Jacqueline Lu

Digital Innovation Lead

Sidewalk Labs

Jacqueline Lu had a day named after her by New York City’s Mayor when she left the public service after 20 years to return to her hometown of Toronto. At Sidewalk, Jacqueline oversees holistic approach to incorporating digital innovation into our planning work, integrating physical, digital and operational systems.

Before Sidewalk Labs, Jacqueline served as Director of Data Analytics at NYC Parks, where she founded their first data science unit, helping to re-wire the agency’s ability to solve problems and improve service delivery through the lens of data. A firm believer in the potential of open data to create new pathways for civic engagement and government innovation, Jacqueline built collaborations between agency staff and civic technologists that enabled the public and community members to develop insights from Parks’ open data sets. At NYC Parks, Jacqueline spearheaded the largest participatory street tree mapping project in U.S. history, culminating in a new digital platform for the collaborative management of NYC’s urban forest; established the New York City Urban Field Station, a research partnership with the U.S. Forest Service advancing the study of cities as socio-ecological systems to improve quality of life; and led multiple geospatial data projects that supported urban climate resiliency and sustainability initiatives.

Jacqueline is formally trained in ecology and conservation biology, with degrees from Princeton and Columbia Universities.


Can Data Help Us Build Better Neighbourhoods?

06/11/2019 10.35 - 10.55

KeynoteGreen stageFireside chat

Cities around the world are using data to improve the lives of residents. To responsibly integrate data and technology into building neighbourhoods, it is necessary to meaningfully bring together areas of expertise like human-centred design, digital policy, data governance, AI ethics, urban planning, and engineering. Sidewalk Labs was founded by former public servants to work on addressing these...


06/11/2019 15.20 - 17.00

CirclesquareGreen stageInteractive session

We surveyed people to find the critical technologies and departments. And we chose these to create four concurrent half-hour discussions, four times over. It’s a choreographed dance of experts, ideas, and disruption.