• Smart Cities Miami 2019 Keynote Speaker Rony Abovitz
    Smart Cities Miami 2019

    Smart Cities 2019 Keynote Speaker is Magic Leap’s Rony Abovitz

    Rony Abovitz, Founder, President, and CEO Magic Leap

    Rony founded Magic Leap in 2011, but was dreaming about such things for most of his life. Prior to Magic Leap, he was the co-founder and Head of Development and Technology for MAKO Surgical, the world leader in human-interactive robotics for orthopedic surgery. Rony was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum for his work on computer-assisted technologies for minimally invasive surgery. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a M.S. in biomedical engineering from the University of Miami.

    Read WIRED’s “The Untold Story of Magic Leap, the World’s Most Secretive Startup

  • Coral Gables City Hall at night

    Design Your Own Coral Gables: Smart City Solutions Competition

    Design Your Coral Gables Competition

    Do you have ideas on how to improve the quality of life for those who live, visit, study, or work in the City of Coral Gables?  The Design Your Coral Gables: Smart City Solutions Competition is your chance to bring your ideas to life by prototyping technology solutions on 1 of 5 Transportation and Traffic challenges.

    Join us to make a difference and win CASH and OTHER PRIZES!  Organized by the City of Coral Gables, the University of Miami School of Architecture, and the University of Miami Center for Computational Science. The Competition officially launched at the 3rd annual Smart Cities MIAMI Conference (Friday, January 25, 2019).

    The Competition registration period is now closed. For questions regarding the Competition, please email ccsengagement@miami.edu. There is no fee to enter the Competition.

    Important Dates


    January 25, 2019 Launch event and official start during the 3rd Annual Smart Cities Miami Conference
    February 8, 2019 Deadline for team registrations
    February 21, 2019 Checkpoint 1 (budget due) – Venture Café  Click here to RSVP for checkpoint #1!
    March 21, 2019 Checkpoint 2 – Venture Café . Amazon Room 6th floor Click here to RSVP for checkpoint #2! 
    April 29, 2019
    2:00 – 4:30 PM
    FINAL PRESENTATIONS and judging at eMerge Americas
    Miami Beach Convention Center, 2nd Floor,  Room 210

    At 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!

    Checkpoint 2  March 21, 2019
    Amazon Room, 6th floor

    6:00 – 6:30 PM Welcome
    6:30 – 8:00 PM Individual PowerPoint presentations + Q&A (10 min  (recommended) w/5 min Q+A per team] .

    Participants planning to deliver any type of digital presentation are asked to bring their own laptop and any adapters required to connect to the AV equipment.

    8:00 – 8:30 PM Closing Remarks


    Three prizes will be offered across 2 categories:  Web/Mobile Applications and Internet of Things (IoT).
    [Note: It is possible for all 3 prizes to be awarded within one category, or to any mix of the 2.]

    Finalists will also receive recognition at eMerge Americas 2019 (April 29-30), and at a Coral Gables City Commission presentation (Date TBA).



    Engaged citizens, urban planners, architects, engineers, businesses, and others—regardless of background or skillset—are invited to participate in the Competition. In order to provide an opportunity for direct impact on the quality of life in Coral Gables, solutions submitted through this Competition will have a chance to become integrated into the Coral Gables Smart City Hub. Find more information about the Smart City Hub by visiting: coralgables.com/smartcity.

    Teams will compete over a 3-month period, affording networking opportunities and the chance to make a difference. Diversity of backgrounds leads to innovation, therefore, the formation of multidisciplinary teams is encouraged.


    The Challenge

    The Competition will be focused on 5 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 1 of these 5 sub-problems:

    1. Design Your Coral Gables: Smart City Solutions ContestCommercial 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).




    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:


    Web/Mobile App Examples

    For the Web App Development category, here are some web apps powered by Open Data that 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



    IoT 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

    Coral Gables at night



    Teams may leverage data and resources from 2 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.


    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
    • 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.


    Coral Gables Giralda Avenue at night



    • The Competition is open to everyone regardless of age, profession, or occupation.
    • 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.
    • Participants may not enter into the Competition on behalf of or as a representative of an organization.
    • Participants cannot produce for consideration a product that is already in the market.


    Coral Gables storefront at night


    eMerge Americas logo


    Winners will be selected during the final presentation event. 1st and 2nd place winners 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 Interdisciplinary



    • 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
    • City of Coral Gables 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
    • City of Coral Gables Sustainability SME:  Matt Anderson, the City’s Senior Sustainability Analyst, and one of the architects of the City’s Sustainability Master Plan
    • City of Coral Gables Technology SME: Nelson Gonzalez, CISSP; the City’s Assistant IT Director and an expert in cybersecurity, network engineering and IT
    • Greenberg Traurig: Jorge L. Navarro, Shareholder | Land Development, Real Estate

    Organizing Committee

    • University of Miami School of Architecture
      • Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury
      • Christopher Chung
    • University of Miami Center for Computational Science (CCS)
      • Joel Zysman, Director, Advanced Computing
      • Giannina Bianchi
    • City of Coral Gables
      • Raimundo Rodulfo, Director, IT Department
      • Mark Herbert, Customer Support and GIS Manager, IT Department
      • Mark Brown, Senior Multi-Modal Engineer, Public Works Department, Sustainable Public Infrastructure Division

    Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel




    Bilzin Sumberg logo             IBM logo


                            City of Coral Gables logo



    University of Miami School of Architecture logo         University of Miami Center for Computational Science logo


    City of Coral Gables logo             City of Coral Gables Community Recreation It Starts in Parks logo


  • WIEE 2018 World Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expo, Shanghai, University of Miami School of Architecture Smart Cities display featuring Zenciti

    WIEE World Innovation & Entrepreneurship Expo

    UM School of Architecture Dean and CCS Smart Cities program director Rodolphe el-Khoury reported in from the inaugural WIEE  World Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expo 2018 in Shanghai:  “It turned out to be quite a good event and forum. UM was very visible, billed as ‘founding partner,’ and in great international company—MIT, Syracuse, UC San Diego, Aalto University, Tongji University, etc.”

    Dean el-Khoury shared a few images of the conference and expo site, including UM’s container/exhibition, which showcased the collaborative work of SoA and CCS. This display will be open to the public for one year.  He also reported that Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez made a cameo appearance with a video message in which he offered to host the event in 2020. Conversations for potentially interesting research projects and partnerships with Tongji, MIT Media Lab, and other institutions were initiated.

    Stay tuned for more exciting news from WIEE . . .


  • Smart Cities Miami 2018 presented by Hotwire Communications
    Smart Cities Miami 2018

    Smart Cities Positions UM in the Vanguard

    Rodolphe el-Khoury Moderater Smart Cities Miami 2018 presented by HotwireSmart Cities Miami 2018 presented by Hotwire Communications



    The 2nd annual Smart Cities Miami Conference, presented this year by Hotwire Communications, explored the convergence of technology, design, and development in the shaping of a new urban landscape transformed by design innovation and disruptive technology.

    The School of Architecture Dean RODOLPHE EL-KHOURY (partner Khoury Levit Fong) kicked off the event with a survey of ongoing activities in UM’s Smart Cities Program ranging from the mapping of informal settlements in Latin America with the help of digital technology to the design of a smart city in Mexico. “These projects position UM in the vanguard of the field and compel us to sustain with this annual conference, a public forum on smart cities,” said Dean el-Khoury who moderated Panel 1 Design and Desires: Beyond the Practical City featuring:

    Panel 1 explored areas where city-making and technology align with motivations that exceed issues of optimization and efficiency. The panelists presented and discussed examples that expanded the scope of smart cities in enhancing urban environments and experience.


    Leigh-Ann Buchanan Moderater Smart Cities Miami 2018 presented by Hotwire Communications

    The afternoon session began with Panel 2  Mapping the Hyper-Connected City: Perils and Opportunities, which took a critical look at smart cities. It was moderated by LEIGH-ANN BUCHANAN, Founding Executive Director of Venture Café Miami, and featured:

    • UM School of Architecture Dean Emeritus (1995-2013), Malcolm Matheson Distinguished Professor of Architecture, and Director of the Master of Urban Design Program ELIZABETH PLATER-ZYBERK, FAIA, LEED, AP (DPZ Partners);
    • RICHARD GRANT, Professor and Urban Studies Director in the Department of Geography & Regional Studies (UM);
    • ALLISON SCHIFANI, a founding member of SPEC, an urban research and design collaborative and Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities (UM Department of Modern Languages and Literatures); and
    • DANIELLE UNGERMANN, Co-Captain at Code for Miami. The panel confronted and debated some challenging aspects of smart cities such as the erosion of privacy and surveillance, problems inherent to processes of quantification and rationalization, issues of power, control and exclusion.


    Jay Massirman Moderater Smart Cities Miami 2018 presented by Hotwire Communications

    The last panel and centerpiece of the conference Panel 3 Smart Cities: From Efficiency to Sustainability, discussed the potential of new technology in building more sustainable, fulfilling and equitable cities. Examples included developments in smart buildings and energy, participatory e-governance next-generation logistics and transportation. It was moderated by JAY MASSIRMAN, President of Rivergate Companies (Real Estate Holding), featuring:

    • RODRIGO ARBOLEDa, CEO and Co-Founder of Fastrack Institute, a non-profit entity accelerating exponential technologies into societies;
    • ANDREA CALECE, Cisco IOT & Smart City Business Development Americas Senior Manager;
    • AUDREY LEVI, Executive VP, Business Development for Inacomp Technology Solutions Group, aligning IT, processes and people to business goals;
    • JIM SLATTERY, Senior Vice President of Advanced Technologies for Smart Cities presenting sponsor  Hotwire Communications, LLC, an industry technology authority; and
    • MATTHEW ZIRKELBACH, President RunBrook and Co-Founder SustainaBase, creator of proprietary sustainability metrics technology.


    David Benjamin Keynote Speaker Smart Cities Miami 2018 presented by Hotwire CommunicationsKEYNOTE SPEAKER  The conference’s first day concluded with keynote speaker, David Benjamin, Founding Principal of The Living and Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning (Columbia GSAPP). He presented a variety of innovative projects that treat the city as a living organism with complex and interacting components. Generative design, enabled by computational infrastructure, fueled the creation of Mycelium-based building blocks designed to compost and disappear at the end of the building’s lifecycle. Generative algorithms enabled David’s group to design optimal solutions to problems ranging from sustainable and resilient building façades to ultra-lightweight and extra-stiff partitions for an Airbus aircraft.



    If you missed Day 1, you can watch it now on YouTube:




    smart cities miami workshop 2018 awardDAY 2 WORKSHOP  The Workshop on Day 2, “Hacking Main Street: How can technology enhance public space?” gathered teams of urban planners, architects, city officials, engineers, and students to design smart systems for The Underline, Miami’s 10-mile linear park and urban trail that follows the Metrorail. Participants worked in multidisciplinary teams after receiving guidance from workshop organizers on key considerations for designing for the Internet of Things, such as system connectivity, embedded technology, big data, and user experience. The multidisciplinary teams competed for a prize that recognized innovation, entrepreneurship, and offered an impressive range of ideas that transformed the linear park into a smart corridor.  (Watch the video.)




    Special Thanks

    to our Presenting Sponsor Hotwire Communications
    Gold Sponsor Florida Power & Light

    Thank you to our Exhibitors
    City of Coral Gables Smart Initiatives
    Drone Nerds of Pinecrest
    Emerald City
    Fision by Hotwire Communications
    GO+ Lighting Service by Itelecom USA
    Historic Coral Gables
    RAD-UM Lab
    Zing Rides

    SOURCE  news.miami.edu


  • Ivan Toth Depena, Depena Studio, Inside Out
    Panelists,  Smart Cities Miami 2018

    Artist Ivan Toth Depeña Smart Cities 2018 Panelist

    Ivan Toth Depeña is an artist who is currently living and working in Charlotte, NC. With a Masters Degree in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Depeña’s artistic production is informed by his experience in art, architecture, technology and design, and encompasses a range of media. Depeña pursues the intersection between different disciplines with the aim of choreographing the moment when these aspects come together seamlessly. Using traditional avenues such as drawing, painting and sculpture then interweaving interactivity/responsiveness, video, light and high-tech methods of fabrication, Depeña explores the fine line between chance and intention. 

    Depeña has been working increasingly in the public realm and maintains a rigorous and experimental, self directed studio practice. He has exhibited extensively, nationally and internationally, in both solo and group exhibitions, including at the McColl Center, NC; Praxis NY, NYC; New Britain Museum of American Art, CT; Pérez Art Museum Miami, Frost Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. Depeña has recently completed large-scale public commissions in New York, NY; Denver, CO; Albuquerque, NM; Gainesville, and Miami, FL. His work is held in numerous public and private collections.

    In early 2014, he was awarded a prestigious Knight Arts Challenge Miami Grant for his proposal for a first of it’s kind series of augmented reality public art projects throughout South Florida called “Lapse”. Depeña was also a finalist for the renowned Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) Grants & Commissions program for Hispanic artists for 2017-2018. In addition, he received a nominated for the prestigious United States Artist grant in 2017.

  • Gridics Zonar at Smart Cities Miami 2017
    Exhibitors,  Smart Cities Miami 2018

    Limited Free Exhibitor Spaces Smart Cities 2018

    Smart Cities Miami 2018 presented by Hotwire is offering a limited number of free exhibitor spaces. Showcase your business to an audience of potential clients, students, faculty, researchers, entrepreneurs, and smart cities experts. If selected, you will be contacted by a member of our team to discuss the details of your station and set up.  Spaces will be assigned in the Irvin Korach Gallery.  Power source and a high-top-height table and bar-stool height chair will be provided. All display station items, A/V equipment, etc. will be the responsibility of the exhibitor.

    Please click here if you would like to apply for an exhibitor space for Smart Cities Day 1 (10:00 AM7:00 PM).

    For more information, email Events.ARCH@miami.edu.

  • Miami Worldcenter Night Plaza
    Smart Cities Miami 2018,  Workshop

    Day 2 Workshop: Hacking Main Street 4/6/2018

    FREE WORKSHOP |  Attendance by Selection only

    “Hacking Main Street: How can technology enhance public space?”

    Smart Cities Conference Miami 2018 presents the “Hacking Main Street” Workshop which will look into the design and development of sensors with a built-in capacity to deliver information at the point of data collection. The main idea revolves around the general theme of turning the “under the hood” processes of data collection and digital connectivity into on-site visualizations carrying intelligible messages. The smart city we envision communicates the information it generates from its ubiquitous sensors at every opportunity, as an integral feature of the built environments, rather than through dashboards on desktop computers or smart devices. The goal of these systems is to heighten awareness which could result in a cultural shift as well as an immediate behavioral response. To this end, participants in this workshop will team up to ideate and produce a concept (for system that delivers information at the point of data collection) related to any domain of public life, from entertainment to sea-level rise and health. Experts from the University of Miami will kick off the workshop with short presentations of key areas for consideration when designing these systems.

    8:30 AM  Registration and Continental Breakfast (groups will be indicated on your badge)

    9:00 AM  Framing the Scope: Presentations (10 minutes each) 10:00 – 10:15 AM  Coffee Break

    10:15 PM  Hacking Main Street

    12:30 PM  Lunch (provided)

    1:00 PM  Presentations (5 groups, with 5 minutes each and 5 minutes for Q and switching presenters)

    1:50 – 2:00 PM  Award and Closing Remarks



  • David Benjamin Smart Cities Miami 2018 presented by Hotwire Keynote Speaker
    Smart Cities Miami 2018,  Uncategorized

    Smart Cities 2018 Keynote Speaker is David Benjamin

    David Benjamin is Founding Principal of The Living and Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP. His work focuses on expanding the definition of environmental sustainability through the frameworks of biology, computation, and a circular economy. He and the firm have won many design prizes, including the Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League, the New Practices Award from the AIA New York, the Young Architects Program Award from the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, and a Holcim Sustainability Award. Recently, Benjamin appeared in Rolling Stone as one of25 People Shaping the Future,” and The Living was ranked third on Fast Company’s list of World’s Ten Most Innovative Architecture Firms.

    Clients include the City of New York, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Google, Nike, 3M, Airbus, BMW, Frost Science, and Björk.

    Recent projects include: