Cities Summit

March 12-13 • The Cities Summit at SXSW is an opportunity for civic leaders, creative citizens, and urbanists of all disciplines to learn, strategize, and form partnerships to create more equitable, resilient, and livable cities.

Cities Summit

Photo by Lauren Lindley

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About the Cities Summit


Cities are key to a sustainable future. Relatively nimble bureaucracies and democratized access to the public realm make them testbeds for ideas with transformative potential. It’s cities (of all sizes) that often pioneer advancements in smart technologies, climate resiliency, social equality, civic engagement and health. As larger governing bodies fracture and stall, the world’s increasingly growing cities are the catalysts of change.

Cities aren’t built by policymakers and planners alone, they’re shaped by the culture, creativity and values of all who reside in them. It’s through this lens that the Summit at SXSW examines our communities: what roles do culture, technology and design play in shaping the equitable, resilient and livable cities of the future?

The SXSW Cities Summit is an opportunity for civic leaders, creative citizens and urbanists of all disciplines to join together to learn, strategize and form coalitions to service and benefit the cities of tomorrow. Join us for two days of dynamic programming, performance, pop-up exhibits, and events exploring the future of our cities.

“Cities are on the front lines of change in our society. Cities are where the economic expansion, the new ideas, and the cultural advances happen, where we are making the necessary progress on climate change and where we show that inclusion and diversity are not burdens to tolerate but necessary ingredients for success and survival. Cities are not bubbles where we preserve the past. Cities are incubators of the future. There is nowhere this is more true than Austin, Texas, and that’s why I am so thrilled that SXSW will be hosting a Cities Summit.”

– City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler


Register to Attend SXSW 2018

Join us for unparalleled discovery, networking, and inspiration at the 2018 SXSW Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas from March 9-18.

Register Now

Sponsorship Contact Form

Contact the SXSW Sponsorship Team for more information on developing a custom program that fits your needs and marketing goals.

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Place by Design


Place by Design is SXSW’s public space design competition, celebrating transformative work at the intersection of art, technology, and design that rethinks how we use and interact with our cities. Selected Finalists will present their work in a fast-paced showcase during the Cities Summit at SXSW 2018.

Place by Design provides a platform for artists, architects, designers and urbanists at all levels to present their scalable solutions for improving our shared landscape. Apply now for the chance to get your work in front of the diverse SXSW audience and win a Place by Design Award.


The SXSW Place by Design Competition is open to all types of design work that rethinks, enhances or transforms public space, including but not limited to emerging technologies, urban interventions, public art and architecture.

Work will be judged in part by its impact on the design problem it set out to solve, therefore conceptual submissions and projects in planning are not eligible for inclusion at this time.

Creative collaborations and work using data, media, emerging technologies, and the arts are encouraged to apply. No intervention is too small, but ultimately we are seeking original, ingenious ideas that are site-specific yet can scale, and will inspire other creatives, designers and urbanists to improve their own surroundings.

Applications Close: Friday, October 13, 2017 at 11:59pm PT

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Register to Attend SXSW 2018

Join us for unparalleled discovery, networking, and inspiration at the 2018 SXSW Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas from March 9-18.

Register Now

Session Formats

Learn more about the session formats for programming tracks at the SXSW Conference.

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This programming evolved out of SXSW Eco, and continues its mission to advance creative solutions that drive social, economic, and environmental change.

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