A walk in the clouds

Susan Hatten | Senior Manager; Corporate & Community Engagement, Holmes Murphy

The Idea: The city of New York, and Manhattan in particular, made a monumental decision nearly a decade ago to halt the demolition of their historic elevated freight rail line to convert it to a high-rise walking trail system. The now well-known High Line has become one of Manhattan’s most prized west-side tourist attractions and a featured gem of the city. In addition to providing a walking path that is free from the bustle of traffic and congestion in Manhattan, the High Line is host to 1.4 miles of walkable artwork and natural landscape, and weaves in elements of astrology and history. Imagine if such a trail could one day become a part of the fabric of downtown Des Moines. Des Moines has already embraced the idea of an elevated walking system through the use of our skywalk which is indeed an amenity, most certainly during our inclement weather months. Imagine if we were to add another component to this system that offered an outdoor experience to highlight natural vegetation, outdoor murals, virtual and visual experiences through astrology, city history, nature exposures and more. The Greater Des Moines Cloud-Trail could also plug in to already established amenities/structures downtown, to provide ease of access to our institutional landmarks, such as the Science Center, the Social Club, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, etc. Not to mention an ease of viewing and access to our thriving local musical, entertainment, food and restaurant scene. >