Written by The Independent Staff
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
Speaking to the crowd that had gathered at River Ranch’s City Club on April Fool’s Day for The Independent Weekly’s Smart Growth Lecture, Carol Coletta found little to joke about — though there were certainly light moments. More than previous Smart Growth lecturers, Coletta issued “a call to action” for Lafayette’s leadership and its residents, posing some tough questions about why our key community organizations, like the Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of Acadiana and economic development groups are so spread all over the city. Getting creative people like these in places where they naturally mingle creates more opportunities for “happy coincidences,” where they run into each other and have the kind of spontaneous exchanges that can lead to great ideas.
Coletta pressed for info about our efforts toward higher density, namely what we’re doing to jump-start infill projects — especially downtown residential. “The rest of the metro area holds its value better when you have a strong core,” Colleta said.
Shortly after asking the 35 and younger members of the audience to raise their hands, Coletta explained why 18 to 35 year olds are the generation we need to be planning for, people who want to move about a city by walking, cycling and mass transit. Bottom line: They don’t want to rely on a car like we do. “Homes with a higher walk score are now commanding much higher prices in the market,” she explained. “This is the market talking, not APA [American Planning Association], not AIA [American Institute of Architects].” Young couples and singles want clean cities, green cities, safe cities, places with housing that is affordable. She noted that 64 percent of 35 year olds first look for where they want to live and then look for a job there. Why weren’t more members of this younger generation in the room for the luncheon, she wondered aloud. Are they at the table for other meetings? And just what is Lafayette doing to plan for this trend?
Developing talent or attracting talent are only two ingredients in the recipe of a successful city, Coletta explained. Retaining those individuals is key. “You have to build a community for people making decisions about where they want to live,” she said, noting that 25 to 34 year olds are the most mobile in our society. “And the more education they have, the more mobile they are,” she added, underscoring the importance of education. “Tell me what percent of a population has college degrees and I can tell you if your city is successful.” Coletta also cited that as of 2000, one-third of this demographic was more likely to live in a 3-mile radius of a city’s central business district, up from only 12 percent in 1990. “We can see where things are headed, so act now,” Coletta urged. “The longer you wait, the behinder you will get.”
Coletta is president and CEO of CEOs for Cities and host/producer of the nationally syndicated public radio show Smart City. She urged Lafayette to find out what works best for it and to exploit that edge. In making her point, she noted that while she is passionate about the principles of Smart Growth and the importance of the arts for successful communities, she’s not necessarily a staunch advocate of either. “What I’m an advocate of is successful cities,” she said, “and whatever gets me there, I’m an advocate of.”
Presenting sponsor for the lecture series is IberiaBank. Van Eaton & Romero Real Estate has been a supporting sponsor for the Smart Growth Lecture each year. VER teamed up again this year with two other professional firms that share its prestigious address in Camellia Towers near River Ranch: Allen & Gooch law firm and Darnall, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick’s accounting and wealth management divisions.
Both Robert Daigle, developer of River Ranch in Lafayette and Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville, and the Lafayette Economic Development returned as sponsors as well, as did the Lafayette Economic Development Authority.
|Elaine Abel, Beth Ardoin and Elise Latimer||Jim Keaty, Mark Mouton and Sterling LeJeune|
|Carol Coletta, Karen Naomi and Jill and Teddy Beaullieu||Gerd Wuestemann, Carol Coletta and Gayle Romero|
|Carol Coletta and Gregg Gothreaux||Steve Gardes, Carol Coletta and David Strother|
|Becky Perret, Karen Naomi, Joey Durel and Mary Beth Langlinais|
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, December 19, 2013
Red from head to toe
Joshua Dore of Breaux Bridge was sentenced Tuesday to 1.5 years in prison for counterfeiting, according to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s office on Wednesday.
Last month, 19,629 passengers boarded planes at the airport, and another 19,627 passengers deplaned, also the highest number on record for the month, according to the airport’s figures released Wednesday.
School super Pat Cooper alleges Lafayette Parish School Board member Mark Allen Babineaux, an attorney, publicly disclosed the details of a closed-door executive session.
The Silverbacks Improv Theatre presents their annual “holiday” show tonight at Theatre 810.
A legal tug-of-war continues in a state levee board's lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies over the erosion of wetlands.
A former BP drilling engineer was convicted Wednesday of deleting text messages from his cellphone to obstruct a federal investigation of the company's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Sun Belt commissioner presents title and practice gets under way in preparation for Saturday
In Louisiana's latest tax amnesty period, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration added a new twist, letting companies settle their back-owed taxes with unused tax credits, instead of paying cash.
Kerry Bertrand’s charge was upgraded Tuesday by an Acadia Parish grand jury from manslaughter to second-degree murder for his alleged role in the drowning death of his stepdaughter, Skylar Credeur.
Sean Payton announced Wednesday that veteran Shayne Graham was New Orleans' new kicker, and that rookie Terron Armstead would get his first start at left tackle.
It’s the season for saving by helping Lafayette Animal Aid
NOLA Bowl outfits with flowy pieces
The lawsuit filed in New Orleans alleges that more than half the Social Security numbers on Mikal Watts’ client list were fake — either dummy numbers or numbers belonging to someone else, living or dead.
Industry veteran named GM and CEO of Cypress Bayou's casino and hotel operations.
The IND's directory, the most comprehensive in the market, includes health clubs, gyms, health and sports drinks, medical fitness facilities, and studios and classes to keep you healthy and fit in the new year.
More local companies expected to take advantage of economic boom.
Should new parents be required by law to attend special classes before being permitted to raise their child? It’s an idea state Rep. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, is seriously considering.
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates $800 million of sales tax revenue annually in Louisiana is not collected and remitted by internet vendors.