Speaker Adie Tomer: Transit is key underpinning of place-based economies

If you want to know where economies will thrive in the future, look to the places where people want to spend time. One of the key physical underpinnings of these place-based economies — among parks and open spaces and a walkable street grid – is public transit.

This is a central message of Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program and the next speaker in the Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series. His talk is timely in Greater Des Moines, where cultivating a place people want to experience is a core strategy to grow the region’s population and cement its status as a global city.

“We used to build really big stuff – everything from the canals to the transcontinental railroads and the highways,” he says. “What are we building now? How can we make sure our transportation builds the kind of economy we want going forward?”

Tomer, who leads the Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative at the Brookings Institution, focuses his work on metropolitan infrastructure usage patterns, including personal and freight transportation, and the intersections between infrastructure and technological development. Prior to his work at Brookings, Adie was a Senior Analyst at the New York County District Attorney’s Office where he advised senior executives on policy-relevant matters.

The Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series is an implementation strategy of The Tomorrow Plan, a plan for the sustainable development of Greater Des Moines.

Thank you to the generous sponsors of this event.