Dubai's plan to implement blockchain in as many government services as possible by 2020 has been hailed by the World Economic Forum in a new report.
The initiative is one of 20 highlighted as most creative ways cities worldwide are drawing on big data to improve services and quality of life.
Blockchain, which originates from digital currency bitcoin, works as an electronic transaction processing and record keeping system that allows all parties to track information through a secure network, with no need for third-party verification.
The World Economic Forum said the purpose of the new report is to help city leaders make sense of the different data available to them and, more importantly, how to best use the data to design and deliver better services.
The list, selected by a diverse panel of experts drawn from academia, industry and government, covers five key areas of city life - people, economy, governance, infrastructure and the environment.
As well as Dubai, other cities highlighted include Boston, US which has developed CityScore, an online dashboard showing how the city government is performing against 24 metrics; Copenhagen, Denmark where dynamic signs and “intelligent” street lights are helping cyclists beat the traffic; and Fukuoka, Japan which is using algorithms to migrate freight and public transport vehicles to hydrogen fuel cells powered by human sewage.
Kolkata, India, which is using geographic information systems to map unplanned settlements, providing addresses and vital services for their inhabitants plus Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where CrimeRadar is the first service in the world to make data on crime accessible to the public are also praised.
Cheryl Martin, head of industries, World Economic Forum, said: "The Forum seeks to empower cities as they prepare for the social, economic and technological transformations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
"The ability to collect data, correctly interpret it and apply the results will be key to driving these advances. We hope these stories serve to steer future conversations and catalyse innovative actions as they have already motivated our work on a new initiative, Cities and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, aimed at defining and measuring the readiness of global cities.”For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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