Acadiana’s community-minded residents will gather Thursday, April 1, at the City Club at River Ranch for insight on the best practices for urban land use from keynote speaker Carol Coletta, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities and host/producer of the nationally syndicated public radio show Smart City. Coletta’s address, part of The Independent Weekly Lecture Series, comes at a critical time for Lafayette Parish as it embarks on its first-ever comprehensive land use plan.

Coletta is one of the world’s top experts on urban issues. “We’ve had Carol on our ‘wish list’ for many years,” says Ind Co-Publisher Cherry Fisher May. “Her formula is simple: courage plus creativity and connectivity yields success. Lafayette’s strength is creativity, and we are making progress on connectivity. As we develop a blueprint for growth, the courage part may be the toughest for us.”

Coletta’s impressive résumé begins in Memphis, where she was president of the urban design consulting firm Coletta & Company. She later served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Architectural Foundation. Additionally, she is a former Knight Fellow in Community Building at the University of Miami School of Architecture, received the Lambda Alpha International 2009 International Journalism Award, was named one of the world’s 50 most important urban experts by a leading European think tank and was recognized last year as one of the top 50 urban thinkers of all time by readers of

Presenting sponsor for the lecture series is IberiaBank. The luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m. Tickets are $40 per person or $350 for a table of eight. Additional information, including a ticket order form, is available online at, or contact Cherry Fisher May at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (337) 769-8603 by phone.

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