BBBlockchain is a blockchain-based participation platform, aiming to enhance transparency and empowerment in urban development processes.
BBBlockchain is a blockchain-based participation platform to investigate how blockchain technology can improve participatory urban planning. BBBlockchain is an Einstein Center Digital Future research project supported by Berlin‘s six municipal housing associations. The platform will be tested as part of two urban regeneration projects of the DEGEWO and GEWOBAG.
The aim is to explore whether transparency and trust in planning processes can be increased by using blockchain technology. The ability to store data decentrally without the need for a governing central authority and the immutable nature of the data stored are the two components promising significant advantages for underlying urban participation processes. Published information related to the participation processes will be permanently disclosed via the platform with very substantial obstacles to manipulate the data retrospectively. To ensure that the information provided is easily accessible and understandable, an app based digital interface is currently under development for the BBBlockchain. All stakeholders can therefore rely on the information provided by the respective stakeholders and can see them in context of the development process.
In addition, the project explores the feasible extent of direct democracy to be included in participation processes. Blockchain technology allows to eliminate the need for intermediary authorities in decision-making processes. So-called smart contracts based on if-then rules are deployed for this purpose. As soon as a contractually defined condition is met, the predetermined subsequent action is automatically executed. In the research project, this function is being tested in various polls and votes.
The online platform covers the following features:
– Documentation utilising secure timestamping
– Procedural document management
– Feedback function
– Social media integration
– Opinion polls and voting
– Use of tokens, e.g. for participatory budgets
THE PILOT PROJECTS
BBBlockchain will be tested in two pilot projects in Berlin. You can participate in the first pilot already since the end of summer 2019. It focusses on increasing transparency and trust in participatory processes. All relevant documents and information are included in the online platform will be available permanently for retrieval. The second pilot tests to what extent decision-making can be devolved to citizens or bottom-up initiatives by using BBBlockchain. It is expected to go online at the beginning of next year.
All Berlin residents, especially the residents of the respective neighbourhoods, can take part. Further information about the pilot projects and community events will be posted here.
The white paper is our working document, in which we constantly reflect the current state of our research. Currently, we introduce the underlying principles in urban participation and plot the BBBlockchain use cases against the technical architecture and solutions of the platform.
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PROF. JOCHEN RABE
Professor Urban Resilience and Digitalization
PROF. DR. FLORIAN TSCHORSCH
Assistant Professor Distributed Security Infrastructures
THE EINSTEIN CENTER DIGITAL FUTURE
The Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) is the center for digitization research in Berlin. The center aims to create more links in the field of digitization in Berlin, try out new forms of cooperation, concentrate on innovative interdisciplinary research and attract young scientific talent. The ECDF is a public-private partnership, initiating around 50 new professorships, bringing together all four Berlin universities, the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, more than 30 companies, as well as regional and federal ministries.