Architecture Engineering & ConstructionJune 22, 2021

Making cities more resilient – part 1

The following article is excerpted from Building a Better and Sustainable Life,…
Avatar Lin Miao

The following article is excerpted from Building a Better and Sustainable Life, a whitepaper developed by Dassault Systèmes. For part 2 of this series, read here.

Creating a sustainable city starts with data

Facing an unprecedented era of challenges, developing a sustainable city is not just about plugging digital interfaces into traditional infrastructures or streamlining city operations. It is about rethinking what is done, defining and connecting stronger policies to deliver better quality lives for citizens while controlling costs.

Data is at the core of approaching these challenges: accessing data from a wide range of sources, aggregating and analyzing accurate and consistent data at the right time, sharing data in one place, and fostering collaboration across multiple stakeholders and organizations (from architects, designers, urban planners, health specialists to local authorities, businesses, suppliers and citizens) to enrich data sets. The more data that is shared across the ecosystem, the better it becomes as feedback is integrated from different stakeholders. Good data opens a better understanding of territorial resources and provides insights on how to deal with unprecedented challenges. It results in less inaccuracies and costly mistakes, stronger planning, better responses and more effective implementation. In short, better data translates into more sustainable and resilient urban areas.

This is where Dassault Systèmes’ virtual twin technology comes in. It organizes consistent and comprehensive sets of data to analyze any situation, leveraging data from any departments and governmental agency as well as private third parties. It provides a common and secure workplace where all parties can engage. It ensures clear guidelines, reviews processes and compliance with data policies.

Different categories of data may need different access parameters. Best practices include open, non-proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs) and data formats; cities may add a standard “data ownership clause” to procurement contracts to ensure access rights; and modularity to enable partial and tiered access.

“Our Virtual twin assesses data quality and consistency more efficiently. Data models can then be improved continuously. It is an iterative rather than a static process. You need a flexible way to manage your data models.”

– Fabrice Servant, Industry Director, Construction, Cities & Territories, Dassault Systèmes

Data quality, governance and management are central to creating value for the growth of a sustainable city. Such value is not only monetary, but defines how attractive a city is to businesses, productivity, societal inclusiveness, and overall sustainability and livability. While data collection and integration are often in place, the translation into day-to-day city planning and management sometimes still lags. Dassault Systèmes collaborative tools can help reconcile citizen expectations and city official constraints to achieve more efficient city planning.

If we focus on livability, reducing carbon emissions is key. This depends on existing or planned infrastructures such as charging stations, electrical cars / bikes and hydrogen. Each city will choose its own mix of options, depending on resources, geography, culture and price of energy.

Sustainable urban development has entered a new era, impacted by demographic & regulatory pressures, climate change and a new scale of difficult-to-predict short and long-term challenges.

Related links: 

Dassault Systèmes Construction, Cities & Territories Industry

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