Greater Cambridge Smart City Digital Twin

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Digital Twin Overview

The Cambridge City-scale Digital Twin (CDT) project addresses a local policy aspiration of developing a challenge-led Cambridge digital twin strategy, one of the first in the UK. The primary purpose of the CDT studies was to investigate a practical and collaborative approach for developing and managing the CDT. The technical work focused on developing a multi-source transport database for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) and exploring behavioral insight for reducing car dependence by considering the socio-economic characteristics of various site users. The distinctiveness of the CDT project lies in that it is one of the first CDT applications that explicitly adopts a socio-technical approach throughout the development process. Accordingly, the DT Hub case study of the CDT project includes two separate papers, examining the governance and technical perspective, respectively. This case study document discusses the technical design and development of the CDT.

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Opportunities & Challenges

The CDT prototype aims to address the following challenges, a) professional/organizational silos in local policymaking; for example, treating traffic congestion or air pollution as a sectoral issue without considering the interdependence and the coordination with other policy domains; b) unwieldy and often outsourced policy analysis tools (e.g. transport/energy model) hindering the cross-sectoral/departmental collaboration at early stage of policy design; c) limitations of conventional methods for stakeholder engagement and public consultation; d) significant institutional and technical difficulties in data sharing and management; e) the need for cross-disciplinary insight and a joined-up approach for sustainable growth in Cambridge through improving the quality of life and competitiveness of Cambridge. University of Cambridge has been a key stakeholder in local planning and development. In particular, there has been a productive tradition of using digital models developed by academics for supporting city and infrastructure planning in Cambridge. The CDT project builds on such legacy and aims to explore how the emerging urban data, e.g. from ubiquitous sensing, and a new generation of digital twin models could better support local development initiatives.

Summary of existing material

City-scale Digital Twin Prototype for Cambridge – Case Studies – DT Hub Community (