Smart City

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GCTC is establishing a senior steering committee (SSC) composed of an industry and academic consulting group (The Cirrus Group) and co-hosting federal agencies.


  1. The SSC is a structure to discuss and arrive at an agreement on major issues affecting all voting members and GCTC.
  2. GCTC SSC can make a decision on issues affecting the GCTC as a public-private partnership that requires an approval from all voting members. However, unilateral or bilateral issues between two or more voting members that do not require support of the whole GCTC needn’t and shouldn’t be proposed for voting.
  3. Each voting member is autonomous for its own initiative and does not need to seek for a decision from the SSC for their own internal activity. For example, if a voting member wants to have their own workshop hosted under their own name (e.g. Transportation Focus Area), it doesn’t need an agreement by the SSC. On the other hand, a decision by SSC may be required if a voting member wants GCTC as a whole to support or partner with their own activity.
  4. The SSC will be responsible for considering items which could affect all voting members and also possible companion non-profit organizations. However, the voting right will be given to the voting members (i.e. The Cirrus Group and federal agencies), not to the companion/non-profit organization directly. Any matter regarding the companion organization, if any, shall be represented through its corresponding Focus Area.


Overall structure: The SSC will consist of Focus Area co-chairs and representatives of co-hosting federal agencies. Initial list of voting members in SSC are (1 vote per member):

Focus Areas

  • Transportation systems, vehicles, and autonomy
    • (adding cross-over topics Parking, Lidar, road systems/ODOT, trenching for broadband, charging stations, rights of way)
  • Data governance and city data platforms and dashboards
  • Public utilities for energy, water and waste management
    • might this now (or soon) include broadband (perhaps management / oversight / policy)
  • Wireless communications and broadband applications (perhaps from the perspective of technologies / data / data management)
  • Cybersecurity and privacy for public and private sectors
  • Public safety/security and communications
  • Community resilience, adaptability and sustainability
  • Agriculture and rural productivity and quality of life
  • Smart building technologies and IoT applications (perhaps now with “Building” as a verb and including community engagement / Computer-Human Interface Design / UX
  • Education and workforce development (Covering the Education industry (vertical) as well as serving as the outreach / education / communications arm for GCTC generally (horizontal) as we have not had a Marketing/Communications *function; Has also been the seat of “Community Engagement” topic)
  • Smart Regions and collaboration strategies (Does “collaboration strategies” refer to techniques, technologies, processes, governance?)
  • Community well-being, ethics, integrity, and trust (Was “Thriving Communities” coupled with “DEI”)


  1. Safety and community resilience issues
  2. Start with key performance indicators of a city


In October 2016, the GCTC organized the 160 existing Action Clusters into a set of “Focus Areas” based on specific community service and mission areas. The Focus Areas have since evolved as the organizing structure for the GCTC, representing specific technology focus areas, while also coordinating the activities of a diverse membership of community Action Clusters from cities and regions across the nation and among international partners. By 2019, the initial seven Focus Areas had expanded to nine, and since 2020 have added three more to comprise twelve working groups aligned along the technology areas noted here.


Secretary role of the SSC will rotate every 6 months between Focus Areas. Secretary shall ensure proposals are shared with all voting members, announce the beginning and ending of the voting period, and also be the receiver of voting results and publish the results. PSSC will be the first secretary. Depending on the request from the proposing member, Secretary can set up additional mechanisms for discussion before the voting period begins. (e.g., conference calls)

Decisions and Open Voting process

The approval for a specific proposal that is being voted on will require at least two-thirds (2/3) “Yes” votes of the total voting members in the SSC. (i.e. Since there are 12 initial voting members in the SSC, at least 8 “Yes” votes are required for approval of a proposal.) The voting process will end earlier of (a) 30 calendar days from the beginning of the voting period, or (b) all votes are cast and counted. Voting shall be done in email. The voting process shall be open voting. Any voting member of the SSC can submit proposals to the committee via email. To facilitate the proposal process, an optional email template will be created to cover all the parts of the candidate proposal. These proposals can be sent to the secretary or to all voting members directly. A proposal can be submitted using the template or free form email. Proposals submitted by a voting member should be agreed upon by all representatives of the voting member before submitting the proposal (e.g. all co-chairs of the proposing Focus Areas). It is expected the proposing member shall be able to explain the execution and resource plan when making a proposal, so that the voting members can clearly understand what the “ask” is and what they are committing to before casting a vote. If there are questions, any voting member may request clarification or an opportunity for discussion via conference call or email before voting period begins. If the “ask” is not clear, there is a good chance the proposal would be voted down by the members. The goal of the voting mechanism is to seek agreement on crucial issues that need “permission” or “blessing” from other voting members, and not to “tie the hands” of other voting members. Each voting member must be free to pursue their own activities on any topic, and the SSC should be very careful on voting on any matter of which primary goal would be to “force” or “block” other voting member(s)’ activities.

GCTC brand

NIST will retain the rights to the “GCTC” brand until NIST decides otherwise. It means there might be situations that NIST could not be able to support a proposal with “GCTC” brand even if the SSC votes for it. For example, if the SSC votes to get involved in activities that are completely against the GCTC’s philosophy, NIST may not be able to allow GCTC brand to be used for it. (e.g., If the SSC votes to get involved in a political/controversial activity, NIST will probably not allow GCTC brand to be used for that activity.) In such cases, the SSC is still free to approve and pursue the decision, but it should be done without GCTC brand. NIST does not expect to have many occasions to invoke such right of refusal to associate GCTC brand with the decision. However, NIST will still retain its rights to do so.