“In the end it wasn’t so much about the money, it was about prompting people to think up ideas and to work together to get them done,” Gartner says. Simultaneously, Principal, the insurance company, was taking the lead on a $70 million refurbishment of the downtown riverfront, to which it would ultimately contribute $18.5 million. The project, announced in 1999, featured a mile-long walking trail, two pedestrian bridges, an ice skating rink, and amphitheater, and took a decade to complete.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/how-des-moines-iowa-got-cool-213552#ixzz45FAL68n5
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