United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC)
United Nation Universities (UNU-EGOV) / International Telecommunication Union (ITU) / United Nations Human settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
Blockchain for Cities
The workshop proposed for the WSIS Forum 2019 aims to discuss the transformative effect of blockchain on smart, sustainable cities. Blockchain arises as a technology enabling the more efficient and secure exchange of values in respect of privacy and transparency contributing this way in the improvement of a variety of smart city services (e.g., smart administrative, and public services, smart home, smart industry). Despite these ambitious possibilities, our knowledge about blockchain technology and how it can transform our context remains limited. The dominant approach of the use of blockchain in cities is focusing on the technological perspective and the possible benefits related to the technology itself, in the absence of contextual considerations and implications related to developing and implementing often resource-intensive blockchain and smart cities technology within resource and infrastructure-constrained cities in the developing world, and within other competing digital transition concerns for urban policy makers and managers such as closing the digital divide within and between cities and territories and more immediate concerns around addressing social, economic and environmental challenges in their cities.
The primary purpose of this workshop is to open the discussion to understand better the transformative effect of the blockchain through adopting a holistic perspective where the technology is presented as an enabler of the transformation leading to a sustainable smart city and not an end in itself whilst not leaving behind the digital transition needs of developing countries that have yet to adopt even basic digital and e-government services. In this regard, the objectives are to identify and discuss the main challenges in the use blockchain in cities; to provide clear context-based and economic, policy, legislative considerations of blockchain’s pros and cons if the technology is to be harnessed in cities; and to have balanced viewpoints on the use of blockchains to improve the sustainability and smartness of a municipality; having a critical assessment of the relevance of Blockchain in regards of these specific challenging situations in urban centers and balancing between the benefits and risks or complexity of adopting the blockchain for cities.
The participants of the workshop will have the opportunity to contribute to the discussions about opportunities and challenges of the use of blockchain for smart, sustainable cities and contribute and learn within an international and multidisciplinary community of researchers and experts interested in the blockchain, smart cities, sustainability, government efficiency, and global challenges.
The total time of the workshop 105 minutes, and the preliminary agenda is the following:
- ITU will introduce the U4SSC Initiative and B4C Project and its goals;
- UNU-EGOV will explain the objectives of the workshop and how it will contribute to the B4C Report;
- UN-Habitat will introduce selected issues, challenges and priorities affecting cities from an economic, policy and governance standpoint when considering blockchain and related applied technology, as elaborated by city stakeholders in terms of SDG 11 the New Urban Agenda;
- The participants will be invited to introduce themselves;
- UNU-EGOV will present the roadmap of the discussion and conduct the talks with the participants.
Ms. Cristina Bueti, Counsellor, ITU
- Mr. Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, ITU
- Ms. Gulnara Roll, Head, Housing and Land Management Unit, UNECE
- Mr. Graham Alabaster, Chief of Sanitation and Waste Management, UN-Habitat
- Ms. Soumaya Ben Dhaou, Research Coordinator, UNU-EGOV
- Ms. Kari Eik, Secretary General, OiER
Session's link to WSIS Action Lines
- C2. Information and communication infrastructure
- C3. Access to information and knowledge
- C5. Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs
- C6. Enabling environment
- C7. ICT Applications: E-government
- C7. ICT Applications: E-business
- C7. ICT Applications: E-health
- C7. ICT Applications: E-environment
The insights of the workshop will be used to endorse the preparation of the B4C deliverable, which will support Municipalities to better understand about the potential benefits and challenges related to the use and adoption of blockchain for their transition to smart, sustainable cities. B4C is one of several initiatives of U4SSC, in response to the Sustainable Development Goal 11: "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable." The workshop is also aligned with WSIS Action Lines C2, C3, C5, C6, C7, C8, and C10.
Session's link to Sustainable Development Process
- Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
The insights of the workshop will be used to endorse the preparation of the B4C deliverable, which will support Municipalities to better understand about the potential benefits and challenges related to the use and adoption of blockchain for their transition to smart, sustainable cities. B4C is one of several initiatives of U4SSC, in response to the Sustainable Development Goal 11: "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable."