Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn presented to a sold out audience of 350 attendees at the 2022 Great Cities Symposium, held October 12th at the Garden Club of Jacksonville.

His engaging talk centered upon how Tampa transformed its downtown with a focus on the underutilized Hillsborough River with the revitalization and expansion of waterfront parks and the completion of the Tampa Riverwalk.

“No one comes to your city because you have a Best Buy in the suburbs,” Buckhorn remarked as he emphasized the importance of creating vibrant downtowns to attract and keep young professionals in your city.  The impetus, he said, was that Tampa had been exporting its young talent to Charlotte and other cities, and the challenge was to stop that exodus.

By the time Buckhorn left office in 2019, Downtown Tampa and its riverfront, once described as “stagnant and empty,” had been dramatically transformed into an area known for its vibrancy, high quality public spaces, and bursting with new development.

The Great Cities Symposium is an annual fundraiser hosted by Scenic Jacksonville for the purpose of bringing inspired examples of leadership and peer city solutions to the people of Jacksonville. The program aims to inform, entertain and engage citizens with continuing discussions of how we can continue to improve our city for the benefit of future generations. It is the primary fundraiser for Scenic Jacksonville to further its mission.

Scenic Jacksonville wishes to thank its sponsors which make the event possible.  Gold Sponsors are FIS, Foley & Lardner, the Brinton family, Barbara and William Harrell and all sponsors are displayed on the event web page.

A video of the presentation will be posted on the website.