CEO of Memphis Riverfront Parks Partnership is renowned urbanist and thought leader on public spaces

Jacksonville, FL (June 17, 2024) – Scenic Jacksonville is pleased to announce that Carol Coletta will be its guest speaker at its fifth annual Great Cities Symposium on Thursday, October 10th from 5:30 until 8 p.m. at the Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Avenue. Tickets are $120 per person and available for purchase at

Coletta is a nationally renowned leader in the revitalization of cities and transformation of public spaces. As president and CEO of the Memphis River Parks Partnership since 2017, she spearheaded the recently unveiled Tom Lee Park, a 31-acre riverfront park that is a model for inclusive, environmentally restorative urban parks. Prior to this role, Coletta led impactful initiatives at prestigious organizations like The Kresge Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and ArtPlace. Her pioneering work includes the $50+ million “Reimagine the Civic Commons” collaboration to leverage civic assets for shared prosperity across five cities. Named one of the top 100 urbanists, Carol also led the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation to help mayors tackle their thorniest civic design challenges.

The event’s evening activities will begin with a cocktail social hour from 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. featuring beer, wine, a signature cocktail and hors d’oeuvres from Biscottis. The program will be held from 6:15 – 7:30 to include remarks from Coletta and Q & A. Desserts and cocktails will be served from 7:30 – 8 p.m.

Scenic Jacksonville wishes to thank the sponsors which make the event possible. Gold Sponsors to date are Gateway Jax, Foley & Lardner LLP, the Brinton family, Barbara and William Harrell and Bert and Demetria Livingston. The full collection of sponsors are displayed on the event web page. Sponsorships are still available, and information including ticket sales can be found at

About the Great Cities Symposium

The Great Cities Symposium is an annual civic leadership event hosted by Scenic Jacksonville, launched in 2019 as part of our mission to inform, educate, and facilitate community conversations about how Jacksonville can learn from our peer city’s successes and challenges. It is the primary fundraiser for Scenic Jacksonville to further its advocacy work on the beautification of Jacksonville’s natural and built environment.

Prior speakers included former Procter & Gamble CEO AG Lafley (2023), former mayors Bob Buckhorn of Tampa (2022), Ron Littlefield of Chattanooga (2021), and Joe Riley of Charleston (2019).

About Scenic Jacksonville

Scenic Jacksonville, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan environmental organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and enhance the scenic character and beauty of Jacksonville, Florida. The organization grew out of earlier civic organizations that added important amendments to the Jacksonville City Charter, including the control and removal of billboards from city streets and highways, and preserving of the tree canopy by establishing a tree mitigation fund and process for replanting. City Beautiful Jax merged with Scenic Jacksonville in 2019 and today, the organization is focusing on initiatives to ensure our natural and built environment will be both beautiful and resilient for citizens, businesses, and visitors.