Cities & Public ServicesFebruary 24, 2023

Rebuilding Ukraine’s cities using virtual twins

Ukraine authorities are testing out the benefits of virtual twin technology to rebuild the nation’s shattered cities both efficiently and sustainably.
Avatar Rebecca Lambert

How does a war-torn country go about rebuilding its destroyed cities to be better than before? By visualizing, analyzing and testing all of the rebuilding plans in the virtual world before restoration begins in the real world.

That is exactly what is happening in Ukraine, where authorities are testing out the benefits of virtual twin technology to rebuild the nation’s shattered cities both efficiently and sustainably. The government there has appointed three French companies – Dassault Systèmes, Egis and B4, which have joined forces to combine their expertise in 3D virtual technologies, construction and engineering – to help restore some of the country’s most damaged urban areas.

The French consortium, supported by the French government, will work together to guide reconstruction efforts in the Chernihiv region in northern Ukraine. The companies’ technology and services are being provided to the Ukrainian government as part of a two-phase project covering:

  • Analysis of the Chernihiv region to assess damages and estimate reconstruction costs
  • A virtual reconstruction of the city of Chernihiv for strategic master planning, covering optimization of the design of new buildings and the organization of city transportation, infrastructure and other services.

The companies’ joint aim is not to simply rebuild Ukraine’s existing cities as they were, but to construct more resilient and sustainable cities that enrich the lives of their inhabitants.

“The rebuilding of Chernihiv Oblast and the city of Chernihiv will be one more opportunity to bring [our] global experience to the country such as low-carbon and bioclimatic city design; bicycle-friendly cities; better public transport and carpooling infrastructure designing safe, green and hospitable public spaces; and other Egis key design principles for smart, sustainable cities,” said Laurent Germain, CEO of construction engineering firm Egis.

AI assesses damage in the Chernihiv region

In the first phase, Egis and B4 experts will use satellite data and artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the scale of damage to the Chernihiv Oblast. Their analysis will be used to highlight the most affected areas across the region and accurately forecast reconstruction costs. They will also use the information gathered to determine which infrastructure to prioritize rebuilding first.

Sustainable city planning in the virtual world

All collaboration on the project will be performed on Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which will also store and manage the data being collected. Having a centralized data environment will allow everyone involved to see the bigger picture and more easily validate their findings as they compare the AI results with field inspections.

“Virtual twin experiences enriched with expert knowledge, know-how and data enable us to explore unlimited scenarios and optimize the ones that will best answer the needs of the population. With these insights, we can address climate change, upgrade plans for public transportation, and implement smart services and utilities.”

Florence Verzelen
Executive Vice President, Industry, Marketing and Sustainability, Dassault Systèmes.

The second phase of the project involves building a 3D virtual version of the city of Chernihiv. Here, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s virtual twin capabilities will be used to create a detailed, accurate digital replica of Chernihiv, where planners can simulate all manner of scenarios in the city before it is physically rebuilt. The analysis will cover:

  • The design and positioning of new buildings and city assets
  • Evaluating existing infrastructure such as water and sewage systems
  • Transportation and accessibility requirements
  • New measures for mitigating flood risks and adapting to climate change.

The virtual twin will be used to develop an optimized city master plan and long-term vision focused on sustainability, resilience and social progress.

Throughout, the virtual twin will be used to inform city departments and local communities about plans and challenges and to incorporate their feedback and expectations, ensuring that their needs are being met.

Together, Dassault Systèmes, Egis and B4 hope their expertise will not only speed up Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts, but help the country rebuild better cities that will help the nation’s population to thrive once again.

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