A digital twin for the future of smart cities

A digital twin for the future of smart cities

We have been talking about smart cities for a long time and there are several initiatives around the world that are allowing our cities to evolve in a more conscious and efficient way, but the real challenge for the future of urban agglomerations is to bring together all the different digital elements in one model. "It is for this reason that we are working on the development of a digital twin of an entire city, a model that can systematize the data that is available", says Giordana Castelli, researcher at the Department of Engineering, ICT and technologies. for energy and transport (Diitet) of the CNR.

During the Matera Digital Week the theme of the digital twin will be told in a dedicated laboratory on June 24th. It will be an opportunity to discover how the city of Matera and its digital twin will become one of the most virtuous Italian projects in the smart city field. “The Lucanian city represents the first experiment of this type in our country. The challenge is to create something that, at least in Europe, has never yet been done, that is a multi-systemic and multidisciplinary integration to develop complex simulators that put all the components of the smart city into a system: mobility, the smart community. , the environmental system, the morphological system of the city ", underlines Castelli.

The Municipality of Matera has made itself available to investigate various aspects related to the functioning of this platform and the proposal of demonstration scenarios, putting together a part the interest of the municipality in terms of urban management and on the other open to the innovation offered by the Gdm (Digital Twin of Matera). A project that, taking advantage of the virtuous experience of Matera della Cultura 2019, aimed to further capitalize on the numerous stimuli that emerged from that event.

The global objective of the laboratory will therefore be the creation of a first digital model of urban reality connected with physical reality thanks to a network of sensors in communication with the platform, now achievable with the convergence of technologies such as 5G, intelligence artificial, blockchain and exploiting the recent advances in scientific research.

"What the concept of smart city still lacks is a work of synthesis that brings together all the elements of this universe and does so using all the technologies we have available today. The digital twin of Matera has precisely this goal but also a specificity. In addition to offering a model to better understand the dynamics of the city, we want to create a forecasting model capable of providing useful information to promote more prudent policies and governance ", points out Castelli.

In particular, the digital twin of Matera will try to provide relevant information in vertical application contexts such as the use of the cultural heritage of a Unesco site and the management of tourism development in compliance with the specificities of the territory.

Last but not least, the opportunity of this laboratory, again to the starting blocks, it also represents a fundamental opportunity to connect technology with its users. As part of the construction of the House of Emerging Technologies in Matera, the relationship between people and technologies will become essential to work on the integration between the social and technological components.

If these components have often been seen in antithesis, the current moment of technological development shows just how the diffusion of technologies, especially of an informative nature, makes possible a social participation that cannot be proposed in the past.

The digital revolution in progress represents the most radical social, economic, anthropological, political transformation of our cities but above all methodological, often collected under the umbrella of the word smart city. "The union between the cyber component and the human aspect of the digital twin is essential to design a desired and shared territorial reality", says Giordana Castelli.

The presentation of the Digital Twin Laboratory of the City of Matera will have taking place on 24 June 2022, from 2 pm to 7 pm, at the conference room of the Cte ​​Matera (via San Rocco 1) and in streaming on sportsgaming.win. It will also be an opportunity to take a closer look at some of the applications developed by the CNR and partner companies.

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