Blockchain for Planners

PAS QuickNotes 99

By Justin Hollander, FAICP


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The last decade has brought an explosion of global interest in blockchain technology: new distributed ledgers that allow for transactions to be executed and recorded using cryptocurrency on distributed computer networks.

As users and consumers of information, planners could benefit greatly from the use of this new kind of web-based system of data management. Embedded with smart contracts, these Web 3.0 technologies are already disrupting the fields of finance and banking and can offer improved tools for data access and storage, community engagement, public decision-making, and transparency and accountability.

This edition of QuickNotes defines blockchains, NFTs, and cryptocurrency as parts of a new set of technological tools for local governance and planning practice and explores the efficiency, automation, and transparency that these technologies offer.


Date Published
May 1, 2022
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Justin Hollander, FAICP
Justin Hollander, PhD, FAICP, is a professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. His research and teaching is in the areas of physical planning, Big Data, shrinking cities, and the intersection between cognitive science and the design of cities. He co-edited the book Urban Experience and Design: Contemporary Perspectives on Improving the Public Realm (Routledge, 2020) and is the author of seven other books on urban planning and design, including Cognitive Architecture Designing for How We Respond to the Built Environment (with Ann Sussman) and Urban Social Listening: Potential and Pitfalls for Using Microblogging Data in Studying Cities. He hosts the Apple podcast "Cognitive Urbanism."