September 01, 2017
By Emily F. Keller
CUAC Fall Symposium Agenda

== September 11, 2017: 1-5pm ==

The goal of this invitation-only event is to identify joint projects to pursue in the coming year, and to build the CUAC community. We will be emphasizing existing projects with their own inertia that can benefit from CUAC engagement (analytics support, gap funding, cross-border connections).

Format: Discussion-oriented workshop of about 20 people: 6 UBC faculty, 6-8 UW faculty, and several other attendees.

Themes: 1. Equitable mobility and transportation; 2. Housing stability; 3. Responsible data management.

Location: The Husky Union Building at the University of Washington, Room 214, 4001 E Stevens Way NE, Seattle, WA 98195.

The Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative is an applied, interdisciplinary, regional center that brings together academic researchers, students, and public stakeholder groups to address topics affecting citizens of the Cascadia region.


  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 1:00-1:10 Overview: What CUAC is about, goals, what we’re looking for, what the “ideal” projects look like - Bill Howe, Director, UW Urbanalytics.
  • 1:10-1:40 Introductions around the table, 2-3 minutes about your research and what you’d like to get out of this meeting. Your answers to the prompts will be available as a handout to others.
  • 1:40-2:10 What can CUAC do for you? Raymond Ng, Scientific Director of the Data Science Institute at UBC and Bill Howe.
    • Possible funding opportunities
    • Connections (collaborators working in specific areas, especially across the border)
    • Analytics (you provide questions + large, noisy, heterogeneous data, we provide answers)
  • 2:10-2:30 Break
  • 2:30-3:00 Breakout prep: Identify existing projects that can benefit from CUAC. As a group, we’ll write down existing projects to invest time and energy into, then break into groups to explore the details over the next year.
  • 3:00-4:00 Breakouts
  • 4:00-4:15 Break
  • 4:15-4:45 Report back
  • 4:45-5:00 Wrap up and next steps
  • 5:00-6:00 Break and travel to dinner at Agua Verde, 1303 NE Boat Street

== September 12, 2017: 8:00am-12:00pm ==

Discussion on “The Promise of Uniform Urban Metrics”

In 2014, the International Standards Organization (ISO) approved ISO 37120, the first standard for urban sustainability and performance. The ISO program is administered by the World Council on City Data (WCCD) (, housed in the University of Toronto’s Global Cities Institute. About 50 cities are currently enrolled in the WCCD, with another 50 applications under review. To be ISO certified, a city must measure up to 100 agreed-upon urban parameters in standard ways. Once independently verified by outside accountants, these data sets allow the first apples-to-apples comparisons of 17 urban themes across cities around the world. Similar to LEED certification, cities are ranked as Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Aspirational, but based on the number of metrics they measure, rather than the values of those metrics.

On Tuesday morning, CUAC-related faculty and students from UW and UBC are invited to participate in a discussion of the research and operational opportunities associated with the emergence of ISO 37120. Representatives of the cities of Seattle, Portland, Surrey, and Vancouver will attend (Seattle, Portland, and Surrey recently joined WCCD; Vancouver is considering it). The leadership of WCCD will join by phone; representatives of Microsoft, iSoftStone, and Western Washington University are scheduled to join in person.

  • 8:00-8:45 Coffee and CUAC student poster session
  • 8:45-9:00 Introductions
  • 9:00-9:45 Urban metric Q&A with staff of WCCD. Patricia McCarney (President) and several members of her senior staff will join the conference by phone to lead a discussion about implementation of ISO 37120. Topics to be covered include: What is measured? How can cities use the data? How does ISO 37120 compare with other urban metrics? What are the advantages for cities being part of WCCD, both now and in the future when there are many more members? How might national-level endorsement lead to ISO 37120 adoption by all the cities in a single country? Can ISO standards be applied to larger jurisdictions than individual cities, including entire Metros (Seattle; Vancouver) or Corridors (Cascadia)? What would be required for university campuses to be ISO certified as small test-bed cities? What are the big data and urban analytic implications of having large amounts of urban data collected automatically? How might access to WCCD data facilitate Data Science for Social Good projects? What are the two new ISO standards for cities under development?
  • 9:45-10:15 Urban analytic and sustainability research opportunities presented by WCCD data for collaboration among universities and cities in a variety of domains (e.g., transportation, housing, healthcare). Can urban modeling incorporate WCCD data? How useful are the 100 WCCD indicators for individual domains?
  • 10:15-10:45 Opportunities for private sector engagement (startups and established technology companies) with urban analytic software and smart city sensor network development using WCCD data
  • 10:45-11:00 Next steps
  • 11:00-11:15 Break (Those going to Microsoft Symposium in Downtown Seattle leave now)
  • 11:15-12:00 Discussion about operational issues among city staff and remaining faculty and students