After more than two years of public and stakeholder engagement, the Heartland 2050 Vision was rolled out November 13, 2014. Five years later we can celebrate the following milestones.


Heartland 2050 Summit

Heartland 2050's 2019 Summit featured Katharine Eagan Kelleman, CEO of the Allegheny County Port Authority in Pittsburgh. Kelleman highlighted how transit services connect people and the importance of providing services to core users. She showcased innovative solutions in Pittsburgh, Tampa and elsewhere and emphasized putting people at the center of decision making and designing transportation systems.

"What's the point of having
amenities if your people
can't access them?"

Katharine Eagan Kelleman

Heartland 2050 Dallas Site Visit

Various community leaders, elected officials and stakeholders explored innovative ways to bring potential transportation and development options to the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro through a site visit to Dallas, Texas.

The visit focused on outcomes of transportation decisions and investments from 20 years ago that have led to Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and greater land use and transportation planning coordination.

Heartland 2050
Speaker Series Events

Framing Housing Narratives

As part of National Housing Week of Action, the Heartland 2050 Housing and Development Committee hosted a workshop focused on the critical role of housing for supporting a vibrant Omaha-Council Bluffs region.

"As housing costs have outpaced
local incomes, and situations
like the Yale Park Apartments
have highlighted fair housing
struggles, it is clear that
solutions are needed."

Andy Wessel, Community Health Planner, Douglas County Health Department

Better Block Workshop

In September, AARP Iowa, AARP Nebraska and Heartland 2050 brought Team Better Block co-founder Andrew Howard to the metro. His workshop focused on building awareness of the benefits of redesigning spaces for people, and building connections between organizations in our community. Andrew conducted three site consultations across the metro: North 24th Street corridor, South Omaha along Q Street and the 100 Block in Council Bluffs.

"These methods seek to
transition transformation
of a city from experts
to citizens."

Andrew Howard

Expanding Housing Choices Forum

AARP Iowa, AARP Nebraska, the UNO Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR) and Heartland 2050 hosted the Expanding Housing Choices forum to inform local advocates about "missing middle housing" and how to fill the gap using different, innovative methods of development.

Eli Spevak, founder of Orange Splot, LLC., was the keynote speaker and focused on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as one alternative to address the missing middle housing issue. Local community leaders and advocates presented their cases and research to connect the content to the metro.

"This is not just seniors living
in small homes, it's people
who just can't afford to live
anywhere else and they're
getting a family started."

Eli Spevak

Heartland 2050
Committee Work

Housing & Development

Natural Resources

Equity & Engagement



Collaboration helps drive participation and purpose within the region. In 2019, collaboration emerged between the Greater Omaha Chamber, Heartland 2050 and Metro Smart Cities to unite the shared goals of our region. We believe these projects help us achieve opportunity, economic growth and stewardship of transportation systems.

This effort was launched publicly in August 2019 and is led by the Greater Omaha Chamber and aligned closely with MAPA's Long Range Transportation Plan. The members of this initiative are working with the public to develop a regional transportation strategy, which is expected to be completed in 2020.

Metro Smart Cities
Heartland 2050/MAPA is an active founding partner in Metro Smart Cities, a multidimensional team of civic and community leaders dedicated to better connect our region's residents and visitors through innovative, technology-based mobility solutions.

Heartland 2050 is a community-driven initiative pulling in stakeholders from across the region to think big and
work towards a common vision for our six-county region anchored by the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area.

logoGuiding principles for the Heartland 2050 Vision


The preparation of this publication is financed through planning grants from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation through Iowa DOT and the Nebraska Dept. of Roads as Provided by the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration and the Economic
Development Administration and through local funds from member jurisdictions. The views and opinions MAPA expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Department of Transportation or the Economic Development Administration.