Platformization and the Metaverse: Opportunities and Challenges for Urban Sustainability and Economic Development


  • Aram Mohammed-Amin Qadir University of Halabja image/svg+xml
  • Ava Omar Fatah University Of Sulaimani



Platformization, metaverse, smart cities, digital twins, Economic development, Digital platforms, Data-driven urbanism, Urban sustainability, digital economy, climate change, virtual reality


In simpler terms, our day-to-day life, from various urban sectors to all deep corners of city life, is becoming hugely influenced by digital platforms' data systems, economic tactics, and ways of management. This is a trend that we call "platformization." It's taken us to a point where we now live in what's often described as a "platform society" because these platforms now largely control urban civilizations. What's fascinating is that this platformization trend has created something pretty striking: the Metaverse. The Metaverse is an impressive global platform project launched by Meta, the company we used to know as Facebook. This project brings to life a potential "virtual world" that mirrors our reality. The idea is that the Metaverse can serve as a virtual version of the future cities – not too different from what we think of as smart cities. Thanks to cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), and Digital Twins, we now have enough resources and understanding of human behavior to make a project like the Metaverse possible. The promise is that the Metaverse can revolutionize how we design cities and deliver public services, making cities more efficient, accountable, and with a higher quality performance. But of course, the arrival of the Metaverse isn't without its worries. There are many questions over the ethical, human, social, and cultural implications the Metaverse may have. Particularly, there are concerns about the kind of impact it may have on the quality of human social relationships and how it may reshape urban life. To unpack all of these, this research work aims to thoroughly examine available literature on this topic. The paper further looks into the new products and services coming into being because of the Metaverse, examining how they might help smart cities, especially those aiming for better environment, economy, and social sustainability. The insights gathered here could help city leaders understand the Metaverse's potential for technology-driven urban practices and future city plans. It also takes a critical stance, challenging whether the Metaverse might significantly change how reality is constructed in our increasingly platform-driven urban world. This discussion, hopefully, can fuel future research and critical conversation on this hot topic.


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How to Cite

Qadir AM-A, Fatah AO. Platformization and the Metaverse: Opportunities and Challenges for Urban Sustainability and Economic Development. EAI Endorsed Trans Energy Web [Internet]. 2023 Sep. 6 [cited 2023 Sep. 22];10. Available from: