Dassault Systèmes’ Future Sustainable Cities Program aims to highlight the current issues of urban city transformation as well as the need for more liveable and resilient cities in the future. The first track in the program looks at how cities can efficiently organise the next generation of urban transformation initiatives in today’s digital world, and spotlight the growing need for virtual twins, and a collaborative ecosystem in urban planning.

 The first article in a three part series focuses on how governments and city planners are increasingly leveraging advanced technologies for sustainable and resilient urban infrastructure development.

 Former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted, “our struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities”.

By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities. This rapid urbanization is putting immense pressure on physical environments and straining basic infrastructure. As a result, governments and city planners are increasingly leveraging advanced technology for city planning. In order to face the vast challenges faced by cities, stakeholders will need to come together in a single collaborative environment platform, which can provide evidence-based analytics not only using past data, but data in-real time.

Technologies such as virtual twins and virtual reality are increasingly being used in a variety of ways to improve sustainability and liveability. Virtual twins provide a virtual representation of a city’s physical assets using data analytics and machine learning, assisting cities with predictive analysis of their current plans and allowing for more effective decision-making.

Advanced technologies are being used to:

Test new ideas: City planners can leverage virtual twin technologiesto test out new ideas in a closed sandbox environment before rolling them out into the physical world. Remi Dornier, Dassault Systèmes’ Vice President, Construction, Cities & Territories, highlighted, “By connecting the real with the virtual world, we can make our environment more sustainable and liveable.”

Strengthen resilience in the face of disruption: With the pandemic continuing, these technologies can also strengthen resilience against future disruptions. Jacques Beltran, Dassault Systèmes’ Vice President, Public Sector, spoke about the development of a “territorial virtual twin” of the Grand Est region in France in the first wave of the pandemic. The territorial twin provided city officials with “a daily refreshed view” of key indicators, such as speed of virus spread, number of people hospitalized and in ICUs, to help them to act quickly on critical decisions. In addition, predictive algorithms enabled city officials to analyze 30-day future scenarios of the impact of their decisions.

Plan for climatic hazards: Fabrice Servant, Dassault Systèmes’ Construction, Cities and Territories Industry Director, pointed out, “To plan properly for climatic hazards, cities need a virtual twin where varied stakeholders can access all the infrastructure in a holistic way, working on the same data set, with the same inputs and simulating future scenarios. This is key for decision-makers to invest at the right time and trigger the right responses.”

Preserve heritage: A city’s unique built heritage is what adds to the quality of life of its citizens and communities. Therefore, the preservation of historic buildings is a vital consideration in urban planning. Jean Wee, Director, Preservation of Sites and Monuments, National Heritage Board, Singapore, spoke about utilizing virtual reality technology for Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar Railway restoration project, to enable citizens to relive nostalgic moments of the station’s past. “The value of the VR experience is that it magically transports anyone into a historical rich context at a time when the site is closed for extensive renovation.”

Enable public safety frontline services:Nigel Deans, Dassault Systèmes’ AP SOUTH Sales Expert Senior Specialist, DELMIA Quintiq, and Kevin Moran, Dassault Systèmes DELMIA Senior Industry Process Consultant highlight how virtual twins are gaining traction in the development of new capabilities for public safety frontline services to efficiently manage day-of-operations disruptions. The development of virtual twins allows for frontline agencies to run multiple simulations and assess the impact of multiple possible decisions. Once a digitalised model of the real world is available, they can then simulate all the different aspects of this world and the potential hazards that can occur in it. The virtual twins system has been used by different agencies across the globe, including hospitals, airports, public facilities, to simulate the spread pattern of the COVID-19 virus since the onset of the pandemic.

Watch the full webinar, The Future of Public Safety and discover technologies that are equipping public safety agencies to meet urbanization challenges head-on.

“Inclusive Urban Future from Dassault Systèmes brings together key stakeholders in a single environment to collaborate and respond to the vast challenges faced by cities. Effective collaboration has the potential to optimise effective decision making,” highlights Guillaume Lenoel, Dassault Systèmes’ Construction, Cities & Territories Industry Solution Experience Senior Manager.

The cloud-based platform can be quickly deployed at scale, supporting innovation and urban appeal by integrating ecosystems on a centralised database and fostering new business models. There six key areas that the solution can help urban planners and developers when managing public policies:

  1. Urban referential management and qualificationis an integrated collaboration platform keeps all stakeholders on the same page. A common data environment with data collected from various systems enables the sharing and promotion of knowledge across organizations and provide the digital backbone for continuity over the entire project lifecycle.
  2. Urban policy making enables a common understanding of constituents’ priorities and system wide interdependencies to help shape more effective regulations. This helps to easily identify topics of interest within a city’s ecosystem and diagnosis and design policies from a holistic perspective.
  3. Urban ecosystem orchestration enables easy stakeholder collaboration, vital for city management. The city is viewed as a complex ecosystem with many different stakeholders and policymakers. The platforms enables agencies to communicate and share data in a seamless manner across this ecosystem.
  4. Urban project coordination and execution provides the opportunity to handle the project more effectively. This includes strategies for the feasibility, execution, and collaboration to ensure that projects are completed as efficiently as possible.
  5. Urban stakeholder communicationimprove communication and transparency, key to successful urbanization. The virtual twin system allows the recreation of the city in a 3D environment, allowing for realistic illustrations for informative, persuasive, and co-construction applications throughout the project’s lifecycle.
  6. Urban decision cockpit helps to unify city governance processes to follow up on the implementation of public policies. This means that long-term programs and deliverables can be easily managed, while ensuring visibility and control over multiple projects in a collaborative context.

Download the whitepaper, Visualizing Smart Cities for a Resilient Future, and learn how the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform enables cities to predict results, reduce negative outcomes and waste, helping to drive sustainable and resilient cities.

All the webinars of Dassault Systèmes’ Future Sustainable Cities Program, Track 1: Sustainable City are now available on-demand at https://events.3ds.com/track-1-sustainable-city