Vision Architecture Smart City Vision, Strategic Planning, and Digital Transformation Methodology Recognized by U.S. Dept. Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology

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  • The Smart City methodology helps people imagine and learn about future state scenarios for their lives, businesses, and cities. The process produces clearly defined product solutions and projects they want to create, design, and implement.
  • The methodology can be used to introduce people who have little to no knowledge about Smart Cities and facilitate learning experiences that create and build well-versed leaders who can drive, manage, and support Smart City initiatives. Digital Transformation aspects will include key performance indicators and checkpoints to ensure teams remain on course until goals and future vision are realized.
  • We are submitting this methodology for consideration and use with the Education SuperCluster and Action Teams to help define what each group would like to create for the SuperCluster and how they want to interface with the existing SuperClusters to integrate and amplify existing knowledge within the GCTC.


  • City governments do not have bandwidth, approval, or resources to reach outside predefined roles and responsibilities or be overly innovative or leading edge regarding Smart Cities and IoT projects. It’s not that they don’t want to work on new, exciting, high-value initiatives; they’re just not approved to work on things other than what taxpayers already voted for.
  • Technology vendors have products and services to sell to cities but do not have the insight on the customer’s customer, the constituents, and mainly understand broad generalizations about what the public wants to see. Diverse constituencies do not fit in a normal sales life cycle and many of their needs go unheard for lack of time or resources.
  • Constituents want more services, services that work, rapid responses, commercial-grade technology, and proactive services that are intelligence and tailored to them.


These entities do not speak the same language or have the same sense of urgency for the other groups’ timelines. The Smart City Vision, Strategic Planning, and Digital Transformation Methodology can be used to gather requirements from all stakeholders, get them on the same page, design plans to implement solutions that everyone can understand, and move forward on Smart City initiatives. These workshops address the Current State, Future State, Digital Transformation Roadmap, and the metrics that will be used to measure performance and stay on track to meet their Smart City vision objectives.

Major Requirements

The Smart City Vision, Strategic Planning, and Digital Transformation Methodology is a 4-step methodology, framework, and set of workshops designed for people to quickly understand and figure out what they’re doing as individuals, and as a team, who should do what, and how they’ll work together from disparate locations to achieve goals doing the kind of work they like to do and feel like they’re contributing the highest value they can to the initiative.


  • create an inventory of the Current State of who, what, where, when, why, and how scenarios for what you're experiencing day to day. The goal is to create a mind map spectrum of insight that describes what is highly regarded, negative, positive, of net zero influence, in need of cancellation, taking a lot of time, being measured, not being measured, wild cards, and performance metrics being requested today.


  • create an inventory of the Future State of who, what, where, when, why, and how scenarios of what you want to experience in the future. The goal is to create a mind map spectrum that describes highly regarded traits that will be most prominent in the future, the types of positive impact and influence that will be accessible, the performance over time that has brought stability and power to an individual and/or organization, and the metrics of success that brought this specific future to fruition.


  • create a line-by-line inventory of who, what, where, when, why, and how scenarios of for getting from the Alfa state to the Bravo state. This is where the conversations about data privacy, data capture, surveillance, and Cybersecurity come in because we understand how things are done today through the Alfa workshop and we know what is expected in the future through the Bravo workshop. Charlie defines explicitly Cybersecurity topics, policies, and procedures required to move to a new way of using data and doing business with it. The goal is to create a three-phase roadmap that describes specific steps and tasks that will be taken to detach from Alfa state processes and technologies that will not be beneficial or supported in the Bravo state. This workshop creates a large amount of information that describes 2-3 strategic plays and routes the individual and organization can use to traverse time and distance between Alfa and Bravo destinations.


  • use the output from GPS Alfa, Bravo, and Charlie to create a play-by-play navigation plan that describes exactly which who, what, where, when, why, and how scenarios will be used to reach the Bravo destination. The goal is to create explicit data metric targets and a scheduled timeline to hit the numbers and stay on course, on time, and on budget. This tight control of the environment and execution strategy allows the group to work independently and with assurance their moves and accomplishments are furthering the progress of the team without having to stop and check in very frequently to see if everyone is in alignment.

The outcome from these workshops can be reviewed as separate pieces owned by separate groups which when brought together create a clear picture of what Digital Transformation looks like for an organization or team. The final output is an illustrated roadmap and instructions about what each group needs to do from that point forward to reach their goals.

Performance Targets

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)Measurement Methods

  • Increase number of successfully approved GCTC Action Cluster Project to grow the blueprint portfolio for NIST and Smart City project team benefits.
  • Increase number of new Action Clusters joining next year upon learning there are toolkits that help you decide what to create, who to include, where to build it, when to deliver it, why they should build anything and how they’re going to do it. People like instructions for these things.

We will measure our success using these Key Performance Indicators:

  • We will reach out to GCTC members to ask them what they consider to be a successful Action Cluster so we can determine to start measuring these attributes moving forward which would be share in a Public Tableau data dashboard.
  • We will ask NIST leadership what they would like to see from a performance dashboard perspective about the increase in NIST Action Cluster submissions and what equals success for their organization.
  • From these two touch points we will update our Action Cluster to reflect KPIs we will begin tracking and reporting in public-facing Tableau data dashboards.

Standards, Replicability, Scalability, and Sustainability

The Smart City Vision, Strategic Planning, and Digital Transformation Methodology has been used in 50+ projects in public-, private-, and non-profit sectors where high-value outcomes include being able to receive and understand contextually specific data in scenarios where seconds make the difference between life and death, businesses using real-time data to grow new revenue streams and reduce costs, and disparately located project teams collaborating remotely to hone in on risks and opportunities that were not recognized before using the methodology.

Cybersecurity and Privacy

The Smart City Strategic Planning Methodology will include frameworks, checklists, and conversation starters to address data privacy and Cybersecurity issues for a broad range of stakeholder perspectives.


The Cybersecurity landscape and data privacy perspectives will showcase intersections and collision points where agenda is so different data privacy can become a show-stopper for Smart City projects. Our framework provides a way to keep the project moving by socializing varying agenda so all sides understand the benefits that come from defining new ways to share and secure data.



For the GCTC Education SuperCluster

  • Create the ability within the GCTC Education SuperCluster to organize each set of contributors, brainstorm as a group and come up with unified plans while identifying individual and group work streams, create approaches and solutions for each contributor to add the most value, determine who is responsible for which subject matter, and how each will reach out to produce and contribute what they’ve agreed to present. This will enable the SuperCluster to gain stable traction and grow momentum without overburden accumulating around any single contributor or leader. This will inspire other SuperClusters to share their information for inclusion with us and they will want to share our information with their membership – thereby growing strength in clarity and numbers for the GCTC.

For the Constituent-led, Public Data & IoT Utility for Urban Health, Housing, and Environmental Hazard Management Action Cluster

  • The Smart City Vision, Strategic Planning, and Digital Transformation Methodology creates the ability within the constituency to organize, brainstorm, come up with a plan, create solutions, pitch for funding, and grow their own businesses to generate wealth for themselves and their families in their own communities using what they’ve learned to grow entrepreneurial independence and job skills in the Digital Economy.
  • The economy will receive new business growth, community-based real estate development streams, and talent can be connected to local opportunities.
  • A mentor/mentee program will be set up to provide Vision Architecture strategic vision and planning workshops for community members who want guidance, plans, and tools they can use to become the architects of their own futures.

For other GCTC Action Clusters

  • If multiple SuperClusters and/or Action Clusters would like to join us at Oakland’s Civic Design Lab on the top floor of Oakland City Hall we can work together more frequently and share resources to build resilience and strength through local talent, entrepreneurs, and Public Sector leadership. We have offered this possibility and suggested hosting the GCTC’s newest SuperCluster for Education at Oakland City Hall to connect and collaborate in person with Bay Area stakeholders on a more frequent schedule to gain steam quickly.


Regarding the GCTC Education SuperCluster

  • We can show summaries of the process conducted with the GCTC Education SuperCluster as we would have deployed the toolsets amongst ourselves to help create a clear path forward for us. As another option we can share the results and timeline for SmartOakland using this method to collaborate with county officials on public health emergencies. As we reach out to other SuperClusters to determine how to include their insight into the knowledge network we can execute in unison as a well-oiled machine. Outside of the Education SuperCluster there is value in the toolset as global cities learn how to come online quickly, learn about Digital Transformations, and prepare to collaborate across time zones on real-time Smart City, data, and IoT projects.

Regarding the Constituent-led, Public Data & IoT Utility for Urban Health, Housing, and Environmental Hazard Management Action Cluster Action Cluster

  • We can show summaries of the process conducted within the city of Oakland and the Bay Area where we used the Smart City to organize ourselves and what we’ve been able to accomplish as individuals and groups dynamically assembling to execute on plans and hit complex Smart City program targets.
  • These examples will include initiatives already completed, those underway, and those planned for 2018-2020. Please refer to Constituent-led, Public Data & IoT Utility for Urban Health, Housing, and Environmental Hazard Management Action Cluster submission document for consideration of Action Cluster inclusion for 2018 GCTC cohort.

Regarding other Action Clusters

  • If we collaborate with other Education SuperCluster team members and/or other Action Clusters we can show what was created and what resulted as well.
  • We can also conduct either an Alfa, Bravo, Charlie or Delta workshop with a 12-person max at Tech Jam or the GCTC DC events, no fee. We may even be able to conduct one of each if time allows and interest exists for the overall GCTC to do in-person sessions during the next conference as well.

Vision Architecture's Smart City Solutions Featured at IoT World's Internet of Life Saving Things

We had the honor recently to share a panel with

Closing Panel: What Do NG911, FirstNet and Smart Cities Mean to the Idea of the IoLST?

As FirstNet and NG911 continue to make strides in advancing their networks, they will likely become the backbone for the Internet of Life Saving Things. But together will all of these connected networks become the backbone for a greater smart city ecosystem? Rather than reinvent the wheel, review what the industry as a whole as already put in place. Join us for an in-depth view of how these technologies across public safety, utilities, transportation, NG911, and more, are driving the convergence of smart cities and public safety, and defining city, regional and statewide roadmaps for smarter, safer and more refined communication solutions.

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Constituent-led Smart City Public Data & IoT Utility for Oaklanders - SmartOakland

Vision Architecture Founder, Stephanie Hayden, began offering pro bono Smart City consulting services to various city departments in Oakland in 2016 and as work was developing it became clear the need for Smart City programs is definite.

But the way Oakland works, (this is how most cities work), is that money is budgeted and planned for years in advance of it being spent, so money really only exists for things that were fought for and won years earlier. There is no new money to access for Smart City projects because Smart City funds have not been put in front of voters with a clear vision or plan for what those services would be.  Existing resources, meaning people who work in city departments are not allowed to work on things that have not been approved by voters and so it's actually almost impossible for the city to take on or work on Smart City projects.

If it is something that is new, say, like the new City of Oakland Department of Transportation there is latitude and assumptions that a new department will use new technology and methods to create connectivity within the purview of transportation and mobility projects.  In this case you will see innovative programs and projects percolating up like the Ford mobility bikes, Smart Parking, and partnerships with private sector agencies like CA AAA and their telematics programs.

SmartOakland started as a crowd-sourced Smart City vision project lead by Michael Ford at the City of Oakland Public Works Department in 2015, when he was nominated by the Mayor, Libby Schaaf, to lead the city's response to a Federal DOT call for Smart City Challenge.

SmartOakland was a blog site and live collaborative environment and two years later SmartOakland was formed as a non-profit.


  • Build upon a Smart City blueprint, playbook, and coalition of Oakland communities to convene, share, and learn what’s possible with data, IoT, and Smart Cities then use that knowledge to co-create projects and programs germane to each constituency, micro-community, and individual sets of needs
  • Leverage the coalitions to hunt and gather data for addition to a shared Public Data & IoT Utility to be operated and run as a shared data service for micro-communities to build political will, businesses to grow, and collective voice to be used to address micro- or meta-level risks and opportunities
  • Leverage people, processes, and technology to collectively address issues of unsafe Bay Area Housing Environments to co-create inclusive solutions and investment opportunities to resolve the housing crisis and improve health region-wide
  • Focus on short and long-term positive outcomes associated with sustainable Smart City solutions, and maintain a cadence of speed and success delivering projects to address current issues for constituents, businesses, and government agencies generated by past programs, policies, and investments like failing infrastructure, legacy lead poisoning, and institutionalized racism


These issues have been known by communities for generations and were validated in 2015 by the Assessment Team of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient City Challenge. Over 100 organizations, including Vision Architecture, Inc. and SmartOakland, took part in defining solutions and a path forward shaping the future of Oakland.

Lack of Affordable and Healthy Housing, Economic, Educational, and Social Inequity

  • Aging Infrastructure
  • Trust in Government
  • Insufficient Affordable Housing
  • Education Disparities
  • Limited City Resources
  • Socioeconomic Disparities
  • Disparities in Access to Healthcare
  • High Crime Rate
  • Chronic Homelessness

Environmental Hazards

  • Legacy Lead Poisoning
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Earthquakes and Liquefaction
  • Droughts
  • Wildfires
  • Coastal and Urban Floods


Our solution is to kick off and enable a constituent-led agenda to create value in each community first, by sharing educational resources and expertise, then through training and preparation of people in every community to engage in data, IoT, and Smart City projects, and then by supporting pitches for funding in various communities to kick off Oakland’s leading role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). A city-wide crowdsourcing activity will identify lead poison locations, estimate costs of resolution, and resolve issues of lead in people, housing, paint, and soil to create lead-safe neighborhoods and revitalized communities throughout the city.


Major Requirements

  • Conduct Vision Architecture workshops to define vision and architecture for what constituents, businesses, and government envision for their future in Oakland. Use the output to create strategic plans coalitions will use to implement their projects throughout 147 diverse micro-communities in Oakland. Hold ongoing leadership development and community meetings to add new ideas, keep things fresh, grow fundraising abilities, and maintain community relevance.
  • Pitch and secure program, staff, and project funding to sponsor resources included in the vision and strategic plans to ensure local individuals, businesses, Non-Profits, and support agencies can rollout the initiatives included in the constituent-led vision
  • Create a Smart City data governance program and policy that includes members from all city stakeholders beginning with constituents and working out to include education, health, housing, sustainability, Non-Profits, public sector, technology, workforce development, and business development to create a data hierarchy, taxonomy, and permission framework for growing a new shared data service for city resources.
  • Develop partnerships with Bay Area private sector companies and city leaders to ensure the Public Data & IoT Utility grows relationships with data owners and agencies to curate connections with Open Data, commercial data, IoT data, machine data, sensor data, and user contributed data to create and deploy individual-level resilience services to Oaklanders, and participating city constituents, so they are outfitted with Space Time Insight and Actionable Intelligence for every day life
  • Create an inventory of all buildings in all Oakland Zip Codes to be used as reference points, which will be tied to micro-communities, community policing districts, business development districts, school districts, and we will continue to add more and more data layers including health, environment, economic, and daily concerns and opportunities.
  • Build a flagship data solution around which many others will be fashioned to grow from lessons learned and hard-to-get first wins.

Performance Targets

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)Measurement Methods

  • Our main initiatives in 2018 will include using the Public Data & IoT Utility to address one of the worst health issues affecting young children in Oakland, and throughout the country, tied to unsafe housing conditions and failing infrastructure - Lead Poisoning.
  • Using Lead Poisoning as our use case we are engaging multiple contributing agencies, many Oakland communities, private-, public-, and Non-Profit sector organizations and funding streams to improve the quality of life for young Oaklanders and their families by reducing the number of children six and under who may become lead poisoned this year if no changes are made from the way things work today.

We will measure our success using these Key Performance Indicators:

  • Increase number of total childhood blood lead tests in Alameda County, last reported by the CA Department of Public Health in 2014 at 17,809 and increase that number by 50% to 35,618 to gain a clearer picture of how many low-income children are being poisoned throughout the city each year. We would like to find a way to monitor mid-, to high-income level children to understand the impact to this demographic as well, though this would be an elective reporting through online opt-in surveys vs. the CA Medi-Cal test results which go to the CA Dept. of Public Health directly from health care providers.
  • Pass a Proactive Rental Inspection Program (PRI), which historically leads to a 80-90% drop in childhood lead poisonings per year in cities like Baltimore, MD and Rochester, NY. We expect comparable results for Oakland’s children. We’ll do this by growing constituent consensus via education programs, live data visualized upon contribution via mobile apps, and scientific devices.
  • Deliver real estate lead abatement cost planning dashboards per Zip Code, along with other environmental hazards like asthma, for investment agencies to see the scale of opportunity, and risk, throughout the city of Oakland and serve as a platform for informed financial decisions when considering revitalization and development projects in Oakland.

Standards, Replicability, Scalability, and Sustainability

We will create a public playbook and blueprint with live data dashboards to help cities facing issues of lead poisoning. It will include recommendations about how they can organize themselves as individuals, groups, and coalitions to start and maintain traction and progress toward lead abatement and ending lead poisoning in their cities and towns. It will be a living resource updated by Oakland stakeholders as they discover new, better, and/or alternative ways to deal with various aspects and challenges. This resource will remain available online and public data dashboards will be updated real-time as each new User chooses to share their data with the public. Standards described in the City of Oakland’s data collection and surveillance programs will also be included for reference about the types of information the city collects about constituents and how community members can get involved with setting direction and policy in the areas of cybersecurity and personal privacy.

Cybersecurity and Privacy

The plan is to run predictive data analytics to identify high probability of lead poisoned housing, as a starting point, then reach out to those occupants to explain data privacy, security, and the power of owning your health, housing, and environmental data. We will use data to begin the conversations and note we are reaching out to them because we’re relatively certain they are currently at risk for becoming lead poisoned in their pre1978 housing. We ask them to use our GTLO app to learn more about the health of their families and potential lead hazards in their homes and explain the options around sharing this data with various groups. All efforts will be made to engage community members, provide translation services, and ensure they are clear about the importance of their data, the security around it, and the value it creates for them. Once they understand the implications associated with providing access to important data with others they can use the app to start assessing their situation and make informed decisions about Cybersecurity. These diagrams represent the types of groups Users may want to share data with and the conversations we’ll be having regarding Cybersecurity and data privacy.




Economic Benefits

  • New Product Development – the Public Data & IoT Utility will become a product generator to derive new business uses and applications as it becomes a part of city and community services
  • Workforce Development & New Jobs – for Data Scientists, Certified Lead Inspectors, Building Contractors, and Project Managers
  • New Revenue Models for Cities – for Assessors, Inspectors, Real Estate Preservation, Smart City data integrations using Oakland data sources available as a subscription commodity

Health & Environment Benefits

  • Improved Health Outcomes – reduction in need for poison-related issues that require ongoing public services including health care, special education, unemployment, housing, special needs, and law enforcement
  • Improved Environment – understanding the environment inside and outside homes using data, IoT, and user contributed insight we can better monitor overall status on city health and ensure a higher quality of life and deepen equality in every community

Social Services & Equity Benefits

  • New Government-to-Constituent Services
  • New Regulatory & Housing Safety Policies
  • New Green Housing & Energy Efficient Housing Stock
  • Improvement on Social Equity Issues


  • Our cross-functional team will co-present to describe how constituents, community leaders, business owners, educators, parents, Non-Profits, data scientists, technologists, city and county government agencies, and youth came together to solve the issues we agreed were most critical in 2018.

This was and is the perfect storm of an unprecedented intersection of unsafe housing during a historic housing crisis in concert with the rise of the lead poisoning crisis in Oakland, CA where now the lead was not only in the paint, but also showing up in the school tap water at Oakland schools. This intersection had no precedent or leader who could address the escalating public health emergencies so this group stepped up to try.

  • We will present a PowerPoint deck that demonstrates how our initial introductions allowed alliances to be formed, how agreements to total transparency were critical, along with strict adherence and compliance with HIPPA laws and data privacy, to respond to the escalating public health crisis many of us volunteered to address.
  • We will then show what we thought we could learn using data and IoT to deal with the scale and complexity of the issues and what we did when things worked and when they didn’t. We’ll share lessons learned and discuss what we re-wrote in our Oakland Playbook and how many times we did it.
  • Lastly, we’ll show our results. The Public Data & IoT Utility and the Space Time Insight we have created to deliver personal and group resilience services to individual constituents, businesses, and government agencies to empower people in every community to live the most informed life so they can make decisions about what will happen next.
  • We’ll talk about our KPIs throughout the above topics and via slides.