Greater Omaha 2040


It’s 2040. Our region is one of the most inspirational places in the country. We are a model for community ingenuity and a place where your senses – what you see, hear, taste and touch – confirm our extraordinary attributes.

Built on a collaborative foundation, we develop, safeguard and maintain dynamic places in our region designed to impact our future in dramatic ways. Here, underpinned by a history of excellence, innovation and accessibility, the reality of a lively place to live, work and play is actualized.

2040 Goals for the Region

By 2040, the quality of the communities in our region will be known around the world.

  • Communities across the Omaha region have unique, inspiring and plentiful public gathering spaces. Public art is part of the everyday landscape inviting interaction in clever ways. The built environment also evokes beauty and inspiration, blending nature and technology in unique ways.
  • The community recognizes the importance of public spaces and funds an endowment for maintenance and enhancement through public-private partnership matched with public willingness to “Go Fund” these spaces.
  • The vibrancy of downtowns and key development areas across the region represent important facets of the diverse mix of places offered to residents and businesses alike. This variety proves successful as everyone can find developments that match their wants, needs and interests.
  • The tradition of attracting national and international artists to live in the Omaha area where they create, teach and innovate has evolved to include music and performing arts like nowhere else in the world.
  • Eppley International Airport is an award-winning, state-of-the-art airport with non-stop flights to every major domestic location and several key international locations. Nebraskans and Iowans alike are proud of the architecturally gleaming, modern gateway to our region.
  • Every neighborhood in the region is connected via a top-rated public transit system. Seamless travel between key employment nodes to a diverse mix of residential neighborhoods is the standard we have come to expect.
  • Along with accolades such as “The Best Place in America to Raise a Family,” Greater Omaha is now winning accolades as a “Best Place to Live” by a wide array of people, including young professionals, people of color, and military retirees.
  • Neighborhoods reflecting the diverse population’s cultural heritage flourish throughout the region. A stroll through outdoor eateries across the region expose all of the senses to the richness of ethnic variety, food, art and language.
  • Startups and major company R&D teams co-locate in downtown innovation centers that bring global technology leaders to the region on a regular basis. This interaction allows for accelerated corporate innovation and startup company formation and scale.
  • Motivated by the successful outcomes of truly groundbreaking work resulting from philanthropic investments in community research and development, the community anticipates a report annually on investments supporting R&D, and new ideas being tested in the private, social, philanthropic and public sectors that will improve the region.


What “disruptions” would increase our performance in this strategy?

  • Dedicating a percentage of city restaurant or sales tax receipts each year (with foundations matching this amount) to create a fund to inspire and pay for exceptional design by local or world-renowned building and place designers
  • Amending tax increment financing laws to allow property tax increments to be used to pay for a portion of the increased cost of building exceptional buildings and public spaces
  • Developing a 20-year regional transportation plan, which outlines needs and sources, that is endorsed by elected officials and supported by the private and philanthropic sectors
  • Offering Design-Thinking courses, much like Lean Principles courses that help to teach the discipline of innovation to big and small companies alike. Whereas Lean focuses on reducing costs, innovation training focuses on developing top line sales growth.
  • Organizing an annual meeting of leaders of all major institutions, “The Solution Summit,” to prioritize and solve the region’s most pernicious problems
  • Pairing foundation and government leaders with university and military researchers to utilize virtual reality expertise at UNMC and war gaming expertise at STRATCOM to develop innovative solutions to challenges in Greater Omaha
  • Acting on predictions and current trends that indicate a transition of privately held wealth to a system more focused on public and private foundations. An organized effort by foundation leaders and board members to coordinate funding priorities would ensure the region stands ready to proactively pursue new opportunities and ward off any emerging community challenges.