2019 Cooper-Walsh Colloquium: Urban Intelligence and the Emerging City

The Fordham University School of Law Urban Law Journal presents the:
2019 Cooper-Walsh Colloquium:
Urban Intelligence and the Emerging City
Friday, October 25th, 2019
8:30 A.M. – 5:30 P.M.
CLE Credit Will Be Available

Fordham Law School
Costantino Room (Second Floor)
150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023


Urban intelligence is the operationalization of data in urban spaces through data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. An ever-growing field, urban intelligence is transforming urban spaces, behavior, and governance.  While urban intelligence may empower cities to improve efficiencies in areas such as infrastructure, sustainability, and social services, its increasing use implicates a myriad of rights, including privacy, due process, and equal access.  As users and consumers of urban intelligence, urbanites face inevitable growing pains, particularly by way of the use of data which may reflect racial, gender, economic, and ethnic biases of the past and present.

The inevitable growth and consequent reach of urban intelligence necessitates increased investigation into the phenomenon’s regulatory and rights-based consequences.  The 2019 Fordham Urban Law Journal CooperWalsh Colloquium provides such a forum.  Alongside urban intelligence industry leaders – from developers to regulators, and practitioners to academics – the Colloquium promises to be a lively and diverse conversation on the challenges, possibilities, and ways forward in the intersection of urban intelligence and the law.


Check-in and Breakfast
8:30 A.M – 9:00 AM

Join us for coffee and breakfast before the Colloquium begins!

Panel 1 – The Evolution of Urban Intelligence
9:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.

Urban intelligence is increasingly ubiquitous within urban living and governance. To anticipate what is to come in the arena of urban intelligence, from technological, to regulatory, to social and legal consequences, we must understand the field’s roots. The first panel will provide a common baseline from which Colloquium participants may grow. Broadly speaking, what is urban intelligence? What technological advancements and regulatory schemes have brought us to where we are today? What are, and what have been, the sociological and legal implications of this growth? Who, or what, is at the center of the end product of urban intelligence?

Nestor Davidson, Albert A. Walsh Chair in Real Estate, Land Use, & Property Law & Faculty Director, Urban Law Center at Fordham Law School
Constantine E. Kontokosta, Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning, Marron Institute; Director, Urban Intelligence Lab; Director, Civic Analytics; Associated Faculty, Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at New York University
Arnaud Sahuguet, Project Lead for the Urban Tech Hub at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute
Dan Wu, Privacy Counsel & Legal Engineer at Immuta
Geeta Tewari, Associate Director | Urban Law Fellow, Urban Law Center, Fordham Law School

Panel 2 – Urban Intelligence, Governance, and Social Services
10:15 A.M – 11:30 A.M.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are increasingly used in governance decisions, including the allocation of social services and welfare. Cities are uniquely well suited to the collection of such information, and consequent actions based on collected information, due to population density. Predictive analytics contribute to determinations of governance, child welfare and homeless services, as well as to the distribution of food stamps, and other social benefits. What are the legal, social, and regulatory implications of such provisions? What are the possible benefits and challenges?

Greta Byrum, Co-Director of the Digital Equity Laboratory at The New School
Ellen P. Goodman, Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School
Shaina Horowitz, Vice President of Product & Programs at New Lab
Stefaan G. Verhulst, Co-Founder & Chief Research & Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory at New York University
Olivier Sylvain, Professor of Law and Director of the McGannon Center for Communications Research, Fordham Law School

Panel 3 – Urban Intelligence and Public Safety
11:45 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

Urban intelligence allows for the collection and aggregation of data, often collected in the name of public safety and security. Initiatives to combat violence and terrorism include facial recognition, predictive policing, and vulnerability assessment tools, all operating within urban bounds. This panel seeks to understand how personal data is collected, assessed, and the costs and benefits associated with the collection of the data and its application in urban environs. How do cities gather such information? How do they contract with private companies? What kind of oversight exists in such agreements? What rights are implicated? How does an era of combatting domestic terrorism compare in surveillance considerations to one in which foreign terrorism is the primary focus?

Chad Marlow, Senior Advocacy & Policy Council at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Kelly Orians, Rising Foundations
Shreya Subramani, Anthropologist at Princeton University
Albert Fox Cahn, Founder and Executive Director, S.T.O.P.

Lunch Break
1:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M

Panel 4 – Urban Intelligence and the Built Environment
2:00 P.M. – 3:15 P.M.

From autonomous vehicles to public broadband, and smart lighting to sensor-powered common payment system applications, urban intelligence is transforming the ways in which urbanites interact with the built environment. This panel will investigate how the cyber environment interacts with the built environment, and the effect of that interaction on engagement of and between individuals, governance structures, and other forms of technology. What do governments hope to achieve through their use? What considerations are contemplated in deploying such technologies? How are privacy considerations, and the preservation of legal rights, weighed against services rendered?

James Koenig, Co-Chair & Partner, Privacy & Cybersecurity at Fenwick & West LLP
Bilyana Petkova, Assistant Professor, Department of International & European Law at Maastricht University; Associate Scholar, Yale Information Society Project
Ira Rubinstein, Senior Fellow, Information Law Institute at New York University School of Law
Olivier Sylvain, Professor of Law & Director of the McGannon Center for Communications Research at Fordham Law School
Nestor Davidson, Albert A. Walsh Chair in Real Estate, Land Use, & Property Law & Faculty Director, Urban Law Center at Fordham Law School

Panel 5 – Closing Plenary: A Comparative Perspective
3:30 P.M. – 4:15 P.M.

We will close the Colloquium with a plenary, where panelists and attendees will collectively discuss the implementation and ramifications of the use urban intelligence in various cities, while looking to the future of the use of data in urban areas. In having learned of the use of urban intelligence in contexts of the built environment, public safety, governance, and social services, how might a rights-based approach to urban intelligence be implemented? Should it be?

Martha F. Davis, Associate Dean for Experiential Education, Professor of Law, & Faculty Director of the human rights program and the NuLawLab at Northeastern University School of Law
Sheila R. Foster, Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law & Policy at Georgetown University; Co-Director of LabGov
John Wagner Givens, Assistant Professor, School of Government & International Affairs at Kennesaw State University
Susan Block-Lieb, Professor of Law and Cooper Family Chair of Urban Legal Studies, Fordham Law School

Wine & Cheese Reception
4:15 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.