Blog: Carol Coletta

Carol Coletta

Carol Coletta is president and CEO of CEOs for Cities and host and producer of the nationally syndicated public radio show Smart City.

Before moving to Chicago to head CEOs for Cities, she served as president of Coletta & Company in Memphis. In addition, she served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation.

Carol is a passionate advocate for cities, and she has devoted her life to answering the question: What makes cities succeed?  Since founding Smart City in February, 2001, she has interviewed almost 600 international urban leaders. Through her weekly conversations on Smart City, her research and consulting, and now as leader of CEOs for Cities, she continues her ongoing quest for the answers.

Among her accomplishments, Carol created and hosted the Memphis Manifesto Summit with Richard Florida, the first gathering of the creative class to write their call to action for cities; with economist Joe Cortright she developed a series of papers on talent, where it moves and why; she conceived and wrote the Talent Magnet Report, the first city blueprint aimed at attracting and retaining the creative class; and she co-authored Cultural Development in Creative Communities for Americans for the Arts.

Carol was a Knight Fellow in Community Building for 2003 at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Her paper on the Future of Cities, produced for the University of Houston Clear Lake’s Future Studies program, was selected for presentation to the World Future Society annual meeting.  She is currently a candidate for a Master of Design Methods at the Institute of Design at IIT.  She is frequently interviewed as an expert on urban issues by national media and is an active speaker on the success formula for cities and creative communities.

This year she was named one of the world’s 50 most important urban experts by a leading European think tank.