SXSW 2014 Panel: Taking it to the Street — Neighborhood as Interface

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SXSW Interactive 2014 panel organized by Emily Wright and myself, featuring Jake Levitas of the City of San Francisco's Innovation Office. Civic technologists, engaged artists, and makers are doing amazing things in their own silos. This panel asked and imagined what can happen when these neighbors and creators step out of their spaces and collaborate?

Civic technologists, engaged artists, and makers are doing amazing things in their own silos, but what can happen when neighbors and creators step out of their spaces and collaborate? On a grassroots, neighborhood-by-neighborhood level, there’s great opportunity for civic technologists to collaborate with artists engaged in social practice, and for makers to prototype new products, interfaces, and experiences in urban spaces.

Our panel is a dialogue between these creators, exploring what can happen when civic-minded coders, artists, and makers work together. We’ll look at models like the Urban Prototyping festival, examples like SMS controlled holiday lights and DIY traffic counters, and discuss how to connect developers and artists for projects that reimagine their neighborhoods.

During the panel, we'll be addressing these key questions: What are some real examples of people using technology and urban prototypes to create and measure urban impact? How has civic tech and local hacking changed the way City Governments approach solving urban challenges? How long has the civic tech and urban prototyping been happening, and what's next? Which services (APIs and open source hardware) are most useful and cost effective for civic projects? Which platforms (mapping, data collection, hosting, etc) are the most well-suited for civic projects? What makes an urban prototype successful? How have they gathered momentum?