Sustainability in Des Moines

Solar panels on top of Des Moines Fire Department Station 11 building

The City of Des Moines understands that our climate impacts everything from public health and safety to our local economy and environment. The actions we take today will define how prepared we are as a City for future changes to our climate.

Des Moines has many strategic efforts in place that deal with sustainability and climate change mitigation. Explore our efforts below to learn more about the steps we're taking and how you can get involved.

Jeremy Caron, LEED AP O+M
Sustainability Program Manager


ADAPT DSM Climate Action for Everyone logo

To better coordinate our response to climate change, reduce harmful emissions, and chart a more resilient future, the City of Des Moines is developing a community-wide climate action and adaptation plan.

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Share your climate action priorities and ideas for Des Moines by using Social Pinpoint.

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As part of the City’s PlanDSM Comprehensive Plan created in 2016, community stakeholders identified a number of goals related to sustainability that the City should be focused on over the next few decades.

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  • Public Infrastructure
    Goal 2: Evaluate capacity for implementation and adaptation to GI
    Goal 3: Reduce the consumption of energy in City owned buildings
  • Transportation
    Goal 1: Develop a complete multi-modal transportation network for pedestrians, bikes, transit, and automobiles
  • Parks & Recreation
    Goal 3: Design the City’s trail system for all users, including commuters
  • Housing
    Goal 3: Promote sustainable housing development that utilizes existing resources and supports compact, walkable, and bikeable neighborhoods
    Goal 6: Strengthen the walkability and connectivity within and between neighborhoods
  • Economic Development
    Goal 4: Foster a sustainable economy (locally produced materials, green building practices, energy efficiency, etc)


As part of the City’s GuideDSM Strategic Plan created by City Council in 2016, several steps were identified to promote a more sustainable Des Moines and to meet the expectations of PlanDSM.

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  • Establish a Citizen’s Taskforce on Sustainability
  • Identified a need for a sustainability plan
  • Walkability Study (Connect Downtown)
  • Evaluation on our aging housing stock and a revitalization plan (underway)
  • Implement the City’s complete streets policy (East Grand Avenue Pilot Project)
  • Be a 5 STAR Community