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Smart Cities MIAMI 2024 Conference 4/11+12

April 11 - April 12

Smart Cities MIAMI 2024 signature image, University of Miami Frost Institute for Data Science and Computing and School of Architecture

The University of Miami School of Architecture and Frost Institute for Data Science and Computing presented the 8th annual Smart Cities Miami Conference on Thursday and Friday, April 11+12, 2024, at the University of Miami Coral Gables campus Lakeside Village Expo Center.

The program is now online!


To aid in the design and development of more sustainable, livable, and resilient cities, the University of Miami brings cutting-edge research in urban planning, architecture, and engineering in alignment with computational resources and analytical methods. The Annual Smart Cities Miami Conference is an extension of these efforts, providing a forum for leaders in academia, industry, and government to closely examine evolving theories and practices in the Smart City field. The topics considered vary in scope and nature within a general theme that is particularly relevant for each year.

Smart Cities Miami Day 1 considered the role of artificial intelligence in the design and management of smart cities, providing an opportunity to explore the impact of AI in smart city practices and how individuals, societies, and cultures adopt and adapt to emerging AI-driven technology in smart cities.  Day 2, led by the Miami Think Tank (a new platform for discussions on current challenges in contemporary cities and global urbanization processes), focused on the city of the future and unleashing the power of AI in urban development.

University of Miami Coral Gables campus
Day 1 Expo Center | Day 2 Pavilion 1000
1280 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146


Double C (by Conconcreto) and Broadway Malyan

Broadway Malyan logo Double C by Conconcreto logo

►Day 1 | April 11 • Expo Center

Day 1 included exhibits in the Lakeside Village Expo Center. The Day 1 theme provided opportunities to explore questions such as:

• How do staggering recent developments in AI impact smart city practices?
• How do individuals, societies, and cultures adopt and adapt to emerging AI-driven technology in smart cities?
• How do we transition from sustaining to disruptive practices fueled by AI?
• Do cities become more resilient when they deploy AI?

Register Now ($50 pp) |  Apply to Exhibit

General Admission $50.00 per personBoth Days included. This event was free to University of Miami Faculty, Staff, and Students (with PROMO CODE available from idsc@miami.edu).

Lakeside Village parking mapDay 1 Agenda 
12:00-1:00 Registration + Light Lunch
1:00 Conference Opens + Welcome Address | Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury
1:10 Opening Keynote | Ali Malkawi, Harvard University
1:40 Panel I | “Smarter Cities?”
2:25 Break + Exhibits (20 min)
2:45 Panel 2 | “Rethinking Infrastructure”
3:30 Break + Exhibits (20 min)
3:50 Panel 3 | “Transforming the Profession”
4:35 Closing Keynote | Neil Leach, Florida International University
5:00 Closing Remarks | Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury
followed by Networking Reception + Exhibits
7:00 Day 1 Ends



Complimentary parking for attendees was available in the Pavia and/or Levante Garages on 4/11/2024, during the hours of 11:00am – 9:00pm.



Artificial Intelligence and its Role in the Design and Management of Smart Cities

12:00-1:00 PM • Registration + Exhibits Open | Light Lunch
1:00 PM • Conference Opens
Welcome Remarks | Dr. Guillermo Prado, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost


Ali Malkawi

Ali Malkawi, PhD

Director of the Doctor of Design Studies Program and Professor of Architectural Technology | Harvard Graduate School of Design

Founding Director | Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC)

TALK TITLE:  “Connecting buildings to nature: The role of big data, AI and automation”

Ali Malkawi is Professor of Architectural Technology, Director of the Doctor of Design Studies Program, and Founding Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has served as a consultant on several projects, including airport designs, super towers, industrial factories, and cities. His research focuses in the areas of computational simulation, building performance evaluation, and design decision support. Previously, he taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Professor of Architecture and Chairman of the Graduate Group in Architecture.

Malkawi is lead author or co-author of more than 130 scientific papers and co-editor of three books. In 2017, he was honored with the Jordan Star of Science by His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan. In 2013, Malkawi received an honorary Master of Arts degree from Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

1:40-2:25 PM • PANEL 1 “Smarter Cities?”
This panel explores how AI is reframing the discussion and transforming smart cities practices. From harnessing AI’s potential in data analytics to deliver on the promises of enhanced efficiency and sustainability, to navigating the complex legal and ethical implications inherent in AI-driven solutions, the conversation will illuminate the opportunities and challenges at the intersection of technology and urban planning.


Nick TsinoremasNicholas Tsinoremas, PhD

Nick is Vice Provost for Research Computing and Data, and the founding director of the Frost Institute for Data Science and Computing (IDSC) at the University of Miami. Before joining UM, he served as Head of Informatics and Cheminformatics at The Scripps Research Institute, Florida. In his previous role as Director of Computational Genomics and Genomic Discovery at Rosetta/Merck, he directed the project that combined data science and computational approaches with gene expression profiling, high-throughput screening, and genetics to discover, prioritize, and define new drug targets and novel therapeutics. Prior to Merck, as Vice President of Genomics at DoubleTwist Inc., he led a team that developed the first annotation of the Human Genome.


Kenneth W. Goodman, PhD , FACMI, FACE

Ken is founder and director of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, and UM’s Ethics Programs. The Institute has been designated a W.H.O. Collaborating Center in Ethics and Global Health Policy, one of 14 in the world and the only one in the U.S. He is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (FACMI), the American College of Epidemiology (FACE), and The Hastings Center. Ken also directs the Florida Bioethics Network and chairs the UHealth/UM Hospital Ethics Committee and the Adult Ethics Committee for Jackson Memorial Health System.

Kim GrinfederKim Grinfeder, MPS

Kim is a multidisciplinary media producer and an accomplished artist, designer, and creator who uses emergent technologies to practice new ways to communicate social and environmental issues. At the UM School of Communication, he is Chair of the Department of Interactive Media and Director of the UMverse, where he is developing a coordinated strategy to expand leadership in spatial computing.

Sarbeswar PraharajSarbeswar Praharaj, PhD

Sarbeswar has over 10 years of progressive experience in academia in various capacities within universities in the USA, India, and Australia. His passion and experience is in building university-to-university and university-to-community partnerships for research collaborations and student engagement. He has a Master of Urban Planning (CEPT University), Master of Science in Geography (University of Calcutta), and a PhD with an emphasis on Smart Cities from the University of New South Wales.

Sharmeen YousifShermeen Yousif, PhD

Shermeen Yousif is an assistant professor and the founder of the Environmental Design and Natural Materials lab at the School of Architecture at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Recently, her lab’s focus has been on using environmental design methods, AI strategies and tools, and robotic fabrication to investigate the design and extrusion of biomaterial-based design prototypes.

2:25-2:45 PM • BREAK + EXHIBITS
2:45-3:30 PM • PANEL 2 “Rethinking Infrastructure”
The panel discussion bridges between industry leaders in large infrastructure projects and key stakeholders in city governance and public initiative to address emerging issues and relevant questions. How is AI transforming the planning and execution of large-scale infrastructural projects? Are there new modalities and opportunities for collaboration between public and private sectors. How is social equity addressed within this evolving technological landscape? Will AI driven tools enable us to reimagine sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change and other pressing challenges.


Ana Peralta ChammasAna Peralta Chammas

As the Director of Innovation for Miami-Dade County, Ana’s eye for innovation, strategic vision, and multidisciplinary experience has helped advance IT strategy and the organizational transformation that drives the customer experience. She has the vision for what a future-ready government needs to create community impact. Her experience includes directing the functions and programs related to the County’s information channels (miamidade.gov, 311 Answer Center, and Miami-Dade Television) as well as the development of civic and digital engagement strategies. Ana is working to create intersections across verticals in the industry partnering with academic institutions to build the foundational learning and experiential opportunities to expand our local talent pipelines.


Minghui ChengMinghui Cheng, PhD

Minghui is an assistant professor jointly appointed by the Department of Civil & Architectural Engineering and School of Architecture at the University of Miami, with an affiliation with Climate Resilience Academy. His research focuses on the digital twin-enabled smart city and sustainability-informed life-cycle management of structures and infrastructure systems with an emphasis on surrogate modeling, optimization, and machine learning.

Justin GammageJustin Gammage, PhD, PEng

Justin serves as the Director of Partnerships at the Frost Institute for Data Science and Computing, University of Miami. Formerly, he was the Strategic Industry Advisor at Ontario Tech University, leading technology deployments for the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network. His distinguished career includes roles as Chief Scientist at General Motors of Canada and Co-Founder of Illuminex AI, focusing on operational AI in complex environments.

Oumayma MoufidOumayma Moufid, Fulbright PhD Scholar

Oumayma is currently a Fulbright research scholar at the University of Miami conducting research in sustainable urban planning and resilience. Originally from Morocco, she obtained an Engineering Diploma from the School of Geomatic Sciences and Surveying Engineering – IAV Hassan II Institute. She is also pursuing her Doctoral studies in Hassania School of Public Works focusing on Digital Twin for smart and sustainable urban planning and infrastructure management. She also has a professional experience in the National Agency for Urban Regeneration and Rehabilitation of run-down buildings in Morocco working on the development of digital tools and frameworks to help decision-making.

Raimundo RodulfoRaimundo Rodulfo

As Director of Innovation and Technology and Chief Innovation Office for the City of Coral Gables Innovation & Technology Dept., Raimundo leads strategic planning, co-innovation, oversight and management of citywide IT operations, infrastructure, and smart city initiatives. He joined the City in 2004. Prior to that, he spent 10 years working for various Fortune 500 companies such as Bellsouth (AT&T), Siemens, and NCR in varying technical and managerial capacities. During this time, he also worked on engineering and technology projects with Motorola and Lucent Technologies (Alcatel) in Chicago and Agilent Technologies in Silicon Valley.

3:30-3:50 PM • BREAK + EXHIBITS
3:50-4:35 PM • PANEL 3 “Transforming the Profession”
The panel discussion gathers leaders from architecture, engineering, and construction firms to explore the profound impact of AI on their respective fields. From reshaping workflows to introducing innovative tools and methodologies, our panelists will delve into how AI is revolutionizing their operations. The panel will address pressing questions such as the possibilities of transforming the profession and the potential for empowering practitioners to work more efficiently and deliver impactful solutions.


Dean Rodolphe el-KhouryRodolphe el-Khoury, PhD

Rodolphe el-Khoury is Dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture. Trained as both an historian and a designer, he divides his time between scholarship, research, and practice. He is the author of numerous books on architecture and urbanism, including See Through Ledoux; Architecture Theatre, and the Pursuit of Transparency; Monolithic Architecture; and Figures: Essays on Contemporary Architecture. el-Khoury leads RAD Lab, a research unit dedicated to embedded technology and robotics aiming at enhancing responsiveness and resilience in buildings and smart cities.

The work of his firm, Khoury Levit Fong (KLF), has won international awards. el-Khoury’s work has been featured in national and international media outlets that cut across disciplines ranging from WIRED Magazine to the Wall Street Journal to the Space Channel to BBC World. He has shared his work through teaching, visiting professorships and lectures at dozens of institutions in the U.S. and abroad.


Jamie ChowJamie Chow, RA, LEED AP BD+C

Jamie is currently a Project Designer at Perkins&Will Miami, a LEED Accredited Professional and registered architect in the state of Florida. Originally from Singapore, she obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and has professional experience in New York city and Miami working in the commercial, institutional, and residential sectors. At Perkins&Will, Jamie has integrated AI tools into the design process and is an advocate for the advancement of human-centric design.

Lorena KnezevicLorena Knezevic, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Lorena is currently an Architect and LEED AP at Gensler Miami. She is also pursuing her Doctor of Design at Florida International University with a focus on AI in the architecture profession. Her thesis builds upon her Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Science degrees from the University of Miami, which focused on AR and VR. These studies led to multiple industry-based research grants, hackathons at Milan Design Week, and speaking engagements.

Johnny MaghzalJohnny Maghzal, MBA

Johnny is Head of Growth at Togal.AI, helping customers get the most of their innovative takeoff software. An estimating expert, he has been working in the construction industry for nearly a decade. Before moving to the U.S., Johnny worked for the largest specialized engineer solutions firm in the Middle East. He received a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the American University of Beirut, in addition to an MBA from the Miami Herbert Business School.

Nicolás Pinzón RodríguezNicolás Pinzón Rodriguez

Nicolás is senior partner at L35 Architect and Managing Director for USA & Latam. Since joining the firm, he has led projects in Spain, France, Belgium, Turkey, Mexico, Colombia and, more recently, the American Region. He graduated in architecture from the School of Architecture of Barcelona with a specialization in building. He combines his professional career as an architect with that of a photographer. Since 2019, Nicolás has been based in Miami.

Neil Leach

Neil Leach, PhD

Director, Doctor of Design Program|  Florida International University (FIU)
Professor|  European Graduate School
Gao Feng Professor|  Tongji University
Adjunct Professor|  University of Southern California
Visiting Professor| Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Neil Leach is an architect and professor from the UK. He currently directs the Doctor of Design program at Florida International University (FIU), and has also taught at the Architectural Association (School of Architecture, London), Harvard Graduate School of Design, Columbia GSAPP (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation), Cornell University, IaaC (Institute for advanced architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona), and SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles).

He is the co-founder of DigitalFUTURES (digitialfutures.international), an online educational platform that operates in 10 languages; a former researcher for NASA, where he developed 3D printing technologies for the Moon and Mars; and a member of the Academia Europaea, Europe’s leading academy with over 50 Nobel laureates.

Neil has published over 40 books on architectural theory and digital design, translated into 8 different languages. He is currently working on AI, and is the author of the first book on architecture and AI, Architecture in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction to AI for Architects (Bloomsbury, 2022).


5:00 PM • Closing Remarks | Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury
5:00-7:00 PM • Networking Reception + Exhibits
7:00 PM • Day 1 Ends



Complimentary parking for attendees ws available in the Pavia and/or Levante Garages on 4/12/2024, during the hours of 7:00am – 3:00pm.


University of Miami Coral Gables campus
Day 1 Expo Center | Day 2 Pavilion 1000
1280 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146


9:00 AM • Registration Open + Light Breakfast
10:00 AM • Day Two Began
10:00 AM-12:00 PM • “Miami Think Tank” PANEL: City of the Future: Unleashing the Power of AI in Urban Development

Vince LagoThe Honorable Vince C. Lago

Mayor, City of Coral Gables

The Honorable Vince Lago was elected Mayor of Coral Gables in April 2021 in a decisive victory—the youngest elected Mayor in the City’s history. Prior to his election, he served as City Commissioner for eight years, and held the post of Vice Mayor (2019-21). Throughout his career, Mayor Lago has dedicated his time to South Florida civic and philanthropic causes. A former member of the Coral Gables Planning and Zoning Board, he brings a reasonable and creative approach to land use remaining committed to preserving Coral Gables’ unique character and history while placing the interests of residents first.

During his tenures, Mayor Lago spearheaded numerous legislative initiatives and led the City’s sustainability efforts. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of the Coral Gables Community Foundation where he worked to promote and enhance the quality of life for residents, and assisted in raising funds to help the elderly, youth, and disabled population in the community. A strong proponent of arts and culture, he served for more than 10 years on the board of Locust Projects, a nonprofit contemporary art organization that supports emerging and mid-career artists. He also served on the City of Miami’s Arts and Entertainment Council. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of the Coral Gables Museum.

Mayor Lago holds a Master of Science in Construction Management from Florida International University School of Engineering, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. As an advocate of advancing the region’s planning and transportation needs and enhancing energy conservation, in 2017 he was appointed to represent Coral Gables on the board of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization. Since 2019, he has served on the Junior League of Miami Community Advisory Board where he provides insight and expertise on important community advocacy projects. In 2021, Mayor Lago was elected Vice Chair of the Biscayne Bay Watershed Management Advisory Board, and was appointed by the City Commission as liaison to the Business Improvement District (BID).

Mayor Lago resides in Coral Gables with his wife Olga Mari Saizarbitoria, and their daughters Mirentxu and Catalin.


Jorge Ponce DawsonJorge Ponce Dawson

Practice Principal and Design Director + Head of Studio Madrid, Broadway Malyan, Spain

Jorge has been Director of the Broadway Malyan Madrid studio since 2002, from where he leads projects in Spain, Europe, North Africa and South America. With 35 years of professional experience, Jorge is the author of landmark projects in the retail industry, such as FAN Mallorca and Torre Sevilla in Spain, Terrazas de Mayo in Argentina or Mall of Sfax in Tunisia. He has lead the roll-out in Spain of large retail chains as Costco and Primark. Under his leadership, Broadway Malyan has continuous work with global European players such as Carrefour Property, Unibail Rodamco Westfield, Ikea, Eurofund, Merlin Properties, Frey, ECE or Klepierre, as well as Latin American leaders like Cencosud, Mall Plaza, Parque Arauco, Real Plaza or Mall Aventura.

Driven by his intellectual curiosity and his interest in contributing to the global debate on major social challenges such as the climate change or digital revolution, in 2018, Jorge launched the Broadway Malyan Think Tank as a space for reflection to identify new market trends and to explore ways to move towards more humane and sustainable cities, assuming proximity as the new transformational paradigm.


Olivia RamosOlivia Ramos

CEO, Deepblocks (AI for development and acquisition)

Olivia Ramos, founder, and CEO of Deepblocks, has leveraged her expertise in real estate development, software design, and Big Data to lead a team in developing an innovative technology that offers a comprehensive and scalable view of cities, evaluates their development potential, and streamlines the process of identifying viable sites for new construction. This technology expedites the efficiency of site selection and feasibility analysis in real estate from months to minutes.

Ramos holds master’s degrees in Architecture from Columbia University and Real Estate Development from the University of Miami. Her significant achievements include designing groundbreaking Big Data navigation software for the Department of Defense’s DARPA Innovation House. This work and her recognition by Singularity University’s GSP and accelerator program were instrumental in founding Deepblocks.

Terry ShawTerry Shaw, PE

Senior Practice Builder + Associate |  Kimley Horn

Terry boasts 30+ years of experience in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and smart communities, including managing FDOT’s $700M10-year ITS program, overseeing the nation’s first operational public transit autonomous vehicle fleet deployment, and leading Smart Region Master Plans for various councils. His work on the Smart St. Augustine project secured a RAISE Grant from the US DOT, aiming to transform the city into the nation’s smartest. With a track record of delivering over 100 successful projects, six of which received national or regional awards, Shaw’s expertise extends to international, national, and regional conferences, as well as publications for esteemed organizations such as the National Academies of Sciences/Transportation Research Board, AASHTO, AMPO, and more.

12:00 PM • Transition to new location for launch event

12:30 PM • UM-COBOD Collaboration Launch Event
The University of Miami School of Architecture and COBOD International held the official launch of a new collaboration to research and explore construction scale 3D printing. The collaboration has seen the creation of a concrete 3D printing hub which includes a large format COBOD BOD 2 construction printer, capable of printing a small single-family home.

Conference attendees were invited to an opening ceremony immediately following Smart Cities MIAMI Day 2 that discussed the collaboration and potential opportunities related to concrete 3D printing in Miami and internationally, as well as showcased some recent 3D printed structures by UM students and faculty. (Light Refreshments)

Location of UM-COBOD Collaboration Launch Event 

University of Miami Coral Gables campus
1535 Levante Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33146

map showing locaiton of 1535 Levante Avenue Coral Gables FL 33146


Frost Institute for Data Science and Computing
School of Architecture


Lakeside Village
1280 Stanford Drive
Coral Gables, 33146 United States
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