SXSW Interactive 2013

Hacking Cities for a Better, Sustainable Tomorrow

U.S. cities, often resource-strapped and perceived as slow to adapt, are not known as havens for digital innovation. However, leaders are emerging in and outside government institutions that are passionate about applying web-based technologies to address this reputation. Cities, overcoming budgetary roadblocks with digital solutions, are increasing engagement and enhancing efficiencies to improve civic accountability and management. Costly infrastructure investment is still a hurdle most cities can’t climb, but the most impactful innovation, not tied to big government or global corporations, is often driven by inspired individuals looking to solve problems in their communities: a neighborhood watch mobile application or a tool that makes better commute options accessible. Join us to discuss this emerging wave of place-based, localized innovation, spurred through a convergence of public, private and nonprofit efforts, to create smarter, more sustainable cities – one app at a time.

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  1. 1 How can cities reduce costs and become more sustainable by investing in digital infrastructure that fosters the adoption and accessibility of existing infrastructure and civic services?
  2. 2 How has city leadership evolved to take advantage of the benefits presented by investment in digital capabilities?
  3. 3 Which cities are already benefiting from digital innovation and “city hacking” and in what form? Substantial savings through streamlined civic management; improved quality of life; and/or cleaner, safer cities driven by more engaged citizens?
  4. 4 Is this “new wave” of government contractors that includes venture-backed companies and nonprofits, an indication that partnerships have evolved to create smarter, cleaner, safer cities?
  5. 5 What are some examples of this place-based, digital innovation, and how have communities responded via adoption and direct feedback? Is it scalable to make a macro-level impact, or are cities and communities holding the key to progress through their aggregate impact?



Laura Moen, Senior Associate, Bateman Group

Meta Information:

  • Tags: apps, sustainability
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Government and Civic Engagement
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginning
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