Past Event Materials

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

“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.  Fields has 20 years of experience helping communities provide transportation choice and access for all — walking, biking, heavy rail, light rail, and on-street bus service; parking and park-and-ride facilities; transit-oriented development; and more.

Click here for his presentation.


ABOUT: David Fields, AICP, believes a great community provides transportation choice and access for all.  With 20 years of transportation planning experience as both a consultant and public sector employee, David’s work focuses on transportation planning that supports communities’ long-term goals, including multiple modes (walking, biking, heavy rail, light rail, and on-street bus services); parking and park-and-ride facilities; policy (transit-oriented development, Parking Management, and Transportation Demand Management); and community involvement.  David led the transportation component of The Tomorrow Plan and is excited to continue to support the Des Moines region.

Walkability: The Politics and Payoff of Putting Walkability into Action

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.

The talk, titled “Walkability: The Politics and Payoff of Putting Walkability into Action,” was the second annual walkability event hosted by the Urban Land Institute Iowa, continuing the conversation started last year with speakers Jeff Speck and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. This year’s event coincided with several initiatives to improve walkability, notably the downtown Des Moines walkability study kicking off this spring.

NorquistJohn Norquist served as mayor of Milwaukee from 1988-2004. Under his leadership, Milwaukee experienced a decline in poverty, a boom in new downtown housing, became a leading center of education and welfare reform, and developed a 3.1-mile riverwalk. He also led the conversion of Milwaukee’s downtown street network from one-way to two-way streets.



RybakRT Rybak started his work in journalism and business prior to be elected the mayor of Minneapolis. During his time as a mayor he was a critical champion of improving the biking culture in Minneapolis and put $25 million of federal funding into bike and pedestrian infrastructure. The city of Minneapolis now holds the coveted gold status from the League of American Bicyclists.



Click here to review the event materials.

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.

Click here to review the event materials.

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. Before launching her own firm, she served in progressive, senior-level roles at the University of Northern Iowa in entrepreneurship outreach and technology transfer.

Click here to review the event materials, as well as a 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.

 Click here to review the event materials


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.

Click here to review the event materials.

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 the event materials.