Becoming the Economic Lever for Equity in Your Community


The COVID-19 pandemic is amplifying economic disparities across the nation. Yet, there is one community resource that is leveling the playing field for underserved communities–linear parks. In this panel, you will hear representatives from parks in three cities throughout the south discuss their roles in increasing opportunities for people of color, enhancing accessibility, and implementing equitable practices that help advance marginalized populations. Panelists will talk about their aggressive policies to ensure inclusive spaces that lift the economic power of all.


  • Learn tools to transform open space into a lever for economic development opportunities
  • Learn new opportunities for leveling the playing field for small businesses in parks
  • Strategize how policies, both incremental and ambitious, can help eliminate existing economic disparities of adjacent communities


Clyde Higgs

CEO & President, Atlanta BeltLine Inc.

Carol Coletta

President and CEO, Memphis River Parks Partnership

Meg Daly

CEO/Founder, Friends of The Underline

Patrice Gillespie Smith

Chief Operating Officer, Friends of The Underline