Past Event Materials

The MPO maintains presentations and materials from past events for the benefit of its member governments, community partners and the public.

“Parkability: The Price and Politics of Parking” with Don Shoup

Set the right price for curb parking. Return parking revenue to pay for local public services. Remove minimum parking requirements. These are the three basic policies recommended by professor and author Don Shoup in his authoritative book on parking policy in U.S. cities, “The High Cost of Free Parking,” and a featured speaker in The Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series.

Click here to review event materials.

“Form-Based Codes: A Developer’s Perspective” with Brandon Palanker

Brandon Palanker, a master developer of walkable urban and suburban downtowns, talks about why form-based zoning is quicker for developers and better for communities.

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“Housing Matters for Iowa’s Economy” with Maya Brennan

Greater Des Moines’ low unemployment rate and reasonable cost of living make it an attractive place to live, but this balance can be precarious and not without future risks, especially when it comes to housing. So said Maya Brennan, a researcher for the Urban Institute and editor of the How Housing Matters website.

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“Missing Middle Housing: Responding to the Demand for Walkable & Age-Friendly Living” with Daniel Parolek

Architect Daniel Parolek speaks on how the region can meet different housing demands with “Missing Middle Housing,” a range of multi-unit or clustered housing types compatible in scale with single-family homes while supporting walkable urban living.

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“Walkability Beyond Downtown” with David Fields


Much focus has been paid to improving walkability in the urban core of Greater Des Moines. But what about the rest of the region? How do communities improve walkability in neighborhoods and suburban environments?

That was the focus of speaker David Fields, AICP, of Nelson/Nygaard who was the lead transportation consultant for The Tomorrow Plan.

Click here for his presentation.

“Walkability: The Politics and Payoff of Putting Walkability into Action” with John Norquist and RT Rybak



Former Mayors John Norquist of Milwaukee and RT Rybak of Minneapolis discussed the challenges and benefits of making cities more walkable and bike-able in a talk on May 4 at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates as part of The Tomorrow Plan 2016 Speaker Series. Norquist’s presentation is published below; Rybak spoke without a presentation.

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Housing Matters Symposium with Carol Payne and Amy Slonim

The intersection of public health with housing and transportation was the topic of the Housing Matter Symposium on April 14, 2016. The event featured speakers Carol Payne, Baltimore field office director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Amy Slonim, senior program manager for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Speaker Maureen Collins

Maureen Collins The Iowa economy, like the rest of the country, is undergoing profound change. Technology innovation is creating exciting opportunities for new and existing businesses across industries, yet many of these new business models are testing the foundations of public policy. Understanding where we are headed is a critical part of successful community and economic development.
Maureen Collins is a trainer, speaker and author specializing in community economic development, entrepreneurship and technology innovation.

Click here to review event materials & video interview with the Des Moines Business Record.


Speakers Mick Cornett and Jeff Speck

Mick Cornett

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett

Jeff Speck

Jeff Speck

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and city planner and urban designer Jeff Speck presented in Des Moines in March 2015 on the benefits of walkable cities as part of The Tomorrow Plan 2015 Speaker Series.

Cornett led his city on a diet to lose 1 million pounds and an initiative to design the city around people, not cars. Speck is the author of “Walkable City” and is an international advocate for smart growth and sustainable design. Organized by the Urban Land Institute Iowa.

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Speaker Joe Minicozzi

Joe Minicozzi, principal at Urban 3, was in Greater Des Moines August 26 and 27 to share findings and observations from his research into the region. He uses three-dimensional illustrations of Greater Des Moines’ growth in value per acre — highlighting the development patterns with the highest return on public investment.

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Speaker Nate Hoogeveen

Low-head dams provide smooth, scenic waterways fit for a photo op, but their seamless designs and short drop-offs can be deceptively dangerous for boaters and swimmers. Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Nate Hoogeveen gave a presentation on ways of mitigating dams to make them safe while still scenic, accommodating to fish passage and maintaining access for fishing.

Click here to review event materials.