Regional vision plan promotes Greater Des Moines' future as world-class region of nearly one million people

Sep. 7, 2011 null

Greater Des Moines is well known as Iowa's capital city and as one of the largest insnullurance industry hubs in the nation. Local leaders hope to expand today's image of Des Moines to that of a world class region also known for its job creation, diverse talent, and unparalleled quality of life.  Their five-year plan to accomplish that vision expands the metro area's boundaries to include more than nine counties. The plan capitalizes on Iowa's strengths and on tactics that include developing a bio-science corridor between Ames and Des Moines, encouraging more business start-ups, expanding local greenways, and establishing the region as a wellness capital.


"Today we embrace the future from a bigger and stronger geographic base," said Tri-Chair Cara Heiden of Wells Fargo. "By expanding our region, we include the dynamic research and education taking place at Iowa State University, the manufacturing assets of Marion and Marshall counties and a talented workforce from across the Central Iowa labor shed. Accomplishing our vision will require a spirit of cooperation and a respect for both cultural diversity and excellence in education," Heiden added. "The result will be a robust, sustainable community that stands up to any metro in its class."


Capital Crossroads: A Vision for Greater Des Moines & Central Iowa is a five year regional roadmap with a geographic scope defined by a 50-mile radius around Central Iowa with the State Capitol at the center. It is a collaborative effort supported through resources from Bravo Greater Des Moines, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa State University, Prairie Meadows, and United Way of Central Iowa. Nearly 5,000 community representatives were invited to participate in the visioning process which began in November 2010. Community leaders have been working since to explore tactics to accomplish short and long-term economic growth, as well as personal and professional achievement and satisfaction for local residents.


"The new vision is really the end of the beginning," said Barry Griswell of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines and one of the project Tri-Chairs. "Now the real work of implementation begins. Our plan is not intended to be an exhaustive list of tactics for the future. Rather, the plan is intended to be a framework that captures concepts, strategies, partnerships, and process that can guide our efforts to achieve the vision. From this platform, we begin planning how we'll get there."


Capital Crossroads comprises a series of interrelated "capitals" that translate the necessary strategic elements of people, place, and prosperity into key themes: Opportunity, Talent, and Sustainability. Within each theme, the capitals represent the priority areas identified in the plan and leverage a planning framework for the future. Co-Chairs have been assigned to oversee each capital and drive implementation going forward.

"Capital Crossroads will help us create jobs and economic growth," said fellow Tri-Chair Angela Connolly of Polk County. "By aggressively preparing for the future, creating a fertile business climate, and marketing its many
attributes, Greater Des Moines will achieve its vision of being a world class community with an unparalleled quality of life punctuated by accessibility, sustainability, and affordability."


Capital Crossroads vision plan documents and information can be viewed by visiting the Capital Crossroads website.  The Community Foundation and Greater Des Moines Partnership have and will continue to provide staff support during the implementation process. For media inquiries or for more information, please contact Susan Ramsey at (515) 286-4954 or