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Sustainability Efforts

As part of the City’s Strategic Plan – GuideDSM several goals were established: 

  • 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 Grant Avenue Pilot Project)
  • Be a 5 STAR Community

Included in the City’s Comprehensive Plan – PlanDSM are plans for additional goals: 

  • 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 
  • Housing – Goal 3: Promote sustainable housing development that utilizes existing resources and supports compact, walkable, and bikeable neighborhoods
  • Economic Development: Goal 4: Foster a sustainable economy (locally produced materials, green building practices, energy efficiency, etc)
  • Parks & Recreation: Goal 3: Design the City’s trail system for all users, including commuters 
  • Housing: Goal 6: Strengthen the walkability and connectivity within and between neighborhoods

Des Moines joined Phase II of the City Energy Project in 2017. Now one of 20 cities across the US to develop a plan around measuring and reducing energy through benchmarking, challenge programs, and policy. 

  • Des Moines will be measuring the City’s impact 
    • Staff has benchmarked 30 City buildings, will be partnering with the local utility to assess provide building tune-ups to reduce unnecessary energy consumption. 
    • Review of existing vehicle fleet, street lights and traffic lights, and other systems that draw from the grid will also be updated
  • Through CEP, we will be launching an energy benchmarking challenge program in early 2018 and hope to build interest in our community of building operators to measure their progress. 
  • This work will lead to the development of a Community-wide Climate Action Plan.

Des Moines launched its second STAR Certification process with a community meeting on September 14, 2017. Our hope is to see progress in Climate & Energy and the other goal areas as our community comes together to combine our resources and really measure our community-wide impact on creating a sustainable community.

The City has also initiated or been involved in several efforts around energy and sustainability 

  • Partnered with the Downtown Community Alliance to incorporate recycling into our downtown to enhance our waste minimization goals. 
  • Completed a tree inventory to help identify the health of our tree canopy, and locate areas to plant new trees. We maintain over 40,000 trees. In one year, these trees... 
    • Prevent 53 million gal. of water from entering storm sewers, enough to fill 80 Olympic size pools. 
    • Eliminate 18.7 million lbs of CO2 from the air, the equivalent of removing 1,792 cars from our roads.
    • Save 6.3 million kilowatt-hours of energy by providing shade, the same amount of energy used to power 468 homes. 
    • Absorb 60,000 lbs of pollutants from the air 
    • This equals $4.5 million+ in annual environmental benefits 
  • Signed onto the Paris Agreement, and have reaffirmed Des Moines’ commitment by signing onto Climate Mayors. With the help of our community partners, we will be able to better track our progress towards attaining these goals.

Citizens Taskforce on Sustainability

  • Community Contact
  • Meeting Dates
    • 1st and3rd Wednesdays of the Month
  • Meeting Time
    • 4:30 PM
  • Meeting Location
    • Ingersoll Park, 4906 Ingersoll Avenue