SxSW Interactive is the world's premiere technology and innovation conference, and this year, for the first time, cities were put at centre stage thanks to The Cities Summit. This event created a unique opportunity for civic leaders and creative urbanists of all disciplines to come together to learn, strategize and build coalitions with the goal of imagining and creating the cities of tomorrow. C40’s panel 'Innovative Cities Against Climate Change' formed a key part of this conversation.

On the morning of the March 13, Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40, was joined by Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, Kate Brandt, Sustainability Lead for Google, and Romain Lacombe of the start-up Plume Labs, for a discussion showcasing how, through both place-making and policy, cities are modern hubs for climate innovation.

One of the key discussion themes in the panel was the importance of engaging with citizens. This sentiment was shared by the city, tech giants and start-ups alike: climate action is everyone’s responsibility, and part of the key to solving it is to ensure that citizens are informed of the policies and technologies necessary for creating greener and cleaner cities for all.

Other topics discussed included how Google’s Project Sunroof and findings in their White Paper on Circular Cities can benefit cities' climate mitigation efforts and aid economic development, and how Plume Lab’s ‘Flow’ air quality tracker will crowd-source air quality data from individual devices to inform citizens on the quality of the air around their city.

You can listen to a recording of the session on the SxSW website.

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