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The Tomorrow Plan, a 40-year plan for the sustainable development of Greater Des Moines, has been named a finalist for the 2016 International Award for Planning Excellence from the Royal Town Planning Institute based in London. Institute President Phil Williams said the finalists – from disaster reconstruction plan for a Chinese village to a future-proofing plan for the city of Aluva, India – highlight outstanding examples of planning that have made a positive impact on the local communities and environment. Winners will be announced May 5 at the awards ceremony in London.

“We are honored and humbled for Greater Des Moines to be recognized as a global thought-leader in preparing for a more sustainable future,” said Todd Ashby, executive director of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the lead agency for The Tomorrow Plan.

Developed with grant funding through the Sustainable Communities Initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the plan is being implemented by individuals, community organizations and local governments with support and coordination from the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. The plan is online at

“For everyone who’s been working hard to put The Tomorrow Plan into action, this is a powerful endorsement that we’re on the right path to create a world-class region,” said Angela Connolly, co-chair of The Tomorrow Plan Steering Committee.

The Tomorrow Plan was adopted by the region in 2013 as a voluntary guide of best practices aiming for Greater Des Moines to compete globally and leave a dynamic, enduring legacy for future generations, by focusing on the economy, the environment, community vitality, and regional cooperation.

“This award is credit to thousands of dedicated people and organizations who helped develop The Tomorrow Plan,” said Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie, co-chair of The Tomorrow Plan Steering Committee.