Recent History of Greater Des Moines Vision Plans

1998 – Major Projects Task Force vision plan recommended the following projects:

  1. Public Events Center > Wells Fargo Arena
  2. World Food and Fiber Policy and Research Center > World Food Prize Foundation
  3. Court Avenue Entertainment District > Development/beautification of the Court District
  4. Iowa High School Hall of Pride > Iowa Hall of Pride
  5. Downtown Public Library > Chipperfield design Public Library of Des Moines
  6. Science Center/Children’s Museum > Both were combined into Science Center of Iowa
  7. Gray’s Lake Recreation Area > Trails & footbridge complimented by

City of DSM Parks and Rec facility with boat and bike rentals

  1. Hoyt Sherman Place > Historic renovation of theater and museum
  2. Iowa Child Project > the private developers of this project moved it outside of the metro
  3. Chinese Cultural Center of America > Chinese Gardens incorporated into the

Principal Riverwalk

  1. Downtown Learning Center > Pappajohn Center for Higher Education
  2. Downtown Neighborhood > Development of 2,000 housing units over ten years
  3. “Crown Jewel” project in Gateway West> Initially believed this could be the Iowa Child Project, or a cluster of projects with an emphasis on Iowa’s commitment to education, food and agriculture, today popular opinion is the Pappajohn Sculpture Park has become the “jewel” of downtown
  4. Riverfront Development > Principal Riverwalk


Recent History of Greater Des Moines Vision Plans (continued)

2003 – Project Destiny Vision plan was not a brick and mortar vision plan, but gave attention to the community’s intangible assets:

  1. Quality of Life
  • Strategy A: Support and expand the Principal Riverwalk > Meredith Trail and connecting Gray’s Lake trails
  • Strategy B: Create a regional arts, culture, science, and recreation improvement district > BRAVO of Greater Des Moines

i.     The report included a strong recommendation on added more public art throughout the community > This recommendation has become part of the cultural fabric across the metro, with dozens of new installations downtown and throughout the suburbs


  1. Transform the Human Services Delivery System
  • Strategy C: Create and empower the Greater Des Moines Human Capital Council > better connected local, county, and state human services programs, provided an executive-on-loan to assist with cooperation and collaboration
  • Strategy D: Create and nurture Circles of Support > expanded local engagement of this support system
  • Strategy E: Invest resources in early childhood development programs > state funded preschool program


  1. Streamline and Reinvent Local government
  • Strategy F: Regionalize local services > DART
  • Strategy G: Create a Metro Planning and Development Authority > Continued work of Metropolitan Advisory Council


  1. Engage the Community in Life-Long Learning
  • Strategy H: Assist in evolving the “Downtown Campus” > Pappajohn Higher Education Center


  1. Establish New Revenue for Local Governments
  • Strategy I: Establish a metro local option sales tax as a shared revenue source > Yes to Destiny referendum was defeated in 2006