February 24, 2024

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Digital Twins for City Infrastructure Planning in the U.S.

U.S. cities can expect to save $280 billion by 2030 with the deployment and use of digital twins, according to a new report. A digital twin is a simulated model of a physical process, product or service that can increase efficiency.

A digital twin uses the best available models, sensor information, and input data to mirror and predict activities/performance over the life of its corresponding physical twin. According to research, this technology is the ultimate tool for urban planners and city governments to design and build their infrastructure in a cost-effective way.

Digital twins allow cities to design buildings more accurately so as to avoid expensive modifications after the initial build, find more resilient ways to improve physical infrastructure to reduce the cost of emergency response and incorporate green design choices to yield long-term energy savings.

Cost savings can be obtained in key areas, such as energy and utilities, transportation, safety and security, and infrastructure. However, urban digital twins also offer many other advantages in terms of supporting and improving sustainability, circularity, decarbonisation, and the overall quality of urban living.

Digital twin technology is a valuable asset for smart city initiatives due to its ability to run simulations based on large datasets. For instance, researchers at the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory from the U.S. Department of Energy partnered with Chattanooga on digital twins to increase energy efficiency while also optimising drivers’ travel time, speed and safety.

The Navy is using digital twins of its ships to ensure combat readiness without the need to dock and conduct shipboard repairs and maintenance at sea. The Air Force has seen the benefits of digital twins first hand, with its ability to create synthetic equivalents of data – without any of its private, sensitive or classified information – that can be shared with research partners.

While the cost-saving advantages of digital twins allow cities to achieve fast Return on investment (ROI), the increasingly complex nature of connected and smart urban infrastructure, especially in view of future smart urban concepts, will simply mandate the deployment of digital twins as critical, holistic management tools, similar to the role they play in other industries like manufacturing

U.S. government agencies have been using data to make informed decisions in various areas as data-driven organisations deliver better outcomes, as reported by OpenGov Asia. A new report found that four out of five local government officials in the U.S. say they have improved their use of data in the past six years to drive better outcomes for residents.

Two key areas that have seen improvement are performance management and taking action, according to “Closing the Data Gap: How Cities Are Delivering Better Results for Residents. The report is based on a survey of 44 officials in the What Works Cities (WWC) network, an initiative to increase cities’ use of data.

Cities with crucial data skills and practices in place were able to pivot quickly to respond to the ever-evolving challenges the pandemic presented. The challenges include leaning on existing infrastructure, culture, and staff knowledge to immediately stand up crucial data command centres and public information dashboards in the early months of the pandemic and make critical decisions affecting public health, safety, and well-being. COVID-19 has illustrated the importance of investing in and building foundational data skills and practices that enable a city to respond quickly in the face of disaster.

Getting to more effective local government and better outcomes for residents requires the hard work of adopting foundational data practices, developing data skills across a broad swath of city staff, and putting in place critical data infrastructure.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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