized what we want Des Moines to look like through the lens of our alter egos.  For whatever reason, there were an overwhelming number of retirees, so that slanted the priorities chosen in a different way than the young family from the East side, the suburban family in Ankeny, and the downtown transplant from Chicago.   This is why it’s important for us — and everyone else — to participate in The Tomorrow Plan: we need as many perspectives as possible involved to get this plan right.

The Tomorrow Plan is our chance to get involved in planning the entire community in a way that makes it a place where we want to stay, raise families, and retire.  We have a rare opportunity to be involved in this planning – why don’t we all take advantage of it?


The Tomorrow Plan: Take 2

Brian Springer

“Morning Meet-Ups” are certainly one of my favorite YPC events. I enjoy early Friday meetings out of the office — seeing fellow YPC members and meeting new prospective YPC members. Typically lasting 45-90 minutes, the Morning Meetups are a great time to network and learn more about Des Moines. Anywhere from five to 20 people usually attend; young to old, non-members to YPC members — providing a variety of people. This month’s Morning Meetup featured the interesting topic of the “Tomorrow Plan,” at the Metro Planning Organization’s office located Downtown Des Moines (DSM).

You may find yourself wondering, “Why should I care about 30+ years from now?” Reason: what you do today can affect everyone tomorrow. From how you vote in elections or where you decide to live, to the entertainment/events you attend — all these actions influence Des Moines. Your daily choices impact the long-term planning of Des Moines’ path for residential growth and development, tax levels, building of new parks and bike paths — and many other important decisions.

The best part is that you have a chance to voice your opinion. The Metro Planning Organization is taking steps to make The Tomorrow Plan “Everybody’s Plan.” The MPO is consistently hosting meetings and events and need your input. With your suggestions, concerns and thoughts, we can help shape Tomorrow’s Plan the best way possible. We consistently brand ourselves as “young” professionals helping grow the Des Moines region today; we should start focusing on today and tomorrow.