Master in City & Technology 2018/19 – Term 2
Seminar Name: Blockchain 4 Cities
Total Hours: 20 hours
Faculty: Lluïsa Marsal 

Course Description:
The course aims to introduce the main concepts of blockchain in a city environment using an applied approach. It consists of 10 sessions of two hour each, combining content lessons with practice. The first sessions will introduce the technological definition of blockchain specific to cities and will show some examples on methodologies and blockchain solutions that can already be found in cities and territories.
The course will continue by providing an understanding of the different urban codes currently shaping our cities these being Strategies, Policies, Planning, and Regulations but from a Cryptourbanomics perspective. Cryptourbanomics is a self-coined keyword to give name to an own method aimed at exploring the blockchain laws in the urban context. During these sessions there will be innovation-discovery interaction with students to start identifying use cases that students could take forward in the practical exercises as proofs-of-concept.
The understanding of urban codes from a blockchain perspective, what the Cryptourbanomics method is for, will be combined with examples and coding sessions in which students will learn how to use basic code templates to help them get the sense of how blockchain projects are developed. Therefore, students are asked to bring their own laptop, which should be a modern machine with at least 8GB RAM and 50 GB free space.

Learning Objectives
At course completion the student will:
-understand the basics of a public blockchain in the urban context, including potential applications and their limitations
-be able to identify areas related to city management and city planning where blockchain can bring the benefits of decentralization, self-verification, distribution, and disruption
-be capable to design a real-situation project at proof of concept level, where blockchain is involved as a vehicle to solve that city challenge

Course Workload and structure:
The course consists of 10 sessions of two-hours each. Students are expected to invest 2 extra hours per session to work on practical exercises and prepare their projects.

Course assessment:
In pairs, students will prepare a small blockchain project prototype aimed at solving a real-world problem related to the urban space. Specific guidance will be given by the instructor during course’s development. Students will present their project results to a panel in a final session specifically dedicated to that. Course assessment will be based on both project results and overall performance and participation in the different sessions.

Course Contents:

S1-Introduction to Blockchain4Cities: Discovering Cryptourbanomics
This will be an introductory lecture to the course to present the blockchain principles applied to cities and their governments. The need for blockchain technology in projects and in what cases will be discussed.
S2- Programming Frameworks
This lecture will serve as a kick-off for the practical sessions and will, therefore, consist of a put-together of the crypto laws principles to design blockchain solutions for the urban domain in a framework-like structure.
S3- Disintermediated Strategies. The power of transactions
It is said that the three characteristics of blockchain technology are Disruption, Distribution, and Decentralisation. This section adds a fourth one that is essential to the urban domain: Disintermediation.Transactions are the most basic blockchain tool but not for that less powerful. This will be a practical session where students will see through examples and code how empowering transactions can be to change our cities.
S4- Disruptive Policies
From the lecture, students will learn why blockchain-based solutions generate disruptive environments and how disruption relates to urban policies.
S5- Programming Tokens
Urban policies delivered with blockchain are more disruptive than policies delivered through legacy systems. The right blockchain tool do deliver on urban policies are tokens and students will learn how to use them through examples and how they look in code.
S6-Distributed Planning
During the lecture, students will be given the key ideas to build a distributed urban system and will understand why distribution has physical connotations. Accordingly, planning delivered through blockchain will need from tools allowing for territorialization.
S7- Programming Crowd sales
Urban planning is a distribution tool by default and the blockchain tool with distribution capabilities per se are crowd sales. Several crowd sales examples will be reviewed and the basic code will be put into practice to realise its territorialization potential.
S8- Decentralised Regulations
Students will learn in which situations a decentralized model is better than a centralised one and the importance of setting common and democratic governance rules in distributed systems, which is exactly what blockchain can bring to the urban system.
S9- Programming Organisations
Organizations are the most powerful and autonomous blockchain tool and thus should be used on very special occasions. These decentralized autonomous organizations can devolve towards people. We will see examples of this along with different code for different organization types.
S10- Final presentations
This session will be for students to present their blockchain project prototypes. There will be some sort of role-playing involved since students will have to present in a “pitching the Mayor” mode as if they were trying to “sell” their projects to a city council. There will be an external panel of experts serving as “city council representatives” to help recreate this role-play situation.