2024 City of Portland Open Data DiscoTech

Community Event
The 2024 City of Portland DiscoTech is a collaborative space to explore, learn, and develop tools around open data from the city. This event is open to community members, civic tech community, students, academic institutions, local businesses, and grassroots organizations.
9:30 am 4:00 pm

What is a "DiscoTech"?

This event is an opportunity to engage with local residents to explore the City of Portland’s open data including neighborhood datasets, GIS maps, public safety, transportation, housing, and economic development data. This DiscoTech is an opportunity to learn and explore the City’s data. This event is a public call to all interested in Portland’s data from zero to subject matter experts.  

"DiscoTech" is short for "Discovering Technology." It is a term coined by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition which defines a replicable model for a multimedia, mobile neighborhood workshop fair. DiscoTechs are designed so that participants learn more about the impact and possibilities of technology within our communities. 

The purpose of this event is to create a space for local residents and organizations to explore Portland neighborhoods data and other city open datasets. You can explore developing apps or spreadsheets to facilitate data visualization. Or, do your own data exploration and analysis, enhance the city data with other datasets; Or, dig deeper and explore metadata and link information underneath. 

Participants will have the opportunity to learn, propose ideas and projects to others, join a team or individually, and develop their own analysis and apps that may contribute to our larger Portland Community. Multicultural, socially responsible, and projects in languages other than English are encouraged.

Light breakfast and lunch, coffee, and snacks will be provided during the event.

The Smart City PDX program team members are committed to dismantling barriers derived from systemic discrimination that have reduced the voice of marginal communities in Portland.

We want this event to become a collaborative space, rather than something competitive. So, we won’t be offering prizes or awards; however, we will be able to incentivize community participation. 

Projects will have the opportunity to be featured in the Smart City PDX website

Be creative! Learn! Explore!


There is a limit of 30 participants and a waiting list will be created after that number is reached. Smart City PDX may limit the number of representatives from a single organization if we reach the attendance limit. 

For transparency reasons, all the names and information shared in the reservation form will be made publicly available.

Given the current concern due to the coronavirus, there will be an option to participate remotely via a Zoom meeting. For in-person, please join us in the Portland Building, Room 100.

Examples of participants:

  1. Local advocates, data scientists, and community members interested in learning more about city data and how the City of Portland generates, uses, and manages data and makes it publicly available. 
  2. Students, civic tech community, and individuals interested in learning about the City of Portland data and contributing to develop tools to facilitate exploration, understanding, storage, or other data management needs to serve the larger community.
  3. Government staff, data professionals, data architects, UX designers, and software developers to volunteer time and develop 

Rules of engagement

Participants agree in using the Chatham House rule during and after these discussions:

‘When a meeting, or part thereof, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.’

Discussions may take the format of small groups to discuss specific topics, and later to bring findings to the collective workshop group. These groups may have an assigned City staff moderator and a note taker. Although consensus is a goal, it is not necessary to reach one in these discussions.  


The first part of this workshop is dedicated to identifying topics to be developed based on the policy directives. In order to save discussion time, City staff will bring general topics that may include: where or under what context private FRT will be regulated; what enforcement may look like; what kind of protections and exemptions need to be included.

After these topics or issues are determined, break out groups will work collaboratively and discuss relevant issues for this policy. Reasonable time will be provided for this activity and City staff may support and guide some of this work. 

The whole group will join in the final segment of the workshop and share results and try to merge proposals. If consensus is not reached, moderators have the right to drop the topic based on the conflict resolution agreements and move to the next topic. 

The compiled contributions and notes will be part of an online document available to the public within seven business days of the event. Names and specific contributions of participants will be omitted from that document. However, names of participants will be made available to the public as part of the report of activities in the Smart City PDX website. 

The proposal will be edited and refined by Smart City PDX, the Office of Equity and Human Rights and City Attorney’s Office staff and circulated for further internal revisions and feedback by City bureaus. Subsequent versions will be made available to the public for feedback. The expected City Council hearing time is the end of April.

Meeting materials

Conflict resolution 

Any topic discussed will be moderated and participants will have a chance to present their proposals. The goal is to reach consensus after a reasonable amount of time. If no agreement has been reached, the topic will be dropped from the discussion and the next topic will be reviewed.

Follow up

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to share their products, notes, and source code with the public. A GitHub repository will be created to store source code and other documentation.

Organizations like CodePDX and PDXWIT are great spaces to network with mindlike people. If you have a good idea, bring it to that forum or make connections in the City through the open data program. 

Join us on March 6th for the Celebration of Open Data Day 2024! Find more information and where to register.

Transparency and accountability

This workshop and further tasks derived from it will be overseen by staff of the Office of Equity and Human Rights.

Accessibility notice

To help ensure equal access to City programs, services, and activities, the City of Portland reasonably provides: translation and interpretation services, modifications, accommodations, auxiliary aids and services, and alternative format. For these services, complaints, and additional information, contact 503-823-2071 use City TTY 503-823-6868, or use Oregon Relay Service: 711. 



Julian Hanlon-Austin

Senior Communications Strategist, Planning & Sustainability