Bethany Wilcoxon Has the Floor
Capital Crossroads Director talks new focus on housing
Organizers launched Capital Crossroads 2.0, the next five-year regional vision plan for Central Iowa, on February 1st during an event at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. The first iteration of the plan celebrated more than 400 measurable successes in our region because of the work of our local jurisdictions and community stakeholders and the leadership of nearly 700 volunteers. Capital Crossroads 2.0 was formed with the input of more than 3,000 residents and dozens of community partner organizations; Eric Burmeister, PCHTF’s Executive Director, served on the Steering Committee. Capital Crossroads 2.0 was funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Prairie Meadows, and the United Way of Central Iowa.
Capital Crossroads 2.0 is framed by five overarching themes that hit on multiple Capitals: Housing, mental health, transit, water, and workforce. The housing component of Capital Crossroads primarily lives in the Capital Core and the Physical Capital. A few specific activities to take on over the next five years include:
- Continuing aggressive efforts to support mixed-use, mixed-income housing downtown
- Developing a Downtown Des Moines Workforce Housing Plan
- Supporting transportation options that promote urban living and increased affordability
- Providing housing placement assistance for summer-only and yearlong Central Iowa interns
- Building “missing middle” housing types
- Implementing Housing Tomorrow to address regional affordable housing needs
- Promoting infill development and the rehabilitation of vacant structures
- Prioritizing development in targeted nodes and corridors
Organizers recognize that housing-related issues will become more prevalent as the region’s growth continues and greenfield residential sites are exhausted. Leaders expect that redevelopment and infill housing opportunities will become more necessary, desirable, and viable, and are committed to promoting and pursuing sustainable land use policies that support this.
To learn more, visit the Capital Crossroads website at www.capitalcrossroadsvision.com.
Bethany Wilcoxon is the Capital Crossroads Director, overseeing implementation of Central Iowa’s regional vision strategy. She spent several years serving Iowa Great Places, an Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs program, and then leading development of The Tomorrow Plan, a $3.1 million regional initiative to advance sustainability in Greater Des Moines. A Des Moines Business Record Forty Under 40 in 2016, Bethany holds a variety of community leadership roles related to community well-being.