Civic leaders from Kansas City, St. Louis, Des Moines and Omaha on Tuesday met in Des Moines to announce a joint effort among four Midwestern cities that often compete with each other.
Participants said the new Heartland Civic Collaborative was created to promote common goals in a “mega-region initiative.”
The effort will begin by addressing the cities’ mutual interests in four areas: federal advocacy, transportation, entrepreneurship and life sciences. It also expects to promote the region’s economic attractiveness and opportunities for development.
Planners said the four regional cities have common strengths in natural resources, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and life sciences growth. Each city also is undergoing successful economic development initiatives, members said.
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An immediate goal of the collaboration is to “leverage the influence” of the congressional delegations to allow the region to speak with a louder and unified voice in Washington.
The Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution assisted in developing the collaboration.