Design Your Coral Gables: Smart City Solutions Contest 1/25/2019

The Design Your Coral Gables: Smart City Solutions Contest will launch on Day 2 of the Smart Cities MIAMI Conference 2019 (Friday, January 25, 2018 8:30 AM-2:00 PM). The Contest is organized by the City of Coral Gables, the UM School of Architecture, and the UM Center for Computational Science Smart Cities program.

For questions regarding the contest, please email:  |  Day 2 is free, please register here.

Objective and Overview

Engaged citizens, urban planners, architects, engineers, businesses, and others—regardless of background or skillset—are invited to join in the Design Your Coral Gables: Smart City Solutions Contest. The goal of this Contest is to prototype technology solutions to Transportation and Traffic challenges facing the City of Coral Gables, with the purpose of improving the quality of life for those who live, visit, study, or work in the City of Coral Gables.

In order to provide an opportunity for a direct impact on the quality of life in Coral Gables, solutions submitted through this Contest will have a chance to become integrated into the Coral Gables Smart City Hub. You can find more information about the Smart City Hub by visiting:

Teams will compete over a three-month period for the chance to make a difference, as well as for cash prizes, networking opportunities, and official recognition. Diversity of backgrounds leads to innovation, therefore, the formation of multidisciplinary teams is encouraged.

Possible Categories

  • Web/Mobile Applications
  • IoT Systems

The Challenge

Design Your Coral Gables: Smart City Solutions Contest

The Contest will be focused on specific sub-problems under the general domain of Transportation and Traffic. The City aims to improve the quality of life for its citizens and visitors who are travelling by car, via public transportation, or on foot.

Teams may choose to focus their solution on one of the following 5 Transportation and Traffic sub-problems:

  1. Commercial Trucks in the Coral Gables downtown area (parking, blocking, traffic congestion, blocking alleys, loading zone violations, public safety issues, pedestrian/bike conflicts).
  2. Parking (availability, efficiency, finding parking in Downtown and other areas).
  3. Environmental Sustainability of transportation solutions (carbon emissions, air quality, noise pollution, adoption of EVs, etc.).
  4. Public Safety related issues (pedestrian and bicyclist safety, etc.); Encouraging walking/cycling in Coral Gables, including making these modes safer for all users.
  5. Speed Safety in neighborhoods:
    a.  Provide data to residents on speeding in their neighborhood, which can be used to justify traffic-calming devices
    (IoT devices that measure speed and detect license plates / a variety of technologies that work together / cheaper, faster IoT)
    b.  Waze data partnership providing real-time-incidents data such as: accidents, traffic jams, construction
    c.  Real-time actionable maps for first responders (quicker turn around for speed studies done by officers)

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the technology and sustainability priorities, plans, and up-to-date success stories for the City of Coral Gables, the following resources are available:

Timeline and Important Dates

January 25, 2019 Launch event and official start during Day 2 of the 3rd Annual Smart Cities Miami Conference
February 1, 2019 Deadline for team registrations
February 22, 2019 Checkpoint 1 (budget due) – Venture Café
March 29, 2019 Checkpoint 2 – Venture Café
April 29, 2019 Project showcase and judging at eMerge Americas 2019

For each of the two checkpoints, teams will present the progress they have made on their solutions and receive feedback from the judges. These face-to-face, real-life events provide excellent opportunities to meet and network with the other participants, city officials, judges, and UM staff, students and faculty!

Contest Deliverables

During launch, examples of solutions already in place will be shown for guidance. Datasets will be provided for you to work with on your solutions. The deliverables should include:

  • Tools and Datasets used, and . . .
  • Specify those utilized from the Coral Gables Smart City hub

If your solution requires a prototype, deliverables should also include:

  • A schematic design with enough development that shows how it could work when integrated to the city platform
  • Describe how it will work and what further development it would need to scale from the current development stage

In addition:

  • Include a description of each team member’s contribution, participation, and role in the project.


Teams can leverage data and resources from two sources:

An overview of the available resources can be found here.  Although the challenges outlined above are Transportation-and-Traffic specific, robust solutions will consider additional factors and their interplay with Transportation and Traffic issues. Therefore, we encourage all teams to explore the breadth of datasets and resources outlined below.

Coral Gables at night


For the Web App Development category, here are some web apps powered by Open Data which may be used as examples:

  • Debris Reporting – Alternative web app for inputting and update debris reporting and removal
  • Historic Districts & Properties – History Districts & Properties of Coral Gables
  • Sustainable Living – Sustainable Living Web App for the City of Coral Gables
  • About Coral Gables – Summary Statistics and Demographics of Coral Gables

For the IoT System category, here are some examples:

  • Giralda Plaza pedestrian counters
  • Cisco Kinetic IoT platform and APIs, smart lights and sensors on Miracle Mile (vehicle/bikes/pedestrian traffic, parking spaces, environmental, air quality, and acoustic sensors), and other sensors Wi-Fi RF sensors in Downtown (they provide visitor count data)
  • Waterway Gauge IoT Sensors: Blue Road and Cocoplum canals
  • Open IoT Engines

Giralda Avenue, Coral Gables, at night


  • The contest is open to everyone regardless of age, race, profession, occupation, or any other categories.
  • You must use the resources available on the Coral Gables Smart City Hub.
  • You may use supplementary resources from any other sources, as long as they are intended for open use, or, you have explicit permission to use them.
  • All solutions must have the potential to integrate with the Coral Gables Smart City Hub.
  • Teams should not exceed 5 members, with clearly separated tasks that are carefully outlined in your final submission.
  • Teams should consist of members with expertise in more than 2 disciplines.
  • You may integrate previous projects that you have worked on into your solution, provided that they are indeed your projects. If you are building on previous work by other groups, ensure that you have explicit permission to use it, and, ensure that you provide detailed credits of who made which contributions.
  • You may seek help from other experts, consultants, anyone outside of your team who might be useful, as long as you disclose their contributions in your submission.

eMerge Americas logoPrizes

There will be three prizes, across both categories of Web App and IoT (i.e. it is possible for all three prizes to represent one or the other category, or any mix of the two):

  • 1st place: Package includes $2,500 + token/memberships to city facilities
  • 2nd place: Package includes $1,500 + token/memberships to city facilities
  • 3rd place: $1,000 + token/memberships to city facilities

Additionally, finalists will receive official recognition from City officials at the City Commission presentation (Date TBA), and at eMerge Americas 2019 (April 29-30).


Awards will be decided during the final presentation event. The 1st and 2nd place prizes will be decided by expert judges. The 3rd place award will be a People’s Choice Award, decided through voting by attendees at eMerge Americas.

For the 1st and 2nd place prizes, a group of 5 judges will use a rubric that consists of the following weighted dimensions:

  1. Interconnectivity: Is there a clear way to integrate solution with Smart City Hub?
  2. Originality
  3. Transparency
  4. Sustainability
  5. Feasibility: Does the technology exist to do this well?
  6. Impact: Economic impact, Public Health impact, Citizen Engagement impact
  7. Cost Effectiveness
  8. Team’s Interdisciplinarity


  • University of Miami Center for Computational Science (CCS):  Chris Mader, Director, Software Engineering
  • University of Miami School of Architecture:  Rodolphe el-Khoury, PhD, Dean, and Program Director, CCS Smart Cities
  • Business SME:  Pamela Fuertes, the City’s new Economic Development Director, and an international business expert with many years in the Beacon Council and other organizations
  • Sustainability SME:  Matt Anderson, the City’s Senior Sustainability Analyst, and one of the architects of the City’s Sustainability Master Plan
  • Technology SME: Nelson Gonzalez, CISSP; the City’s Assistant IT Director and an expert in cybersecurity, network engineering and IT

Organizing Committee Members

  • University of Miami School of Architecture
    • Dean Rodolfe el-Khoury
    • Christopher Chung
  • University of Miami Center for Computational Science (CCS)
    • Athina Hadjixenofontos, PhD
    • Giannina Bianchi
  • City of Coral Gables
    • Raimundo Rodulfo, P.E., IT Department
    • Mark Herbert, Customer Support and GIS Manager, IT Department
    • Mark Brown, Senior Multi-Modal Engineer, Public Works Department, Sustainable Public Infrastructure Division


City of Coral Gables logo






LOCATION   Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center  (Irvin Korach Gallery)
University of Miami School of Architecture, 1223 Dickinson Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146  Map | Directions

PARKING will be complimentary to all Day 1 and Day 2 attendees in the 434-N lot behind the Watsco Center.


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