Blockchain and edge computing-based architecture for participatory smart city applications

Zaheer Khan*, Abdul Ghafoor Abbasi, Zeeshan Pervez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Smart cities aim to provide smart governance with the emphasis on gaining high transparency and trust in public services and enabling citizen participation in decision making processes. This means on the one hand data generated from urban transactions need to be open and trustworthy. On the other hand, security and privacy of public data needs to be handled at different administrative and geographical levels. In this paper, we investigate the pivotal role of blockchain in providing privacy, self-verification, authentication, and authorization of participatory transactions in open governance. We also investigate up to what extent edge computing can contribute toward management of permissioned sharing at specific administrative levels and enhance privacy and provide an economic approach for resource utilization in a distributed environment. We introduce a novel architecture that is based on distributed hybrid ledger and edge computing model. The architecture provides refined and secure management of data generated and processed in different geographical and administrative units of a city. We implemented a proof of concept of the architecture and applied it on a carefully designed use case, ie, citizen participation in administrative decisions through consensus. This use case highlights the need to keep and process citizen participation data at local level by deploying district chaincodes and only share consensus results through permissioned chaincodes. The results reveal that proposed architecture is scalable and provide secure and privacy protected environment for citizen participatory applications. Our performance test results are promising and show that under control conditions, the average registration time for a citizen transaction is about 42 ms, whilst the validation and result compilation of 100 concurrent citizens' transactions took about 2.4 seconds.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere5566
Number of pages20
JournalConcurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience
Early online date11 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2019


  • Distributed ledger
  • Edge computing
  • Open governance
  • Privacy
  • Smart cities
  • Trust


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