Barcelona and Bologna meet to devise a common strategy for urban digital twins

Monday, January 16, 2023 - 08:46

The meeting is enshrined in the agreement signed this July between Barcelona and Bologna.

As part of an agreement signed this July between Barcelona City Council and the city of Bologna, together with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and CINECA consortium, to become European-level leaders in the field of digital twins, a meeting was held with a Bologna representative at the Municipal Institute of Information Technology (IMI) on 21 December to take the first steps and establish a common strategy for rolling out digital twin solutions.

The meeting identified and shared European Commission (EC) invitations to tender for the future urban digital twins tool. Accordingly, IMI in particular will be alert to future calls and rollout strategies in the field of digital twins that the EC is expected to issue this year.

Digital twins are virtual representations of physical systems that enable interaction in the virtual world to see the effects that a certain change would have in the real world. Applied to cities, these are based on modelling urban dynamics using massive data flows.

That facilitates virtual policy testing in areas such as urban mobility, energy, urban planning and policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions so those policies can then be applied, or not, to the real world.

The aim behind this alliance between Barcelona and Bologna is for the two cities to position themselves as benchmarks in urban digital governance and to foster the development of a European digital infrastructure for urban policies, by promoting a European network of cities with digital twins. Moreover, joint work in this area will also enable them to look for external funding opportunities, to develop urban digital twins with the help of European programmes.

The creation of this joint working platform between Barcelona and Bologna offers an opportunity for the BSC and the Italian advanced computing centre to exchange important scientific and technological advances and to work together on standardising data and techniques to ensure European interoperability.

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