Fri October 25, 2013 at SRH/Bass Lecture Hall, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Reimagining Cities: Symposium Overview
On Octover 25, 2013 the Center for Politics and Governance hosted the first Reimagining Cities conference here the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. With over 225 people in attendance, panelists from across UT-Austin and around the country discussed topics centered on this year's theme, "Building Resiliency".
Arts, Culture, and Vibrant Cities
Doug Dempster (UT College of Fine Arts), Mark Stern (UPenn), and Shea Little (Big Medium - Austin, TX) discussed the role that arts and culture play in stimulating innovation and transforming urban areas. Conversation also explored research on the social and economic consequences that a dearth or abundance of cultural life and opportunity has for individuals. The panel was moderated by Francie Ostrower, Professor of Public Affairs and Professor of Fine arts at UT-Austin and Director of the Nonprofit Portfolio Program in Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship.
Urban Economic Resiliency
The second panel, moderated by Professor Robert Wilson, focused on the economic strength of urban centers and what urban economies may look like in the future. Brian Kelsey, CPG Fellow and Principal of Civic Analytics, and Christina Gabriel and Bomoni Howze of the University Energy Partnership at Carnegie Mellon University spoke to the effect of technology on the economy of the future and how cities can capitalize on recent economic trends and technological development to create a vibrant, prosperous urban core.
Mayor's Lunch Panel
At the lunch panel, Austin City Councilman Bill Spelman moderated a discussion with Mayor Lee Leffingwell of Austin, Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City, and Mayor Nelda Martinez of Corpus Christi. Mayor Cornett talked about his efforts to create a healthier Oklahoma City. Mayor Leffingwell discussed a number of Austin's transportation challenges and opportunities that come with growth, while Mayor Martinez laid out Corpus Christi's vision for capitalizing on their waterfront resources to stimulate development with Destination Bayfront.
TechGov: Creating Smart Cities
Reimagining Cities' final session focused on technology and how we can build smarter cities equipped for the future. Mark Strama, who is leading the rollout of Google Fiber in Austin, considered with the audience the effect that dramatically faster internet access can have on communication, how we work, and how that affects jobs of the future. Craig Watkins with the College of Radio, Television, and Film discussed his research into how younger generations adopt technology and communicate, complementing Stephen Elkins (City of Austin, CIO) discussion of how governments engage with citizens in a new technology-centered world. Mayor Cornett offered his perspective on the practical considerations and his experiences utilizing new technologies to accomplish his goals as Mayor.
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Special Thanks to our Sponsors:
IBM, Stratus Properties, The W Hotel, Focused Advocacy, Downtown Alliance, Austin Board of Realtors, Texas Municipal League