Porto, Munich and Utrecht, digital twins in city management and planning

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Porto continues to take steps towards a smart future by investing in the development of innovative digital platforms that support the city's management and planning operations. In line with the cities of Munich in Germany and Utrecht in the Netherlands, it is creating a 'Digital Twins' model to make the Integrated Management Centre (CGI) the epicentre of transformation, also in terms of a positive energy urban area.

Last week, the three cities got together to find out how they are all using this technological tool and absorb the best examples. Alongside partners such as Água e Energia do Porto and the Porto Energy Agency, the Municipality, through Porto Digital, is preparing a new generation of the CGI, to enhance and support the decision-making of the Operational Coordination Centre.

The strategy is to guarantee a multidisciplinary approach in the overall operation of the city, with the CGI as the aggregating centre for the sustainability of Porto as a smart city.

The 'Digital Twins' concept refers to virtual representations of real-world objects, systems or processes that reproduce physical characteristics, behaviours and data in real time, enabling simulations, predictive analyses and optimisations. In the urban context, digital twins are revolutionising the way a city is managed.

Based on real-time data, as well as geographical and historical data, the CGI will have the necessary tools to provide crucial information for decision-making in emergency situations, traffic, public safety and much more.

The logic of data-supported decision-making makes it possible to guarantee that public data will be used strategically, both from an open data and from an internationalisation perspective. Besides monitoring urban infrastructure, the CGI will also oversee video protection cameras, in collaboration with the Public Safety Police.

The 'Digital Twins' solution is part of the ASCEND (Accelerate Positive Clean Energy Districts), which aims to accelerate positive energy urban areas, contributing to health in the city, inclusion and climate neutrality and enhancing the scalability of the development of PCED (Positive, Clean Energy Districts) solutions.

Funded by the Horizon Europe programme, the project involves eight cities and various partners offering solutions in the areas of digital twins, ICT, smart heating networks, energy efficiency and optimisation, building efficiency, renewable energy solutions and storage, mobility, citizen-centric solutions and other urban solutions.