Roundtable Series on Urban Instrumentation

Roundtable Series on Urban Instrumentation

What is the MetroLab Roundtable Series on Urban Instrumentation?

The Roundtable Series on Urban Instrumentation promotes purposeful, responsible, and open technology deployment. The initiative will bring together local government officials, academics, industry, and nonprofit representatives to discuss and publish interactive toolkits and resources on the opportunities and considerations associated with the deployment of various sensor technologies and other urban instruments.


What topics will be discussed at each roundtable?

During the planning phase of the Roundtable, MetroLab will convene a group of experts from government, universities and non-profits to discuss the most pressing priorities in regards to instrumentation for our urban centers. The planning phase will identify eight instrumentation topics (e.g. air quality sensors, video analytics, drones, wifi/kiosks, satellite imagery, AI/machine learning techniques for sensor data) each of which wil form the basis of a specific roundtable.


What is the format of the Roundtable Series?

The effort will identify eight instrumentation topics and organize quarterly roundtables — one on each topic — over the course of two years. During each quarterly workshop, MetroLab will bring approximately 30 experts from across sectors to discuss and collaborate to develop toolkits for the broader community for that specific urban instrumentation topic. MetroLab will then work with the experts to publish interactive toolkits and resources on the opportunities and considerations associated with subject.
The toolkits will include:

  • leading case studies for each technology
  • short papers for Mayors/CTOs/CIOs on the “10 year vision” for each technology in terms of their future impact and on privacy, ethics, data storage associated with that technology
  • 10 questions every CTO/CIO/Procurement officer should ask about each urban instrument discussed
  • sample privacy principles, memoranda of understanding, and other material developed by network members that would be useful to the broader community


Why is this initiative important?

The Roundtable Series will bridge the gap between an industry-led smart cities conversation, a non-profit-led Internet-of-Things privacy discussion, and an effort led by cities and the scientific community to encourage open science (publicly available data) in instrumentation. Not only would this forum probe important questions and push out actionable materials to a network of city CTOs/CIOs/agency heads, it will also be a breeding ground for future collaborations, partnerships, and research. Additionally, this effort will be an opportunity to set forth principles from cities and universities to industry to embrace open science by making data available publicly, in standard formats, that can be used for analysis by open software and third party tools, for government practitioners, university scientists, and other stakeholders.


Who is supporting the Roundtable Series on Urban Instrumentation?

Metrolab Network has received foundation support for the planning phase of the Roundtable Series and is seeking support for the full initiative.


When will the Roundtable Series begin?

MetroLab will be hosting a planning workshop May 22, 2017 in Washington, DC and expects to hold the first roundtable event in September 2017. The series will continue quarterly thereafter for a total of eight roundtables.


How do I get involved?

As we develop the topics for the Roundtable Series we will share information and ways to get involved through our newsletter. Sign up here if you haven’t already. Alternative, please contact us if you have an specific questions about the roundtable series.