Business ServicesSeptember 8, 2021

Sustainable Cities – Digitising the way ahead

Dassault Systèmes’ Future Sustainable Cities Program aims to highlight the current issues…
Avatar Peter Wu

Dassault Systèmes’ Future Sustainable Cities Program aims to highlight the current issues of urban city transformation as well as the need for more liveable and resilient cities in the future. The first track in the program looks at how cities can efficiently organise the next generation of urban transformation initiatives in today’s digital world, and spotlight the growing need for virtual twins, and a collaborative ecosystem in urban planning.  

The first in a three part series focuses on how governments and city planners are increasingly leveraging virtual twin technology for sustainable and resilient urban infrastructure development.

Sustainable Cities and Resilient Infrastructure in the Digital Era

By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities. This rapid urbanization is putting immense pressure on physical environments and straining basic infrastructure. As a result, governments and city planners are increasingly leveraging advanced technology for city planning.

Technologies such as virtual twins and virtual reality are increasingly being used in a variety of ways to improve sustainability and liveability. Virtual twins provide a virtual representation of a city’s physical assets using data analytics and machine learning, assisting cities with predictive analysis of their current plans and allowing for more effective decision-making.

Advanced technology is being used to:

Test new ideas: City planners can leverage virtual twin technologies to test out new ideas in a closed sandbox environment before rolling them out into the physical world. Remi Dornier, Dassault Systèmes’ Vice President, Construction, Cities & Territories, highlighted, “By connecting the real with the virtual world, we can make our environment more sustainable and liveable.”

Strengthen resilience in the face of disruption: With the pandemic continuing, these technologies can also strengthen resilience against future disruptions. Jacques Beltran, Dassault Systèmes’ Vice President, Public Sector, spoke about the development of a “territorial virtual twin” of the Grand Est region in France in the first wave of the pandemic. The territorial twin provided city officials with “a daily refreshed view” of key indicators, such as speed of virus spread, number of people hospitalized and in ICUs, to help them to act quickly on critical decisions. In addition, predictive algorithms enabled city officials to analyze 30-day future scenarios of the impact of their decisions.

Plan for climatic hazards: Fabrice Servant, Dassault Systèmes’ Construction, Cities and Territories Industry Director, pointed out, “To plan properly for climatic hazards, cities need a virtual twin where varied stakeholders can access all the infrastructure in a holistic way, working on the same data set, with the same inputs and simulating future scenarios. This is key for decision-makers to invest at the right time and trigger the right responses.”

Preserve heritage: A city’s unique built heritage is what adds to the quality of life of its citizens and communities. Therefore, the preservation of historic buildings is a vital consideration in urban planning. Jean Wee, Director, Preservation of Sites and Monuments, National Heritage Board, Singapore, spoke about utilizing virtual reality technology for Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar Railway restoration project, to enable citizens to relive nostalgic moments of the station’s past. “The value of the VR experience is that it magically transports anyone into a historical rich context at a time when the site is closed for extensive renovation.”

Watch the full webinar, Sustainable Cities and Resilient Infrastructure in the Digital Era, for more in-depth insights on how cities can leverage the virtual twin experience to gain a deeper understanding of their territory for improved decision-making during times of crisis and extend collaboration across key stakeholders in defining and implementing sustainability and heritage preservation goals.

All the webinars of Dassault Systèmes’ Future Sustainable Cities Program, Track 1: Sustainable City are now available on-demand at



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