Des Moines Area MPO recognized nationally for Outstanding Overall Achievement

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has garnered national recognition as an innovative leader in the field, whose work leads to economic and environmental benefits for the Greater Des Moines region.

The Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations has named the Des Moines Area MPO as this year’s recipient of the “National Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement,” the highest honor among MPOs serving metro areas of 200,000 population or more. The award was announced Oct. 18 at the AMPO Annual Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

“The Des Moines Area MPO stands out for its innovation,” AMPO Executive Director DeLania Hardy said of the evaluation committee’s decision. “The fact that the Des Moines Area MPO takes on such innovative projects, in addition to traditional MPO functions, is quite impressive. That all are being implemented and are replicable by other MPOs is even more so.”

The AMPO award recognizes the Des Moines Area MPO’s work developing the Iowa Data Bike, the Container Locator project, the Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Master Plan, and the Water Trails Engineering Study. More information on these efforts is available at

“This is quite an honor for our MPO to be singled out by our peers for recognition among MPOs serving the largest metros in the country,” said Tom Armstrong, Mayor of Grimes and the Chair of the Des Moines Area MPO.

The AMPO award comes after a federal review this spring that found the Des Moines Area MPO to be a national model of an intermodal transportation planning agency, establishing best practices around the country.

Earlier this month, the American Planning Association Iowa Chapter announced five awards for the Des Moines Area MPO during the Upper Midwest APA Conference in Dubuque. Those include: Planning Agency – Des Moines Area MPO; Transportation Planning – Complete Streets Initiative; Best Practice – Iowa Data Bike; Urban Design – Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Master Plan; and Planning Advocate – Rick Tollakson.