SXSW 2024

Building resilient public spaces in a time of crisis


Searing heat. Raging wildfires. Poisoned air. Catastrophic flooding. New diseases. Since 2020, we’ve become more aware of how disasters strain the fabric of communities, disrupting people’s ability to gather, support, and protect each other. This context makes social infrastructure – particularly well designed, accessible public spaces – essential to the resilience of communities. Our panel will bring together an architect, a sociologist, and a leader of a cultural institution to discuss the multiple dimensions of designing, building, and activating public spaces for community resilience.

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  1. The importance of functional, inspiring, and accessible public spaces to community and individual health and wellbeing.
  2. How communities, institutions, and individuals can advocate for and create effective and sustainable public spaces for learning and gathering.
  3. How learning plays a role in activating public spaces and building community (museums, libraries, maker spaces).



Sean Decatur, President, American Museum of Natural History

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Culture
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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