Urban Digital Twin
‘Urban digital twins can change the way cities are planned, operated, monitored and managed’ (DUET project).
This group aims to build a community of like-minded cities, working on urban digital twins.
The group will discuss the concept, bring forward concrete use cases from around the EU and then explore why cities would be interested in using urban digital twins.
Urban digital twins are a virtual representation of a city's physical assets, using data, data analytics and machine learning to help stimulation models that can be updated and changed (real-time) as their physical equivalents change. Some may consider a digital twin only describing reality (and the history of it), while it is the additional applications that bring the real intelligence and help create the common picture of reality that is the value-added of an urban digital twin. In terms of rationale, they can bring cost efficiencies, operational efficiencies, better crisis management, more openness and better informed decision-making, more participatory governance or better urban planning.
The solution explained
An urban digital should ideally provide the following minimum five capabilities:
Although there are a number of helpful enablers that can be used for urban digital twins in other cities, such as the Minimum Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs), interoperable urban digital platforms, the forthcoming data ecosystem for climate-neutral and smart communities and other initiatives such as the work to establish an Interoperability Framework for smart cities and communities.
There are a number of challenges related to governance, ecosystem data management (data availability and sharing, data governance and stewardship, shared data models and standards), cybersecurity and privacy, ethics, interoperability and skills. The goal of the community is to discuss these challenges and find common ground to resolve them. It is our goal to help the concept of European urban digital twins move forward and create the ground for enabling many EU cities to implement their own digital twin, while at the same time increase the twins’ level of maturity and create industry standards that ensure European interoperability.
Always start with WHY.
The domains where digital twins can be used by a city depend on the specific needs of each city. For example, the Helsinki Energy and Climate Atlas aims to support the city’s ambition to reach carbon-neutrality by 2035 and uses semantic models of data on solar energy and heat. Beyond carbon-neutrality, Helsinki also encourages the engagement of the entire ecosystem for greater social benefits. In the case of Amsterdam, the main focus was on mobility (data from traffic and public transport), human environment (air quality), and energy transition (e.g. using data from solar panels installed on buildings in the area, information on wind turbine outputs and building efficiency are also integrated).
What is needed is a broad view on the value of digital twins - why would you consider starting the project in your city.
European cities are working to make life easier for their residents and Europeans more broadly.
The beating heart of the urban digital transformation
contribute on a voluntary basis to a joint investment plan to adopt and implement common existing digital solutions on a large scale in the EU;
optimise synergies between EU, national, regional and local funds;
strengthen investment in local digital transformation from EU funds and programmes, to ensure an inclusive and sustainable Europe;
use common public procurement practices to jointly define specifications and reduce the cost of investing in successful digital platforms and related technologies.
The technical group of living-in.eu works together to develop a common list of standards and technical specifications to achieve interoperability of data, systems, and platforms among cities and communities and suppliers around the world to enable solutions such open urban platforms and digital twins.
Remove obstacles to the digitization of already existing public intersectoral and cross-border services in the Union
Enable brand new, original public intersectoral and cross-border services, which respond to new needs
Valorise the best practices, facilitating their adoption in another EU countries with ease and incentives
Empowering everyone to innovate via education and capacity building, is crucial in the concept of Lie.eu. Doing so will create a connected and digital society ready for the future.
Lead by ENoLL (European Network of Living Labs) this working group will focus on solutions for the needed skills and methods to leverage this.
This group helps develop and implement a framework, built on existing methodologies, to measure and monitor the benefits for citizens, public authorities, businesses and other stakeholders at local level.