Blockchain for Cities—A Systematic Literature Review

Shen, Charles; Pena-Mora, Feniosky A.

Blockchain is considered one of the most disruptive technologies of our time. Numerous cities around the world are launching blockchain initiatives as part of the overall efforts toward shaping the urban future. However, the infancy stage of the blockchain industry leads to a severe gap between the knowledge we have and the actions urban policy makers are taking. This paper is an effort to narrow this rift. We provide a systematic literature review on concrete blockchain use cases proposed by the research community. At the macro-level, we discuss and organize use cases from 159 selected papers into nine sectors recognized as crucial for sustainable and smart urban future. At the micro-level, we identify a component-based framework and analyze the design and prototypes of blockchain systems studied in a subset of 71 papers. The high-level use case review allows us to illustrate the relationship between them and the four pillars of urban sustainability: social, economic, environmental, and governmental. The system level analysis helps us highlight interesting inconsistencies between well-known blockchain applicability decision rules and the approaches taken by the literature. We also offer two classification methodologies for blockchain use cases and elaborate on how they can be applied to stimulate cross-sector insights in the blockchain knowledge domain.


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Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Published Here
January 29, 2019