Even though 2D and 3D maps have long been a staple of urban planning, cities are becoming increasingly complex and interconnected. Smart cities need smarter tools if they want to keep up with the constantly evolving requirements of environmental and social sustainability. This is where digital twin technology can make city planning faster and more effective.
A digital twin is a virtual model—in this case, a 3D, computer-generated representation of a city, complete with all its infrastructure. Today, more and more cities are employing digital twins for planning and management. Why? Because this tool allows you to visualize future projects with existing city assets, streamlining traditional planning processes and realizing massive cost savings.
What is a Digital Twin?
In a general sense, a digital twin can be defined as a simulated model of a real-world object or system. In the context of urban planning, it’s a dynamic, interactive, and faithful replica of the entire city.
The digital twin of your city makes it easy to understand how projects will fit with the available space. It automatically inventories assets such as trees, manholes, and surface drainage. Furthermore, you can analyze streets, signs, lighting, trees, and other aspects of the city’s infrastructure.
Digital twin companies like Jakarto make the modeling process simple. Having a virtual map with precise data enables more efficient planning. A digital twin is the solution to achieving modernized urban planning and management.
How Does a Digital Twin Improve Urban Planning and Management?
Urban planning and management becomes much more intuitive for all parties with the assistance of a virtual model. Here, the digital twin acts as a visual guide. It’s as easy as playing with a toy city—but in this case digital instead of plastic.
As an example, let’s say you want to build a park between two buildings. The digital twin will show designers and construction contractors the space they have to work in. Later, the model can be used as an aid to maintenance, with municipal workers able to travel virtually through the digital environment.
Furthermore, your virtual city is a powerful tool for giving municipal officials and stakeholders an accurate visual impression of how new project designs will impact the surrounding infrastructure. And with immersive 3D data, it’s possible to monitor the site from the planning stage to the build and onward.
Holistic Urban Planning
A digital twin gives urban planners a big-picture understanding of the city, helping them interact and plan more comprehensively. Instead of being blinded by an excessive focus on raw data or separate components, you can see how the many parts of the whole fit together.
The human mind evolved to process the environment through the senses—especially vision. With a digital twin, it’s like you’re exploring the city in person. Moreover, a complete 3D model makes scheduling work on multiple levels more straightforward.
Planners can even consider features such as shadows and how they will impact the urban landscape before deciding on a particular building design. Without being able to take in the whole situation— immersively—it would be practically impossible to contemplate such complexities as efficiently.
Improved Traffic Flow
Another advantage of the digital twin solution is that it lets you observe and analyze traffic patterns to reduce congestion. Considering that your digital twin city is built on precise geographic data, by experimenting with the model it’s easy to see how prospective modifications to the traffic system would affect outcomes.
As a leading provider of 3D-mapping solutions, Jakarto leverages fine-grained 3D imagery for roads. In addition, the high-definition digital twin undergoes AI processing to identify data such as road signs. Jakarto can even extract the text contents. This is valuable information that can improve mobility—and safety—in the city, ensuring that drivers reach their destination faster and with greater ease.
Furthermore, this type of data can assist in designing autonomous vehicles. And seeing the buildings and infrastructure around the streets will make it even easier to plan traffic flows and makes for more efficient, data-informed urban planning. You can explore the digital twin visually and through the “point cloud” of 3D data.
Maintenance is a necessity for any municipality. Ideally, it’s smarter to perform maintenance in advance so as to nip any potential problem in the bud. Predictive maintenance uses data and analytics to optimize efficiency. The earlier you know, the less you spend.
Jakarto’s solution gives you the information you need, even before city workers have had to drive to a maintenance site or risk their safety. For instance, one of the benefits includes being able to track and plan vegetation management, which helps to keep utility poles and cabling clear.
A digital twin can also show you overhead power lines and fiber networks. With precise measurements of clearance, you’re free to make decisions from the comfort of the office. And with immersive tools, it’s as simple as playing a game.
Sustainability is at the heart of contemporary urban planning. Projects need to be both ecologically and economically stable over the long term. A smart city leverages more efficient and reliable electricity networks, traffic, and industry. For example, with a digital twin, you can pinpoint the best and most viable areas to install solar panels.
One other major benefit of a smart city is that it allows employees to visualize the city territory from their office computer. Thus, they can make precise measurements, gather data, and altogether avoid unnecessary trips - which saves time and energy.
Moreover, municipalities make use of 3D mapping data to create equitable, effective, and better-connected communities. In some ways, this is comparable to how 3D medical imaging has given us a more comprehensive understanding of human anatomy. Urban planners can envisage complex, dynamic processes and identify areas for improvement, helping to make cities more sustainable.
When an emergency response team is headed toward an incident, every second counts. A digital twin doesn’t only smooth out traffic flow, it can also provide detailed information on the city’s infrastructure and layout to speed up the emergency response.
Having 3D visual data available is a valuable asset when you need to deploy an ambulance for an individual emergency. Above that, these tools also assist in handling larger emergencies—for instance, floods or hurricanes. Little wonder that the use of digital twin technology is expected to rise significantly in the coming years.
It’s worth noting that all these upgrades to urban planning and management work synergistically. For example, faster traffic flows speed up emergency responses. Holistic planning and predictive maintenance contribute to efficiency and sustainability. Seeing is believing, and seeing your city’s digital twin will demonstrate the breadth of possibilities available for future urban planning.
Better Urban Planning and Management with Jakarto
A digital twin represents your city in a live and accurate 3D model. Further, digital twin technology simplifies urban planning and management at every stage: from design through construction and lifecycle management.
Jakarto offers a number of innovative 3D mapping solutions, including digital twins for smart cities. By working with Jakarto, your municipality can assemble laser-precise data. Once processed by AI, this data is used to enhance planning and management activities.
Find out how a digital twin can accelerate and optimize your urban planning and management goals—contact Jakarto today!