The urbanization of our planet is occurring more rapidly than ever before: by 2030 roughly two-thirds of the globe, or 5 billion people, will reside in cites. Alongside the obvious host of problems (overcrowding, overconsumption, lack of resources and adequate infrastructure, etc.,) this new urban world also presents a wealth of opportunity, including raising populations out of poverty, creating denser, more efficient cities, and improving quality of life for citizens across the globe. This year at Eco, cities are a huge topic of conversation–from increasing resilience to increasing food production to increasing citizen engagement through public art. The inspiring thing about the urban environment is that everyone can potentially change it; these sessions and special events aren't just for professionals, they also demonstrate what ordinary citizens are doing across the globe to better their city.
How to Futureproof Cities: The Director of Resilience for NYC joins this panel of experts to discuss how cities can utilize their natural resources and existing infrastructure to gear up against the increasingly scary effects of climate change.
Place by Design: What makes a livable city? This design competition showcases innovative projects that transform public space to make it more useful, interactive and better for residents. View the visionary entries here and see the 15 finalists in October.
Food in the City: Designing a Healthy Food Future: Food deserts lack access to fresh produce and are found in every city. This session brings together a group of citizen activists (including opening remarks speaker Ron Finley) to highlight innovative initiatives bringing good food to urban areas.
Urban Ecosystems: Design by Nature: Urban Designers are now considering the built environment a part of nature and designing accordingly. Learn about this revolutionary new wave of thinking through the case study of the Bullit Center, the first zero-impact commercial center.
IT vs Infrastructure in Developing the Smart City of the Future Internet is a critical component of urban life and rapid urbanization is challenging for networks. This session shares how IBM and others are developing solutions for "Smart Cities."
City as Living Laboratory: Sustainability Made Tangible through the Arts: Renowned environmental artist Mary Miss shares how public art can educate and spur citizen action through collaborations between artists, scientists and planners.
The above is a small sample of the great urban programming we have in the works. Log in to your SXSW account now to create your personal schedule for SXSW Eco. Haven't registered yet? Buy a badge today and book your hotel while they last.