FBK and the Digital Twin of Bologna

17/05/2023 A virtual tool that works symbiotically with the city to analyze, correlate and visualize data to facilitate understanding and exploration of city phenomena and systems, predict urban evolutions in advance through the construction of hypothetical scenarios and the simulation of their evolution over time, monitor the evolution and effects of external events and government actions, and optimize the effectiveness of services and the impact of policies through continuous revision based on data on how they work.

It is a tool to support decisions and their translation into actions aimed at urban change and to engage citizens in processes of design and social mutation through behavior change that starts from the digital platform and moves into the real world.

To systemically address this and many other challenges of change, the capital of Emilia is developing the Urban Digital Twin in collaboration with the University of Bologna, CINECA, Urban Innovation Foundation, and Fondazione Bruno Kessler’s Digital Society Center, directed by Marco Pistore.

Thanks to this innovative tool, it is possible to create a digital representation of the city. It is a virtual laboratory in which it will be possible, on an urban scale, to simulate the inclusion of new urban projects by evaluating their impact and sustainability, also comparing possible design alternatives. Moreover, with the Digital Twin these processes will be able to take place in a transparent and democratic way promoting an inclusive approach of citizens and all stakeholders.

Digitization is thus not a one-way trip. The virtuous circle between the real world and the model, indeed digital twin of an entire city, is made up of iterations between what happens, the lives of those who animate the built-up area, and our ability to make sense of the data that are being produced and aggregated at every moment.

“It is precisely the special focus on the social aspects of the city” – explains Marco Pistore – “that makes the Bologna project particularly interesting for FBK: understanding the behavior of people and communities and anticipating evolutions is extremely complex, and the research on AI, complex systems and behavioral social sciences in which we are experts in the Digital Society Center find in this project an extremely interesting field of application.”