Scenic Jacksonville is pleased to welcome Ron Littlefield as its guest speaker at this year’s Great Cities Symposium on October 6th at the Garden Club of Jacksonville. A city planner by profession, Littlefield was the principal actor in Chattanooga, Tennessee’s transformation from a declining rust belt town, into a modern city known for innovation, strategic investments and high quality of life. The former two term Mayor of Chattanooga, two term City Council President, Director of Economic Development, and Commissioner of Public Works was also a charter member of the American Planning Association (APA) and now serves as senior fellow with the Governing Institute.

Chattanooga’s Holmberg Pedestrian Bridge (Ennis Davis)

The Great Cities Symposium is Wednesday, October 6th, 2021, 5:30pm, at the Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Avenue. The event’s presenting sponsors are FIS and Foley & Lardner LLP. In addition to hearing from Mayor Littlefield, guests will enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres from Biscottis and drinks from Champion Brands, Camp Craft Cocktails and Manifest Distilling. Covid precautions will be observed. Tickets are now on sale at:

Chattanooga’s Walnut Street Bridge (Ennis Davis)

While Mayor of Chattanooga, Littlefield attracted billions of private investment from companies such as Volkswagen and Alstom, won international acclaim for trailblazing high performance municipal broadband, and prioritized green infrastructure and the execution of strategic planning goals. Prior to serving as Mayor, Littlefield oversaw the undertaking of Vision 2000 – one of the first large scale visioning projects in the United States – credited with changing public outlooks and attitudes, and setting the table for Chattanooga’s transformation from “the dirtiest city in America”, as CBS News notoriously described, to a new local economy based on environmental sustainability and high quality of life. The city’s current success, including it’s vibrant Downtown and riverfront, are due in large part to the plans and priorities Littlefield helped create over the span of three decades.

The Passage Waterwalk in Downtown Chattanooga (Ennis Davis)

The Great Cities Symposium benefits Scenic Jacksonville, a nonprofit organization working to preserve, protect and enhance the natural and built environment of Jacksonville, Florida. The first Symposium was held in 2019, featuring Joe Riley, prolific Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina. The 2020 edition was canceled. By bringing in notable city leaders from around the US to share their experiences, the organization hopes to inspire and engage the public and decision makers. More about Scenic Jacksonville:

Riverfront Parkway, a former expressway, along the Downtown Chattanooga riverfront. (Ennis Davis)

FIS, Foley & Lardner LLP, Haskell, VyStar Credit Union, Tom Bush Volkswagen, Garden Club of Jacksonville and The Brinton Family provided key support for this event.

Chattanooga’s Coolidge Park. (Ennis Davis)

*COVID precautions will be observed: Limited attendance; masks required indoors when not eating or drinking; covid questionnaire required at entry.

Chattanooga’s Renaissance Park (Ennis Davis)

Guest editorial by Bill Hoff