The Capital City at the Crossroads?



What will the Des Moines skyline look like in 2015?

The Community Foundation of Des Moines and the Greater Des Moines Partnership have launched a initiative to develop of a new five-year vision strategy for the Golden Circle/Greater Des Moines (or Capital) region called “Capital Crossroads.”

The initiative have stated that there are challenges to address, despite the region’s overall quality of life being very good. Economics, employment, and services appears to be the target on the radar for this Capital Crossroads initiative.

At this point, I raise a practical question.  What are we lacking that will make the Golden Circle better and keep pace with other areas?  We hear so much about how great it is to live here, being able to do so many things, and getting involved in the community, but we need more stuff to make it better?

What “big” thing do we need to put the Golden Circle area over the top? Is there a quest to overtake Chicago, Kansas City, and Omaha, as the jewel of the Midwest?

Or is it the little things that need the help more than the big things?  After all, the little cogs in the wheel are the ones that moves the entire operation.

I don’t know a lot about this project because it is in the initial stages of capturing (gathering) information and opinions from citizens about what direction this area will go in the next five years.  There are a lot of heavy hitters who are on board with putting together a master plan.

I’m no shill, but if you want to take the survey and weigh in with your opinions and ideas, here is the link and feel free to type away.

Oh, by the way, what are we calling this region?  Is it still the Golden Circle?  Is it Greater Des Moines?  Or is the “capital region” that the initiative is referring this as?

I’m confused.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. R.H. says:

    Claire, thank you for responding. I feel the same way as you do. I feel that Des Moines is trying too hard to bring “big” things to town, as a way to keep talent and young individuals from leaving. It doesn’t matter what “new thing” that comes to town, people will move someplace else due to a job or for different reasons.

    Des Moines needs to let things happen and when a need become evident, then we can work on making it happen. When the city needed a civic center, everyone worked together to build a civic center. It concerns me, for example, is on how local elected and business leaders are trying to bring in the light-rail system to Des Moines. Has anyone looked at how Amtrak has struggled over the last 2-3 decades? Travelers prefer to fly and drive today. Secondly, other than having a series of “events” to promote it, has there been any public forums or input from the community as a whole? How many citizens in Des Moines are going to use the train to get from downtown to Valley Junction?

    To some citizens, it feels like they are having this shoved down their throats and not opening up conversations on how effective and useful the light rail can be for Des Moines.

    Those are questions that has to be seriously asked and discussed about. Just sticking it in town and expecting people to use it may end up becoming a white elephant (junk) and other important projects do not receive the attention, support, and/or funding that it deserves.

  2. Claire Celsi says:

    Romelle, I wish everyone thought about these questions as much as you do. I think what this group is trying to do is lead instead of allow things to happen. Des Moines has been very good at that over the past 40 years and it’s been very successful. It would also be very easy to rest on our collective laurels and pat ourselves on the back for a few years. That would be a big mistake.

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