Digital twins emerge as ‘ultimate tool’ for resilient cities
In the last year alone, cities worldwide have faced historic flooding, fires and extreme heat – all on top of a global pandemic.
This, and a growing urgency to address the climate crisis, has forced urban leaders to face up to the need to act and invest in tools that bolster resilience. One such tool coming to the fore is the digital twin – a data-driven virtual replica of buildings, infrastructure and other physical assets.
For a while, digital twins seemed like the latest buzzword: intriguing but somewhat intangible.
Now, they are becoming the “ultimate tool” for city governments to design, plan and manage their connected infrastructure and assets efficiently and cost-effectively, according to Dominique Bonte, Vice President, End Markets at ABI Research.
The tech advisory firm recently forecast that digital twins will save cities US$280 billion by 2030 and improve sustainability, circularity, decarbonisation and quality of life.
On a recent webinar with Cities Today, Bonte and Michael Jansen, Founder and CEO of digital twin provider Cityzenith, explored what the savings and opportunities will mean in real terms.
Cityzenith is aiming to unlock these benefits at scale through its global Clean Cities – Clean Future initiative. The company is donating its SmartWorldOS digital twin platform to cities at no cost to help them meet their carbon reduction commitments. At least ten are on track to sign up by the end of this year, starting with a project in New York. Cityzenith plans to bring 100 cities on board by 2024 and 300 by 2026. The initial focus is on buildings as one of the biggest sources of emissions.