Skip to main content

From meatless meat to trustless trust – can Blockchain change the way that we work together to create knowledge in smart cities?


Smart Cities apply technology, connectivity and data to the urban experience, but they could easily become Fake Cities. Their factories still produce things – but they are staffed by robots. Their cars still take you where you want to go – but they are driven by autonomous systems. You can hold their digital products in your hands – but only via a smart phone.
In the worst case, Smart Cities trade down authentic human experiences for something artificial, virtual and ersatz. But can the Smart City ever trade-up and improve on the original?Take food as an example. Scientists are perfecting cultured cells to grow synthetic meat in laboratories. Far from producing an unpalatable substitute, the result is said to be nutritious and tasty. As the world’s population grows rapidly, meatless meat is seen as a carbon and resource efficient alternative that could represent “the future of food”.
In their recent report partners in the UnLoCK consortium considered whether Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies could similarly transform another basic human need – by creating “trustless trust.”
But might this be needed?
The argument goes that Smart Cities join-up multiple systems, more than have ever been connected before. The scale and complexity of the resulting ecosystem means that not all participants can expect to have pre-existing relationships with each other. In this context, it is difficult to know who or what to trust.
The blockchain is seen as a way for Information to be securely shared between peers. The important point is that rather than investing trust in one privileged partner, such as a bank, the focus moves to collectively creating a trusted system; one where peers collectively own and update the Distributed Ledger as a single version of the truth.
The UnLoCK consortium partners identify numerous areas where they would like to experiment with the application of this technology, from understanding the environmental provenance of goods and services within supply chains associated with new local approaches to house building, to systems that afford ‘smart citizens’ greater ownership and control of their personal data.
The consortium partners are planning further discussions to explore how to move from theory towards a working prototype. For more details of the UnLoCK consortium contact, Lisa Kehoe Lisa.kehoe@bristol.ac.uk and Stephen Hilton stephen.hilton@bristol.ac.uk
--------------------------------------
This blog was written by Stephen Hilton, Director of Bristol Futures Global, and a University of Bristol Cabot Institute Fellow.
This blog was reposted with kind permission from PolicyBristol. View the original blog post.

Comments


  1. Thank you for your post. This is excellent information. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site.
    apple ios training institutes in Hyderabad
    iphone app training course

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your post. This is excellent information. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site.

    moving companies in florida

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Diamond Battery – your ideas for future energy generation

On Friday 25th November, at the Cabot Institute Annual Lecture, a new energy technology was unveiled that uses diamonds to generate electricity from nuclear waste. Researchers at the University of Bristol, led by Prof. Tom Scott, have created a prototype battery that incorporates radioactive Nickel-63 into a diamond, which is then able to generate a small electrical current.
Details of this technology can be found in our official press release here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2016/november/diamond-power.html.
Despite the low power of the batteries (relative to current technologies), they could have an exceptionally long lifespan, taking 5730 years to reach 50% battery power. Because of this, Professor Tom Scott explains:
“We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries. Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellite…

Dadaism in Disaster Risk Reduction: Reflections against method

Reflections and introductions: A volta The volta is a poetic device, closely but not solely, associated with the Shakespearean sonnet, used to enact a dramatic change in thought or emotion. Concomitant with this theme is that March is a month with symbolic links to change and new life. The Romans famously preferred to initiate the most significant socio-political manoeuvres of the empire during the first month of their calendar, mensis Martius. A month that marked the oncoming of spring, the weakening of winter’s grip on the land and a time for new life.
The need for change Having very recently attended the March UKADR conference, organised by the Cabot Institute here in Bristol, I did so with some hope and anticipation. Hope and anticipation for displays and discussions that conscientiously touched upon this volta, this need for change in how we study the dynamics of natural hazards. The conference itself was very agreeable, it had great sandwiches, with much stimulating discussion …

Localising the Sustainable Development Goals for Bristol

In 2015 the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were ratified by 193 of the UN member nations. These goals set ambitious targets to address worldwide issues of sustainable development, such as social inequality, responsible and inclusive economic development and environmental protection. They were created for everyone, everywhere and have been described as ‘the closest thing the world has to a strategy’.

Who will be responsible for ensuring we achieve these goals and how will they be achieved?
In the realm of international agreements, national governments have traditionally been responsible for local implementation. But a combination of profound global demographic shifts and a sense that national governments are increasingly incapable of tackling complex global challenges due to domestic political wrangling has given rise to a global movement to place cities at the heart of efforts to tackle both local and global challenges.  This movement, which is coalescing around a constel…