top of page

I work at the intersection of data, urban planning, art and technology to build inclusive futures for cities.

I'm an urban planner, technologist and artist working to advance ethics and inclusion in smart cities.  I believe people should be at the center of smart cities, and my work focuses on creating greater public oversight over smart city technologies and the data that powers them.


Currently I am Smart City Administrator at the Office of Innovation at the City of San Antonio. My job is to manage a small team to coordinate projects that use technology to deliver public services while keeping an eye on transparency, security, equity and accessibility for everyone.


Previously, I've worked on smart city projects in government and academic settings both domestically and internationally for groups like City Form Labs in Singapore, and the Massachusetts Office of Information Technology Digital Services department. Locally, I was Data Director for the digitally native non-profit newsroom, the San Antonio Report.

Formerly I served on San Antonio’s Digital Inclusion Alliance (DIASA), which strives to bring digital equity and affordable internet access to all citizens of our community. Currently I serve on the Alamo Regional Data Alliance.

As CEO of Ouvert, I collaborate with creative partners to re-imagine, perform, play and co-create an equitable digital future.

I received a B.S. Neuroscience and B.A. Plan II Arts at the University of Texas at Austin,and a Masters in City Design & Development from MIT DUSP.

Recent articles:


"Move smart and build things: defining digital rights for a changing world," Smart Cities News

"Cities are just getting started with CoVID-19 Engagement" - StateScoop

"San Antonio looks to eliminate bias within 'smart city' planning" - StateScoop

Find me in the usual places:
LinkedIn | @emily_royall

Download my CV.


2013 - 2016

Master Urban Planning - City Design & Development

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2007 - 2011

B.S. Neuroscience, B.A. Plan II

University of Texas at Austin




Smart City Administrator

Office of Innovation, City of San Antonio

Consultant - People Centered Smart Cities Flagship Programme

UN Habitat




CEO, Ouvert Digital Equity Studio

Smart City Coordinator

Office of Innovation, City of San Antonio


Data Director, The San Antonio Report


Researcher, City Form Labs

Selected Publications







"Centering People in Smart Cities: A Playbook for Local and Regional Governments," United Nations People-Centered Flagship Program, November 2021.

"Assessing the Digital Divide: Understanding internet connectivity and digital literacy in cities and communities," United Nations People-Centered Flagship Program, November 2021.


"Addressing the Digital Divide: Taking action towards digital inclusion,"

United Nations People-Centered Flagship Program, November 2021.


"Renegotiating the Social Contract in Smart Cities," Some Thoughts Editorial with Bianca Wylie, Zhara Ebrahim, and Matthew Claudel.


"Move Smart and Build Things: Defining Digital Rights for a Changing World,"

Smart Cities News Australia, November 2020.




“Planning for Digitally Mediated Public Space: Implications of IoT frameworks in Smart Cities” Responsive Cities: Urbanism in the Experience Age. Caxia Forum. Barcelona, Spain.


Selected Exhibitions


"Data Fictions", FLAX Studio


"Open Source Here", Dockspace Studio


"Cyborg Mestiza", HighWire Arts




Contact Me

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page