Engineering: leader della Digital Transformation

Local Digital Twins support the design and planning of more inclusive cities

Local Digital Twins support the design and planning of more inclusive cities

With the URBANAGE project, coordinated by Engineering, we analysed how innovative technologies can improve urban planning to design age-friendly cities.   

Rome, February 22 2024

Aging population is a growing trend in Europe and worldwide, with 30% of the European population projected to be over 65 by 2050. In response to this challenge, the URBANAGE research project, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Engineering, has explored over the last three years the potential of disruptive technologies in improving urban planning and creating more age-friendly cities. 

URBANAGE has developed a decision-support ecosystem leveraging Local Digital Twins, Big Data analysis, Artificial Intelligence and simulation models. Local Digital Twins provide virtual replicas of urban environments and of their physical resources, processes and systems, making the complex functioning of the city easier to understand both for city managers and citizens. They allow you to exploit local data (real-time, near-real-time and historical data) in various combinations, offering advanced data analysis capabilities (descriptive, prescriptive, predictive), simulations and what-if scenarios. 

Fundamental to the success of the project was the involvement of all the players in the ecosystem: elderly people, urban planners and city officials, who made it possible to better understand the needs and daily challenges, and to validate the implemented digital solutions. 

The results of the pilots conducted in Helsinki, Santander and Flanders demonstrated the effectiveness of Local Digital Twins as a powerful and practical tool for making informed decisions in the field of urban planning –  both at an operational and strategic level – with the aim of transforming cities in more inclusive and accessible environments for all age groups. 

In developing the solutions, great attention was paid to ensuring their replicability and adaptability to different urban realities. Indeed, the use of Local Digital Twins represents a new chapter in urban planning, offering unprecedented opportunities to design more inclusive, accessible and sustainable cities for future generations. The growing importance of these technologies in the urban context is highlighted by recent calls from the European Commission, including the one for the development of a "European Local Digital Twins Toolbox" to facilitate the digital transition of European communities. Engineering is part of the consortium that won this contract, confirming its leading role in the sector. 

Read URBANAGE case-study



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