Digital Cities Community Engagement

Want to help shape the future of our City? Share how you think the City's technologies should balance privacy with innovation.

RSVP for our Community Workshop!

We regret to inform you that we are postponing the community workshop (originally scheduled for Feb 3) due to some unexpected roadblocks. However, the Digital Cities Project will resume mid-2022 and we will announce next steps in the coming months. Sign up to be notified about project updates here

Community engagement for San Francisco’s digital cities initiative

The Committee on Information Technology and the Office of Civic Innovation are partnering on an effort to gather community input to ensure that the City’s technology choices are guided by community values and privacy needs. 

The City of San Francisco, like many other cities, uses “smart city” or  “digital cities” technology to improve its services and infrastructure. While there are many benefits to the use of this technology, like automation for faster and more reliable services for everything from reducing traffic accidents to processing City ID cards, we need to also ensure that we protect resident privacy in the process. Through this effort the City hopes to understand resident perspectives and considerations about various technologies, data collection, and privacy. 

At the end of this engagement we hope to have gained significant insight from the community to guide the development of the following: 

  • Values to inform the use of digital cities technologies and reasonable expectations for privacy
  • Core policies related to data collection and privacy rights 
  • Strategies to coordinate decision-making around digital city investments and implementation
  • A plan for ongoing, transparent public engagement while establishing standards of practice for scaling technologies

Get engaged!

  • Community Workshop: Join this public convening to learn about how the City uses data and technology to improve your quality of life and share your priorities and digital privacy needs. Through this workshop the City hopes to get resident feedback to ensure that its technology choices are guided by community values and input.  This workshop will be open to all. 
  • Apply to join the Digital Cities Civic Assembly: The Digital Cities Civic Assembly will invite up to 30 San Franciscans, selected by Civic Lottery, to participate in an (online) democratic decision making process (or “Civic Assembly”). The goal will be to help ensure that the City’s technology choices are guided by community values and privacy needs. This will take place over 4 evening workshops. All Civic Assembly members will receive a $200 stipend as a token of appreciation of their time.
  • Civic Assembly Meetings & Community Surveys: The Civic Assembly will learn and deliberate together on San Francisco’s digital cities strategies and policies over a series of four workshops. You can follow the Civic Assembly meetings, share your input via periodic polls and short surveys, and read the final recommendations report.

More details

The City of San Francisco wants to develop a set of strategies that includes values, a governance model, and core policies, to inform and coordinate decision-making around digital city investments and implementation.

The City wants to receive  deep, meaningful input on these strategies from San Francisco residents. The City will first host a Community Workshop to facilitate conversations on digital privacy  between members of the general public. Then the City will organize a “Civic Assembly” of 20-30 participants who will learn and deliberate together on the strategies over a series of four workshops. These participants will be selected through a “Civic Lottery” process designed to ensure representation reflective of both the City’s diverse population and the desired stakeholder groups.

Inputs from the Civic Assembly Recommendations and the Community Workshop will be summarized and adapted into formal recommendations. Recommendations may include values, governance and use cases, along with any other components that emerge from the Civic Assembly’s deliberations. The public will have an opportunity to validate the recommendations for desirability, feasibility and viability.


Last updated February 9, 2022