GDCSS looks at smart cities and how they are changing the way countries operate

With the current technological advancements, cities are adopting technology into their system to create a more efficient lifestyle, become sustainable and ensure the safety of their citizens. Once the internet became something accessible to all, it opened doors for new other technologies such as blockchain. Blockchain seems like the most efficient tool that powers up cities and turns them smart. With smart cities, governments are utilizing blockchain technologies to operate their cities and come up with innovative solutions.

UAE — the future of smart cities?

The UAE didn’t decide to become a smart nation in a day. It all started back in 1999 when the government decided to adopt the first information and communication technologies (ICT) strategy and it was followed by several launches of Dubai Internet City, Dubai e-government, Dubai Smart Government and finally the Smart Dubai initiative. To continue progressing further The Dubai Blockchain Strategy was launched in 2020 to ensure that all services are connected in one safe system. Data such as your passport, visa, and bank details are all stored in blocks in the blockchain system as it aims to be the first city fully powered by blockchain technology to offer its citizens trust, transparency and traceability.

China invests in smart city development

Hangzhou is one of the smart cities in China and has demonstrated the importance of integrating technology into every day’s system. For example, Hangzhou has a population of 7 million dropped from 5th to 57th place in China’s most congested city by solving the traffic congestion problem through technology in the construction of smart cities. However, China smart cities do have many weak points such as security and privacy issues. With blockchain technology though, many of the critical pain points can be resolved. Through blockchain, data is tamper-proof, transparent, autonomous etc. Through those characteristics the development of a smart will increase, they will allow sharing and utilization of public data resources, and it will promote a combination between different government departments, industries, and different enterprises.

Why smart cities are becoming increasingly important to the way a government operate

There are so many factors that do contribute to the importance of smart cities and one of these is the growing population. Urbanization is increasing at a very rapid rate as it’s expected by 2030 the world will have 43 major cities each with more than 10 million people living in them. Therefore, governments need to think of a way to develop and grow sustainably. Blockchain does come into the picture as it does redefine what a citizen means in the 21st century. By using blockchain, citizens can create and manage digital identities to have greater privacy and control of the data being used. For example, Japanese cities like Kaga and Tsukuba are developing blockchain voting systems. South Korean cities like Seoul offers blockchain-based driver licenses, meanwhile, Busan launched an identity verification app. Furthermore, blockchain also allows innovation in products and services. For example, Szymon Fiedorowicz, CEO and co-founder of SmartKey, has developed this platform to be a secure and universal communication standard in Polish smart cities. Through this platform, citizens can control so many functions like water meters, entry barriers, weather data to control building temperature and so forth. Smart cities come with increased economic benefits, data-driven decisions and improved demand-based and energy-efficient multimodal transportation.

Smart cities are the key to winning communities

Communities are going to be the winners once cities fully adopt technology in their system as will bring more efficiency, trust and safety to them. For citizens to be able to control whatever is around them and have easy access to services and innovative products, this will increase their productivity, will decrease their stress levels, and improve their health status. “Adopting Blockchain technology Dubai stands to unlock 5.5 billion dirhams in savings annually in document processing alone — equal to the one Burj Khalifa’s worth of value every year.” — Smart Dubai. Such an amount saved will give governments more opportunities into building better communities so let that sink in.

Sources:

https://www.smartdubai.ae/initiatives/blockchain https://www.juliusbaer.com/en/insights/future-cities/dubai-of-the-future-a-synergy-between-a-smart-city-and-a-green-economy-1/ https://www.verdict.co.uk/blockchains-use-true-power/ https://gulfbusiness.com/why-smart-cities-are-important-to-the-uae/ https://www.iuc-asia.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/01-ZHAO-Xiangfu-20201029-Is-Blockchain-a-Real-Opportunity-for-Smart-Cities-Projects-in-China_EN.pdf

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.

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The Global Distributed Cloud Storage Summit will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre) in the UAE between September 15–17, 2021.

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The Global Distributed Cloud Storage Summit will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre) in the UAE between September 15–17, 2021.

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