1A. Develop a system of vibrant, walkable employment and residential nodes dispersed throughout Greater Des Moines and connected to one another by multimodal corridors

Smart Growth Online Information Resources

Smart Growth Online
Resource for online articles, books, videos and other media pertaining to Smart Growth planning. Go to Website

Smart Growth Implementation Assistance

The SGIA program is an annual, competitive solicitation open to state, local, regional, and tribal governments (and non-profits that have partnered with a governmental entity). Once selected, communities receive direct technical assistance from a team of national experts in one of two areas: policy analysis or public participatory processes. Summaries and the final reports for the communities that have received assistance are also available on the website. Go to Website

Reconnecting America – Resource Center

Reconnecting America
Contains a Best Practices database originally funded by the Federal Transit Administration, including case study, research, technical, and policy documents on almost every topic related to transit oriented development and livable communities. Go to Website

Mixed-Use Mid-Rise Construction

Architectural Record, Continuing Education Center)
Describes the benefits of wood construction for mid-rise buildings, case studies, and tips and regulations for using wood framing. Go to Website

“Planning Densification from the Start”

Urban Land, Mark Rodman Smith, June 2009
Planning for densification can decrease losses in potential revenue caused by low value, low-density development. Includes implementation strategies. Go to Article

Form-Based Codes

Defines and advises on form based codes through written and visual media content. Go to Website

“Thinking like a farmer boosts tax revenue”

Better! Cities & Towns. April/May 2012
Revenue profile on a per-acre basis, dense, mixed-use development far outstrips the value of lower density, single-use development — even profitable big box stores. Go to Article

About Town: Building Revenue for Communities

Sonoran Institute, 2012
A study that highlights the value that compact, mixed-use development provides to city and county revenues and provides recommendations to communities that want to encourage vibrant downtowns, main streets, and mixed-use centers. Go to Website

Smart Growth & Conventional Suburban Development: An infrastructure case study completed for the EPA

Morris Beacon Design, Jonathan Ford, 2010
Compares infrastructure costs for traditional neighborhood design with conventional suburban design through two case studies. Go to Case Study

The Implications of Alternative Growth Patterns on Infrastructure Costs

Plan It Calgary. 2009
Examines the infrastructure implications of two growth patterns. The Dispersed Scenario reflects current trends and continuation of current city policies, while the new Recommended Direction intensifies jobs and population in specific areas of the city and links them with high-quality transit services. Go to Article

1B. Provide multimodal access throughout the region

Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development

Office of Sustainable Communities Smart Growth Program, EPA; Jan 2013
This new EPA report provides communities with a comprehensive guide to tools and strategies that are available for financing and funding infrastructure for transit-oriented development. The report provides examples of how some communities are using specific tools for individual infrastructure components, as well as strategies for combining and bundling tools to create plans that address construction phasing and market growth over time. Go to Report

“The New Real Estate Mantra – Location Near Public Transportation”

The Center For Neighborhood Technology, commissioned by American Public Transportation Association + National Association of Realtors. March 2013
Investigates how well residential properties located in proximity to fixed-guideway transit have maintained their value as compared to residential properties without transit access between 2006 and 2011 in five regions: Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, and San Francisco. Go to Article

Rightsizing Streets Guide

Project for Public Spaces
The Project for Public Spaces recently released this new online publication, which aims to help planners and community members update their streets to make them ‘right’ for their context. The centerpiece of the guide is a set of ten rightsizing case studies that highlight impressive outcomes using before and after data on mobility, crashes, and other parameters. Also included is a glossary of common rightsizing techniques and a best practices guide to street selection criteria. Go to Website

Eco-village in River Falls, Wisconsin, being developed by Habitat for Humanity

Includes a shared pool of electric vehicles for its residents and an electric car photovoltaic recharging station at the community center. Unique example of integrating EVs into a green community development project.
Go to Document

The Find It, Fund It chart for Bicycling and Walking

Advocacy Advance + Alliance for Biking & Walking
Indicates federal funding sources for pedestrian and bicycle projects under federal highway and transit programs. The table has been updated for the new transportation law, MAP-21. For more information on programs in chart Go to Website

Bicycle and Pedestrian Federal Funding Resources List

Details about federal funding sources for pedestrian and bicycle projects Go to Website

1C. Create an innovation core in the heart of Iowa at the crossroads of advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, and information technology

“Skills Don’t Pay the Bills”

New York Times, Adam Davidson, Nov 20, 2012
Discusses the disconnect between employers wanting to hire skilled workers at low wages and skilled workings willing to work for low wages. Go to Article

Thinc Iowa

A 2-day conference that is a networking tool for local residents and workers. Go to Website

TechBrew Iowa

The TAI TechBrew event is an informal gathering that brings entrepreneurs, technologists, business people and funders together to talk over a beer. Go to Website

Startup Iowa

An initiative to provide resources and visibility to Iowa entrepreneurs. StartupIowa is focused on helping startups grow and create jobs and value within Iowa. Go to Website

Silicon Prairie News

Provider of local news about companies and events Go to Website

Kaufmann Foundation

The Kauffman Foundation’s vision is to foster “a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities.” In service of this vision, grant making and operations focus on two areas: advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth. Go to Website

Iowa Innovation Council

Focused on helping technology companies grow and expanding Iowa’s innovation base. Provides access to the State’s services and tools for your research, development and commercialization activities. Guides available online include: Guide to the Iowa Innovation Network (complete Guide), Innovators Financing Guide, and Start-Ups Guide to Intellectual Property. Go to Website

Startup Communities

Brad Feld (book) provides a critical framework to build a thriving and healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem in any city in the world.

Iowa State University incubator

The ISU Research Park is where science- and technology-based entities build new opportunities out of ideas. We connect businesses, organizations and researchers with critical resources – physical space, specialized equipment, business leadership, human ingenuity & more. Go to Website

West Des Moines Incubator

The West Des Moines Business Incubator was formed to foster a climate for entrepreneurial activity and to assist in the growth of small businesses within West Des Moines. Offering news, classes, events, and more, the WDM Incubator has office space for 10 to 18 clients. Go to Website

StartupCity Des Moines

StartupCity Des Moines is a business incubator serving early-stage tech companies. Their goal is to deliver assistance and resources to pre-market, pre-money, pre-employee businesses focused on products in the technology, bio-tech, and advanced manufacturing space. Go to Website

1D. Enhance the digital infrastructure of Greater Des Moines

The National Broadband Plan

The National Broadband Plan initiatives aim to use affordable, high-speed broadband access to stimulate economic growth, spur job creation, and boost our capabilities in education, healthcare, homeland security and more. Go to Website

Community Broadband Networks

Provides resources for those joining the movement to build broadband networks that are directly accountable to the communities they serve. Case studies, fact sheets, and video are some of the media we offer to help leaders make decisions about community owned networks. Go to Website

Community Broadband Snapshot Report: Moving the Needle Forward on Broadband and Economic Development

IEDC, Craig Settles, Oct 2012
Provides information to better understand how broadband as a community asset impacts economic outcomes, and a reality check to errant claims about broadband and those outcomes. Go to Report

Does Broadband Boost Local Economic Development?

Public Policy Institute of California, Jed Kolko, Jan 2010
This study assesses whether policies designed to increase broadband availability—especially to unserved and underserved communities—will contribute to local economic development. It finds a positive relationship between broadband expansion and employment growth, but the benefits for local residents are ambiguous. Go to Publication

The Effects of Broadband Deployment on Output and Employment: A Cross-sectional Analysis of U.S. Data

Brookings Institution, Robert Crandall, William Lehr and Robert Litan, June 2007
Details the proliferation of high-speed internet In American in the 2000s, and the effects of this proliferation on American culture and the economy. Go to Report

Connect Iowa

Connect Iowa, in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, is working to ensure that all can experience the benefits of broadband.  Technology, especially widespread access, use and adoption of broadband, improves all areas of life. Go to Website

Iowa Broadband: Current Market Analysis & Initial Recommendations for Acceleration of Iowa’s Broadband Market

Connect Iowa, Aug 2010
Assesses the broadband market in Iowa, and aims to provide a detailed review of the current state of broadband in Iowa to develop key goals and strategies to expand and enhance the broadband experience for all Iowans. Go to Analysis

Assessing High-Speed Internet Access in the State of Iowa

Iowa Utilities Board, 2008
Discusses the availability and growth of high-speed internet services in the state of Iowa. Go to Report

Broadband at the Speed of Light: How Three Communities Built Next-Generation Networks

Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Christopher Mitchell, April 2012
This report details the experiences of three municipalities that have gained attention around the world for successfully designing and implementing public broadband networks – Bristol, Virginia; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Each has faced significant challenges in its quests to bring 21st century communications technology and its benefits to its community. Each has met these challenges and is now providing its community multiple benefits that would not have been achievable any other way. Go to Report

Chattanooga, TN

Widely regarded as the poster child for a regional “next generation” public fiber optic network. The network now provides internet speeds of 1 gig per second (the only metro region in the country to provide such telecom service to every resident at reasonable pricing) – but initial capital costs were justified by benefits that would accrue from power grid efficiencies. Go to Article

Broadband and Economic Development: A Municipal Case Study from Florida

Applied Economic Studies, George S. Ford, April 2005)
Explores whether broadband investment by municipalities has an effect on economic growth. Results suggest that efforts to restrict municipal broadband investment could deny communities an important tool in promoting economic development.
Go to Case Study

1E. Encourage the growth and retention of existing companies

“As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price”

New York Times, Dec 2012
Argues that incentives don’t really create more jobs overall, and come at high costs to cities (and tax payers) at times when budgets are increasingly strained; education and training are better investments for cities than giving individual companies tax breaks; and that implementation is difficult because all cities must agree not to participate Go to Article

“Michigan Town Woos Hollywood, but Ends Up With a Bit Part”

New York Times, Dec 2012
Details Michigan’s decision to provide film credits, or tax breaks for Hollywood, for productions that film in Michigan, and the subsequent troubles associated with the reversal of the policy. Go to Article

“Evidence Counts Evaluating State Tax Incentives for Jobs and Growth”

Pew Center on the States, April 2012
Evaluates tax incentive effectiveness at the state level, and makes recommendations to lawmakers based on the findings. Go to Report

“Rethinking Property Tax Incentives for Business”

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Policy Focus Report, Kenyon, Daphne A., Adam H. Langley, and Bethany P. Paquin, June 2012
Outlines the three obstacles big business tax breaks pose for economic development. Go to Publication

Purchase Pooling for Local Businesses

LISC Chicago, Elizabeth Duffrin, Jan 2013
Local businesses in two of Chicago’s neighborhoods are pooling resources to obtain discounted services such as waste collection and credit card processing by purchasing in bulk. Go to Article

“Clive officials have new economic plan”

DesMoinesRegister.com, Christopher Pratt Jan, 2013
The economic plan outlines the strategies, policies and actions the City will implement to encourage economic growth in Clive through the retention and expansion of existing businesses and creating the positive environment for commercial development in the community Go to Article

City of Clive, Iowa Economic Development Action Plan

Go to Plan

11 Case studies selected for what works for cities panel

ICIC/CEOs for Cities, 2012 Summit
11 case studies for best practices in the fields of city/anchor collaborations, sector-led workforce development, and efforts to create jobs in the food cluster. Go to Website

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation

An economic development corporation providing quality business education, technical assistance and access to capital for entrepreneurs. Established in 1989, WWBIC consults, educates and mentors owners of small and micro businesses throughout Wisconsin. It concentrates its efforts with women, people of color, and those with lower incomes. WWBIC was one of the first CDFIs in Wisconsin and the first statewide certified CDFI in the U.S., one of the first Small Business Administration (SBA) Women’s Business Centers, and one of the first SBA Microlenders. Go to Website

1F. Expand and enhance preparation for the world of work across all age ranges


STEAM is a movement championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and widely adopted by institutions, corporations and individuals. The objectives of the STEAM movement are to: transform research policy to place Art + Design at the center of STEM, encourage integration of Art + Design in K–20 education, and influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation. Go to Website

Actor Forest Whitaker infuses art into Findley students

March 12, 2013, Des Moines Register, Mary Stegmeir
Go to Website

“Five London Projects Building Communities Through Arts Education”

Silvie Jacobi, This Big City. 29 January 2013
Discusses: Trade School (Croydon), Zeitgeist Arts Projects (New Cross), Late-Shift at National Portrait Gallery, Wide Open School at Hayward Gallery, Q-Art London. Go to Website

“From STEM to STEAM: A Carnival Ride Into Engineering”

Tekla Perry, May 9 2013, IEEE Spectrum
Article about a fair focusing on increasing interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math careers. Go to Article