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Old 01-18-2011, 06:40 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,932,816 times
Reputation: 451

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpHawkeye View Post
While I agree with your point to some degree, the last statement is false. Iowa has not had a net population drain since the 1980s. Rural Iowa continues to lose population, but thanks to our cities, the state population as a whole is growing.
You are right -- I was imprecise about what I wrote. What I meant was not that the overall Iowa population is declining, but rather that more people leave Iowa than arrive from other states. In other words, the net migration is negative (during 1995-2000 about -30,000). What is worse (for the future and the economy) is that Iowa was no. 2 in net out-migration of college-educated single adults.

Data Visualization at The Pew Center on the States
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:38 PM
 
332 posts, read 324,789 times
Reputation: 501
Quote:
Originally Posted by xube View Post
How about some ideas on how we can make Iowa more appealing to those of other parts of the world who may want to visit or live here?
Having grown up in the south, and traveled extensively around the world I believe the secret of Iowa is that it is Iowa. In Iowa, you find a way of life insulated from the crime and abrasiveness that has come to characterize life in many other parts of America today.

If you want to roll the clock back in America 30 years, move to Iowa. But before you do think about what it is that changed America for the worse since then and leave it behind you.

(also: when I first moved there, crime was almost nonexistent. That is changing. One of the keys to making sure that Iowa retains its character is to adopt a harsh "crime does not pay" attitude in law enforcement and the judiciary.)

It's a great state that I hope to move back to soon.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:40 PM
 
332 posts, read 324,789 times
Reputation: 501
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
If you listen to Iowa-as-is apologists, you'd think the world is divided into Iowa and Detroit.
While nothing is ever quite so simple, this seemingly radical sounding statement is closer to the truth than you realize.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:41 AM
 
11 posts, read 111,905 times
Reputation: 26
I left Iowa after high school to go to college in Chicago. I never plan on returning to Iowa. I'll share some of the reasons I left and what, in my opinion, Iowa could do for young people. This is completely casual and anecdotal, so please don't berate me for my responses.

-From what I've seen through traveling, Iowa is one of the most "average" places in America. It's primarily a suburban/rural state. It's in the middle of the country and is mostly flat with four season weather. There isn't a whole lot of ethnic diversity. It's stereotypical "America."

Do something fun and different!

A city like Portland is a good example. On top of them being close to the mountains, Portland was able to set itself apart from the rest of America even further by laying out their city in a truly unique way for America.
They realized that every other city in the U.S. was starting to turn into an unsustainable, autocentric, and suburban "dream." Portland, through conservative land use policy and a "progressive" urban development model, was able to market itself as different from all that. Now Portland gets a lot of visitors from around the country who are looking for a sustainable and economically friendly city.

In Des Moines (which is where I used to live), this is not the case. It's a drive-everywhere lifestyle, chain restaurants, and plastic houses. The majority of young people, I'd say, are not looking for a plastic house in the suburbs of Des Moines, IA. They want something more exciting. But Iowa has a hard time offering that- so it loses a lot of its young professional talent to other urban centers around the country.

Des Moines should try and rebrand itself as the "Portland of the Midwest." It would take a bit of effort, but could really help attract the kind of people to Iowa who are begging to leave.

-Add bike lanes on roads (not just trails) to encourage biking for everyday use and not just for recreation.
-Keep companies in downtown Des Moines from moving out to the suburbs with tax incentives to relocate/stay downtown.
-Put some real money into public transit (more buses, a few street car lines, maybe even a train one day!).
-Lower taxes on small businesses so that more non-chain restaurants would open.
-Put some sort of university branch in downtown Des Moines. A local university can work wonders on giving an area a more cosmopolitan feel.
-Put restrictions on sprawl.
-Redirect retail growth in Des Moines to downtown.
-Expand the Des Moines airport to encourage more business growth and create a link to downtown (with a bus or light rail).
-Make downtown Des Moines a place young people want to go.

Iowa has to do something make young people want to stay. Instead, high achieving high schoolers (who then go on to become top professional talent in the university) bail the state as soon as they turn 18 and never come back.

Iowa does have a lot of positives. It's cheap and the people are nice. Now the state really needs to build off of those assets to turn Iowa into a destination.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,848,644 times
Reputation: 1444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago_Guy312 View Post
I left Iowa after high school to go to college in Chicago. I never plan on returning to Iowa. I'll share some of the reasons I left and what, in my opinion, Iowa could do for young people. This is completely casual and anecdotal, so please don't berate me for my responses.

-From what I've seen through traveling, Iowa is one of the most "average" places in America. It's primarily a suburban/rural state. It's in the middle of the country and is mostly flat with four season weather. There isn't a whole lot of ethnic diversity. It's stereotypical "America."

Do something fun and different!

A city like Portland is a good example. On top of them being close to the mountains, Portland was able to set itself apart from the rest of America even further by laying out their city in a truly unique way for America.
They realized that every other city in the U.S. was starting to turn into an unsustainable, autocentric, and suburban "dream." Portland, through conservative land use policy and a "progressive" urban development model, was able to market itself as different from all that. Now Portland gets a lot of visitors from around the country who are looking for a sustainable and economically friendly city.

In Des Moines (which is where I used to live), this is not the case. It's a drive-everywhere lifestyle, chain restaurants, and plastic houses. The majority of young people, I'd say, are not looking for a plastic house in the suburbs of Des Moines, IA. They want something more exciting. But Iowa has a hard time offering that- so it loses a lot of its young professional talent to other urban centers around the country.

Des Moines should try and rebrand itself as the "Portland of the Midwest." It would take a bit of effort, but could really help attract the kind of people to Iowa who are begging to leave.

-Add bike lanes on roads (not just trails) to encourage biking for everyday use and not just for recreation.
-Keep companies in downtown Des Moines from moving out to the suburbs with tax incentives to relocate/stay downtown.
-Put some real money into public transit (more buses, a few street car lines, maybe even a train one day!).
-Lower taxes on small businesses so that more non-chain restaurants would open.
-Put some sort of university branch in downtown Des Moines. A local university can work wonders on giving an area a more cosmopolitan feel.
-Put restrictions on sprawl.
-Redirect retail growth in Des Moines to downtown.
-Expand the Des Moines airport to encourage more business growth and create a link to downtown (with a bus or light rail).
-Make downtown Des Moines a place young people want to go.

Iowa has to do something make young people want to stay. Instead, high achieving high schoolers (who then go on to become top professional talent in the university) bail the state as soon as they turn 18 and never come back.

Iowa does have a lot of positives. It's cheap and the people are nice. Now the state really needs to build off of those assets to turn Iowa into a destination.
1998 called. They'd like their current analysis of Des Moines back.

Wow....I feel like I just stepped back into a time warp.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:20 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 3,375,527 times
Reputation: 911
All this Urban Des Moines vs West Des Moines stuff really needs to come to end. It would be a lot more appealing if people didn't feel as if they had to choose sides.

Downtown would be better if it actually had some well-known chains. Sometimes this anti-chain attitude has to do with the fact, the chains aren't coming in the first place.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:00 PM
 
Location: St. Paul, MN
320 posts, read 749,502 times
Reputation: 452
Brief comment on the initial question - Iowa has a lot of things that appeal to a lot of people. I'm proud to be part of Iowa's brain drain - it wasn't for me - but it has low crime and convenience and relatively low cost of living and is very relaxing compared to many if not most other places. I think if more people around the country with those values were aware of these great things about Iowa, they'd consider moving there.

Also, more specifically, Dubuque is an absolutely beautiful city with the bluffs and hills and amazing old buildings and houses. Both outdoorsy people and history buffs would undoubtedly love it. Again, I think the main problem is that Dubuque, along with the rest of Iowa, simply isn't all that well-known, and has a reputation for being boring.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:32 AM
 
120 posts, read 281,506 times
Reputation: 88
Iowa, more specifically Des Moines, needs to cultivate a thriving arts culture. With all due respect to the sculpture park, which is truly wonderful, DM needs a world class museum.
Coming fom the east, I have never seen a city with so little focus on the arts. And sorry, the science center and DM art museum don't cut it. IMHO, if DM wants to grow as a well-rounded thriving and interesting city that people want to visit, it needs to create a thriving arts community centered around an outstanding museum.
The benefits of such a museum would be to increase tourism, create community interest, and provide an educational resource or school. If Bentonville Arkansas can do it, we should be able to!
I will be interested to hear what others think.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:06 AM
 
9,411 posts, read 10,372,132 times
Reputation: 8537
Quote:
Originally Posted by capitalcityguy View Post
1998 called. They'd like their current analysis of Des Moines back.

Wow....I feel like I just stepped back into a time warp.
No kidding!

I've lived in Des Moines since 2001, and the changes that have taken place here in the last 5 years alone are amazing. Some of the things the poster you are referring to have been implemented. (bikes lanes on the streets, for example....like Ingersol)

I find Des Moines to be quite diverse, really. Not as much as other parts of the country, maybe, but at my own place of employment I interact with people from all parts of the world with interesting stories of how and why they landed here.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:07 AM
 
9,411 posts, read 10,372,132 times
Reputation: 8537
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieJonez View Post
All this Urban Des Moines vs West Des Moines stuff really needs to come to end. It would be a lot more appealing if people didn't feel as if they had to choose sides.

Downtown would be better if it actually had some well-known chains. Sometimes this anti-chain attitude has to do with the fact, the chains aren't coming in the first place.
I agree. I LIKE chain restaurants for the most part. Just because there is more than one of a place to eat doesn't make it bad.
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