Is blockchain beyond the future of Smart Cities? HeroEngine.World’s insight from #SCEWC
The Smart City Expo World Congress is an annual event aiming to bring together business and government, startups and enthusiastic academics for spreading the most innovative ideas among those who live for creating future cities. This year the Congress has brought together over 400 global influencers and innovators to take a deep dive into the problems of contemporary cities and to showcase the latest trends in digital technologies and to discuss the common challenges facing them in the future.
HeroEngine.World took this great opportunity to meet with the representatives of the world’s leading cities and present our solutions of city digitalisation and smart city management that meet the needs of the most developing metropolises. This year Fira de Barcelona is a unique place where about 700 cities worldwide, 600 exhibitors and 420 speakers are simultaneously brainstorming the ideas that tomorrow will be implemented.
It was also awesome experience to get in touch with other innovative creators of urban high tech solutions that are bringing the city infrastructure on a new level.
Smart Mobility World Congress was a part of the congress and mainly focused on the mobility solutions that are able to make the urban traffic safer, reduce air pollution and introduce common standards to all mobility industries.
As usual, we are happy to share the ideas and trends of urban development HeroEngine caught in this tremendous event both in smart city and mobility panels.
- It is notable that #Blockchain solutions were honored by making Dubai a winner of the Main City Award. Dubai achieved the award for being the world’s first blockchain powered government to utilize the technology for all transactions by 2020. At the Congress Smart Dubai was exhibiting #Blockchain roadmap that entails achieving 100% government participation and USD 1,5 bln value saved by 2020. Thanks to #Blockchain, Dubai Government is planning to celebrate its last paper-based transaction in 2021. Nevertheless that Dubai has already become a frontrunner in #Blockchain implementation, other cities are also starting to seek how #Blockchain can be implemented.
- Introduction of IoT devices in the city infrastructure is gaining speed. The figures are really surprising — an estimated 2.3 billion connected things will be used in smart cities this year. IoT devices have great potential in shaping the city management and solving traffic issues, data collection, safety problems. Massive introduction of IoT solutions definitely bring a great benefit to urban living. However, a major obstacle the governments are faced with is the security that can keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and deployment. One of the most efficient and, what is more important, the easiest way to ensure security between the physical devices and the clouds/servers is to use the Distributed Ledger Technology, where #Blockchain has already proven its competitiveness. It reduces the risk of devices being hijacked or even disabled by a remote attacker by leveraging strong security and safety for data storage.
- Digitalisation of the cities is one of the main steps for increasing their sustainability and not only about the installation of huge number of devices in the city infrastructure. It is more about the proper management, about developing the models that are able to respond quickly to a high speed of people’s life and the fast pace of cities development. The redesign of public services and the use of public data are the new challenges. Ideally this mechanism should make the data open and shared, collaborative and benefit driven. Beyond this criteria data should be stored both in decentralized and safe manner. Herewith solutions like #Blockchain can also be a vehicle empowering and securing open data and simultaneously offering open public services.
- Worth mentioning the speech of Mrs. Beth Simone Noveck, the Director of The GovLab from NY. Mrs. Noveck stressed the importance of the development and implementation of participatory platforms that enable participation of citizens in the urban digitalisation. She figured out the criteria that make participatory platforms competitive and efficient. The main point is that such platforms should bring optimization for both institutional and public engagements, the processes on the platform should be managed clearly and transparently, and the main aspect is the measurable incentives and benefits the platform brings to make average citizens. “There were two perspectives: one that thinks that citizens are not prepared to make decisions on their own. The other is that citizens know best how to solve their own problems. I argue that’s the road in between. Policies should be co-created” — Mrs. Noveck stated. Other speakers also have stressed that a sign of democratic and sustainable city is the level of citizen participation in urban life. From this point of view such participatory platforms should be more actively implemented in urban infrastructure. In this respect HeroEngine.World is presenting a solution to these highlighted challenges.
- The real challenge that is common to the most of smart cities presented at the congress was aptly stated by Microsoft in their article posted in the run-up to the #SCEWC “Most existing smart city investment is for specific projects, led by individual departments, not coordinated across agencies or organizations. The next wave of smart city investment and innovation is about implementing solutions that connect separate systems together. If these separate systems are proactively coordinated, and supported with integrated data, the benefits can improve the entire city”.
- Not surprising that the leading technology companies Huawei and CISCO at the #SCEWC have caught the trend and supported the introduction to the cities nervous systems. The representatives of Huawei highlighted that a smart city is a living organism that works seamlessly to continuously learn and enhance the city’s services.