Community planning studio works with Des Moines in PlanDSM draft

Ashley Green

In an attempt to fix a planning problem in Des Moines, the city brought in ISU graduate students and their expertise to solve the issue.

The CRP 532 Community Planning studio, which has an ongoing partnership with Des Moines, has been involved in the new comprehensive plan for Des Moines, PlanDSM.

Comprehensive plans guide growth and development in a city for about 20 to 25 years.

How has the studio been involved?

  • In order to present the most accurate data to the city, the studio used a “taking the meeting to the public” approach.

  • After splitting into four teams, students found ways to involve 15 interest groups and communities that are normally underrepresented.

  • One way that students connected with a community was through an advanced English class at Oakridge, an interim community of immigrant families in Des Moines. The class consisted of a wide range of adults whose first language was not English.

Students had several thousand comments about the different policies for the plan.

Students presented their findings to Des Moines. The city will work with the findings and finalize the document within the next six months.