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The liveable city Digital Twin

By Robyn Francis | Global Engagement Coordinator | Smart Cities Council

Guests joined a deep dive into the Liveable City Digital Twin project - a precinct level, analytics-aided and standards-based 3D/4D Digital Twin in Western Sydney focused on urban liveability and climate adaptability use cases.

We took a look at themes of user experience, data, platforms and tools, infrastructure and governance.

The panel of guests included:

Are we able to deliver mature, operational solutions for the key problems the urban environment is facing now? That’s the question that was top of mind for the panel.

To kick things off, we zoomed in to discuss why NSW Digital Twin research being done and what problems is the team looking to solve?

Looking at the origins of the spatial digital twin, Professor Dr Sisi Zlatanova took us back to the origins in manufacturing and how spatial models, dynamic data, sensors, archived data, pattern simulations and predictions were layered on. To move from this model to the digital twin, there are issues that have to be solved such as data integration.

Next, we heard from Negin Nazarian about Western Sydney’s specific problems such as climate change and rapid urbanization, in parallel to it being a key growth area, and how local councils balance these two competing sides. New IoT sensing, dashboards and a few other key mechanisms are providing copious amounts of new data, allowing the team from UNSW to correlate information with environmental quality - for example how do air quality parameters or shifting temperatures change how spaces are used.

The second challenge shared was how to manage modelling - a complex problem for which complex solutions are resolved, but progress is being made to deliver human impact from technical solutions.

Eric Sharpham shared the work NSW Department is doing to look at data standards and supply chains, with spatial data requirements and need for 3D and 4D data in mind, as they begin to look at how to scale up from Western Sydney to other areas.

Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse provided insight into some of the use cases on the Spatial Vision horizon, in line with industry expectations before looking at challenges for the spatial digital twin sector. With so many data sets, tools and players, there is a need for industry-wide direction, standards as well as coaching, learning and guidelines on industry expectations.

Stuart Barr took the audience through learnings from international implementations - a particularly hard list to pull together with so much good work being done in the global urban space, such as Virtual Singapore and the Gemini Principles from the UK.

In his work with AURIN, Stuart is working to leverage underlying concepts of the Gemini Principles to deliver both dynamic models and static strategic planning and modelling capability.

To enable and support researchers, AURIN are in discussions to be able to leverage off of the data from several states, developing streaming services and scale to production-level services which would be fed back into the state level market.

Finally, Dr Abdoulaye Diakité outlined his work with AURIN which showcased cutting edge analytics for agile decision making.

Research within his scope includes building a standardised digital twin, then the use of one and maintenance / updates.

Using shadowing as an example, we were walked through challenges and use of a standardised digital twin for 3D data integration and system architecture.

The hour allocated just didn’t feel like enough so rest assured we’ll be tracking this project and sharing insights as it develops.

A recording of this session will be made available on the Smart Cities Academy website on November 1 2021. Subscribers to the DT Hub will be notified when available.

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