Des Moines planners, development leaders will discuss two plans for area's future on Jan. 22 at ISU

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AMES, Iowa -- Four Des Moines leaders who guided two distinct plans for the area's future will compare and contrast the plans in a panel discussion at Iowa State University.

"Two Plans for Greater Des Moines" will be at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the Morrill Hall auditorium. The presentation is free and open to the public. It is part of a visiting speaker series for a College of Design interdisciplinary option studio.

The panelists are Glenn Lyons, president and CEO, and Tim Leach, vice president, the Downtown Community Alliance, an affiliate of the Greater Des Moines Partnership; and Dylan Mullenix, principal transportation planner, and Bethany Wilcoxon, senior planner at the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Lyons and Leach will discuss the "Capital Crossroads Plan," a five-year strategic vision for economic development of the Greater Des Moines area. It is a consensus-based, achievable roadmap to guide Greater Des Moines and central Iowa to short- and long-term economic growth.

Mullenix and Wilcoxon will talk about "The Tomorrow Plan," a regional planning effort for sustainable development of Greater Des Moines across 17 local governments. It focuses on the economy, the environment, community vitality and regional cooperation.

The panel is speaking to students in "Products of Public Space," an interdisciplinary, experimental learning studio that exposes advanced students to real-world issues of public space in Greater Des Moines and beyond. During the semester, these students will apply complex problem-solving methods to create projects that can make Des Moines a more vibrant urban environment.

Kevin Owens, a lecturer in industrial design at ISU and president of Outside Education Inc. in Des Moines, teaches the studio class.

"I want these students to hear from progressive, involved people who are eager to do the best they can for the Iowa economy and environment," Owens said. "The speakers are role models for how to move forward in these times of complex problem solving."

All presentations in the series are free and open to the public. They will be at 4:30 p.m. in the Morrill Hall auditorium on the dates listed below. Additional speakers will be determined.

Jan. 29 — Mike Nelson, president, Nelson Construction and Development, Des Moines

He will discuss his redevelopment of several historic buildings in downtown Des Moines. Nelson is well known for his progressive, new housing concepts for 20-somethings in Iowa's largest urban center.

Feb. 5 — Steve Dryden, Renewable Power Markets Access, De Soto

Dryden's company, RPMAccess has built more than 15 percent of the renewable wind generation in Iowa. He will discuss his work as a wind developer and his view for the industry's future.

Feb. 12 — Brian Clark, senior principal, Confluence Design, Des Moines

A landscape architect, Clark is a principal in a comprehensive landscape architecture and planning firm with five offices in the Midwest. He will discuss their work in retail streetscapes and other urban public spaces.

Morrill Hall is located on central campus, directly north of Beardshear Hall. Parking is available at the Memorial Union Parking Ramp on Lincoln Way, about two blocks south of Morrill Hall.