This article is available also in spanish here

Smarter cities are born with digital twins

My list

Author | Esther FuldauerThere’s a new buzzword in smart cities: Digital Twin.Digital twins are hot -but they are not new. They have been around since the early 2000s, but it has only been until now that they started to be affordable thanks to the Internet of Things. First born in enterprises as 3D digital replicas of physical assets, they were used for testing, planning and monitoring.Sensors and data analytics, AI, machine learning and drones, are feeding information real-time, giving life to these digital models, which have evolved becoming into more complex representations of their physical counterparts, and no longer of isolated single objects, but full-fledged systems of interconnected things.

What is a digital twin for?

In the realm of smart cities, a digital twin is a virtual model of a city, a replica of the physical world. They are rapidly becoming indispensable tools to visualize the pulse of the city in real time with layered data sources of buildings, urban infrastructure, utilities, businesses, movement of people and vehicles.Digital TwinsIf we could test everything in a virtual model before implementing, it would lower costs and the chances of failing in the real world. Testing and prototyping can improve a city’s resilience dramatically. By having real-time information of any emergency, planners could allocate resources, plan for operations and optimize traffic, which would improve by itself many other urban systems.A good example would be its use by first responders like firefighters. In the case of fire they could have access to the 3D model of the building. With the aid of Augmented Reality and AI, firefighters could know where people are and how to predict fire’s behavior.A digital twin of a smart city goes beyond the sensorization of 3D models becoming an urban platform for application development which can serve many different stakeholders. Cities then can become more democratic by having a vision of what is lacking in each community, improving their environment and their services. With open data and developing APIs that all stakeholders agree to, anyone with the proper permissions can access and develop apps for the platform creating bottom-up solutions.

Some digital twins in progress of the more advanced of the smart city digital twins in progress is Virtual Singapore, project which was overseen by Dassault Systémes using its 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The project offers four main capabilities to stakeholders: Virtual experimentation, test-bedding, decision-making and research & development.Amaravati, a greenfield smart city, will be the first city born with a digital twin. The initial 3D prototype of the city was built using Cityzenith’s Smart World Pro software.Digital Twins“Everything that happens in Amaravati will be scenarioized in advance to optimize outcomes, and adjusted on the fly to keep pace with change. This represents a giant leap forward for cities, how they’re designed, built, and managed, and how they optimize their relationships with the private sector and their own citizens”, explains Michael Jansen, CEO of Cityzenith.This technology is picking up pace as it is becoming more widely available and known to prototype and test smart city projects. Digital twins were ranked #5 in Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018, with predictions that billions of things will have digital twins in the next few years. We will certainly see more and more cities creating their own digital twins in the years to come, a tool that is set to become a cornerstone of the 4th Industrial Revolution.Images | Virtual Singapore, Cityzenith, ItNeverEnds/Pixabay, María Noel Rabuñal Cantero/Unsplash

Related content

Recommended profiles for you

Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
Ahmad Kabir Abdullahi
Hamada Smart city
Ricardo Ricardolas
Inteligencia Movil
Agil project Manager
Pablo Gurevich
Aman Jain
Aman Jain
Aman Jain Architecture And Design
Principal Architect
Technical university of Crete
I am an architecture student
Guto Robusti
Orlando Ardito
Orlando Ardito
General Manager
Monica Arango
JM administraciones
Owner and manager
Idalia Estrada
TAAK Arquitectura
pedro paes lira
pedro paes lira
Natureza Urbana,, @naturezaurbana_br
Founding partner, creative director
Diwakar jain
Diwakar Jain Architects
Selouane Karim
Selouane Karim
CEO & Founder
paola pelle
Urban Designer and Researcher
Maria Casabo
Senior Electrical Engineer
Monica Alcolea
Monica Alcolea
Castiel Consultants
Project Manager
Ricardo Latoeiro
NOA arquitectoa
CEO / Architect
Maria Andree Lopez Gomez
postdoctoral fellow
Braulio García Suárez
BGS, Planificación Territorial
Joachim Schonowski
Joachim Schonowski
msg systems ag
Principal Business Consultant, Chair DIN Smart City Standards Forum
Alfonso Galicia
Conselva, costas y comunidades

Thank you for registering to Tomorrow.City. You can now start exploring from your computer, or with your phone or tablet downloading our app!
Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$