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Government projects in the metaverse: Governance going 3D


Callum Moates

Governments around the globe are making strategic investments in the metaverse, focusing on leveraging its potential across various sectors such as education, healthcare, defense, and public administration. These investments include providing research grants to universities and funding tech companies to advance 3D internet, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) technologies. Several countries have developed comprehensive national strategies and roadmaps to facilitate the adoption of metaverse technologies to place themselves as global leaders in this emerging field. Dubai's Metaverse Strategy aims to position it globally among the top 10 metaverse economies by supporting over 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 through R&D collaborations and talent development​​. Similarly, South Korea has pledged $186.7 million to create a comprehensive metaverse ecosystem as part of its "Digital New Deal," fostering digital content growth and corporate expansion​​.

Additionally, governments have established incubator programs to support startups in the 3D internet space. The MetaIncubator launched at the the Dubai World Trade Center, supports early-stage metaverse projects by offering investments, marketing, and tokenomics services. The plan is to help companies in Dubai and eventually expand to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Moreover, public-private partnerships are crucial in building the future of the 3D internet. In South Korea, the government has established the "metaverse alliance" to collaborate and enable the development of virtual and augmented reality platforms. This alliance brings together 500 firms, including Samsung and Hyundai Motors. These concerted efforts highlight the commitment of governments not only to explore but also to integrate metaverse technologies into their digital economy.

Futuristic interior of a Middle East space

Use cases and applications

Virtual government services in the metaverse

  • Virtual town halls: Some federal and state governments have conducted virtual town halls and conferences in the metaverse to engage with citizens in real-time, regardless of where they may be. Seoul was one of the first cities to create a virtual 'City Hall' in the metaverse that citizens can visit as avatars.

  • Government services and administration: Replicating services in the metaverse can help improve accessibility and offer more information to citizens. For example, a virtual polling station was set up in Alameda County, California, to explain voting procedures to people in an immersive, interactive way.

  • Virtual embassies: Virtual embassies operate online without physical premises, allowing diplomats to communicate electronically. They complement traditional embassies, benefiting small and developing countries by performing various diplomatic functions like information dissemination, protecting citizens' interests, negotiating, and even handling consular affairs. Governments of countries like Maldives, Sweden, Estonia, Serbia, and Kazakhstan have established virtual embassies.

Education and training

Governments use virtual reality platforms to train public sector officials, such as healthcare workers and the military, to deal with real-world scenarios in safe, virtual environments. The goal is to improve learning and workforce productivity.

The US Navy has tested an AR platform called TRACER at its training center, using off-the-shelf gaming gear and simulated weapons to create realistic training scenarios. Similarly, the US Department of Homeland Security funds VR training for emergency responders, enhancing their readiness through controlled crisis simulations. 

Governments around the world are also harnessing 3D internet technologies to transform education. Arizona State University's (ASU) use of immersive technology to transform science education is a notable example. ASU has integrated immersive VR technology into its introductory biology labs, allowing students to engage with scientific concepts innovatively and interactively​​. 

Other augmented workforce training use cases include using "digital twins" to help workers learn how to repair costly and potentially hazardous equipment in a simulated digital environment that closely mimics its real-world counterpart. This ability to train in a simulated environment helps the labor force pick up skills quicker and master them before final execution.  

These initiatives highlight the pivotal role of the 3D internet and immersive technology in modernizing educational and training frameworks, providing hands-on and effective learning experiences that are crucial for professional development in various disciplines.

Urban planning and smart cities

The metaverse is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for urban planning and the development of smart cities, leveraging technologies such as digital twins, 3D modeling, and simulations. 

For instance, Seoul, South Korea, has invested $3.3 million in a five-year plan to establish a "Metaverse 120 Center" where residents can interact with virtual public officials and access city services. These tools allow for more efficient and effective planning, design, and management of urban infrastructure, offering a glimpse into the future of city development.

Here are some ways governments can use the 3D internet for urban planning:

  • Digital twins: One of the most promising applications in urban planning is using digital twins. These virtual replicas of physical environments can be used for data analysis and system testing without affecting the real world. Digital twins leverage Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and 5G to add real-time data to digital replicas of places or structures. For example, Singapore has developed a virtual replica of the entire city to optimize urban planning and resource management called 'Virtual Singapore.' This digital twin enables city planners to simulate scenarios, such as traffic patterns and disaster responses, enhancing decision-making processes.

  • 3D modeling: Developers and government bodies use 3D modeling technologies to visualize urban structures and plans before constructing them. This visualization allows for better design and community feedback, reducing costs and environmental impacts. Helsinki's 3D city model is an initiative where the entire city has been modeled into a digital twin to assist in the planning and developing of new projects, providing a clear visualization of proposed changes and their potential impacts on the existing environment. For instance, the Kalasatama Digital Twins project digitally reconstructed the construction complex to design and test the built-up region. 

  • Simulation for infrastructure design and management: Simulations are crucial for the sustainable management of city infrastructures, such as water systems, energy grids, and transportation networks. The city of Boston, USA, creates simulations within the metaverse to design and manage urban infrastructure. By simulating different infrastructure projects, city planners can foresee the outcomes of their decisions and make adjustments before real-world implementation.

Middle East building lobby with clean aesthetic

Case studies and examples

Virtual embassies

Virtual embassies provide countries with a cost-effective platform for diplomatic representation and interaction, particularly benefiting small and developing nations by expanding their global reach in a virtual space. 

Here are some examples of embassies successfully launched in the metaverse:

  • Maldives' Virtual Embassy in Second Life: This embassy allows visitors to talk face-to-face with a virtual diplomat, i.e., an avatar operated by an official from the Maldives mission in Geneva, regarding concerns and queries about visas, trade, and other issues. 

  • Barbados Embassy in Decentraland: The Government of Barbados also announced the establishment of a metaverse embassy, pioneering the evolution of global diplomacy beyond the physical world. The embassy aims to provide services such as "e-visas" to visitors.

  • Estonia: This embassy, established on Second Life, aims to offer visitors a number of services and activities. It was created to host lectures, concerts, and art exhibitions to raise awareness about the country's international popularity and affordability.

Virtual reality for public safety

Immersive technologies can provide real-world simulations and training environments to help government agencies improve public safety. Virtual world simulations can enhance disaster preparedness by providing immersive training that helps individuals experience and respond to potential hazards in a safe, controlled environment. 

Here are some examples of how government officials use the metaverse for public safety:

  • Disaster preparedness training: VR technology is particularly effective for training personnel and citizens in disaster response, allowing them to experience realistic scenarios without real-world risks. For instance, the Aichi University of Technology in Japan created a VR simulation that gives people a realistic experience of being caught in a tsunami while in a car, helping them understand the best way to escape. In the United States, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) joined Meta to create a VR experience with their headsets for fire safety awareness to help individuals be prepared with the right skills in case of a disaster.

  • Crime scene reconstruction: VR is also revolutionizing forensic science by enabling the reconstruction of crime scenes. This ability allows law enforcement and jurors to virtually visit the scene and review events as they happened, which can be crucial for investigations and legal proceedings. The UK's Metropolitan Police Service has adopted VR technology to recreate crime scenes in detail, which helps understand the sequence of events and provide clear evidence during trials.

  • Emergency response simulations: Emergency response simulations in the 3D internet provide a dynamic training environment for first responders, including police, fire, and emergency medical services. By simulating various emergency scenarios in a controlled virtual space, responders can practice their skills, learn new tactics, and improve their coordination efforts without the inherent risks of real-life training. For example, the Los  Almos Police Department in New Mexico uses VR to train the police force on tactics like crisis intervention, escalation, and de-escalation.

Urban planning projects

The 3D internet provides the perfect canvas for urban planning and innovative city development, creating digital twins, 3D proposed project models, and simulations for infrastructure design and management.

Here are some cases where nations are using the metaverse for urban planning:

  • NEOM: The mega city NEOM's digital twin project is a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, aimed at transforming urban planning by creating a detailed virtual model of the location. This initiative uses advanced technology to enhance sustainability and living conditions, establishing NEOM as a global hub for innovation. The digital twin allows planners, architects, and policymakers to simulate, analyze, and optimize the urban environment by integrating real-time data from city infrastructure and utilities. This virtual platform also supports stakeholder engagement, allowing diverse groups to visualize development impacts and contribute to city planning. 

  • One Human Reality: As part of the One Human Reality initiative, the Dubai Municipality has partnered with investors and private-sector companies to build a digital replica of the city. The goal of the project is to give citizens better accessibility to services and immersive spaces to connect. The digital twin is also a great tool to simulate the real-life functioning of a city and offer a way to make better strategic plans and decisions.


Callum Moates

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لاند فولت هي أكبر منشئ في الميتافيرس مع أكثر من 100 مليون قدم مربع من العقارات الافتراضية، وأكثر من 120 مبدعًا بدوام كامل، وقرابة 300 مشروع منجز. لقد ساعدنا العلامات التجارية على البناء والنمو في بيئات الألعاب منذ عام 2017 وفي الميتافيرس منذ عام 2021.

We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023

Landvault · Wam Group

All rights reserved


We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved


We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2023 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved