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The World Economic Forum weighs in on Digital Twins

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

By: Adam Beck, Co-Host | Digital Built Australia Podcast


In April the World Economic Forum released an Insights Report titled "Digital Twin Cities: Framework and Global Practices."


It talks about the idea of 'digital twin cities' - a new model of urban development and management based on digital twin technology.


The report was prepared in collaboration with/authored by the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT).


"Fourth Industrial Revolution technology – represented by the digital twin approach, together with policy and mechanism reform, which help us to understand systems better and intervene more effectively – is being used by cities to reshape and optimize their urban planning and operations, governance and service models, and planning method."

The report identifies the origins of the Digital Twin Cities concept being used by CAICT in 2017. And it's definition being - "based on the information technology systems of digital identification, automated perception, networked connection, inclusive computing, intelligent control and platform services, a digital city matching the physical city is recreated in the digital space, with holographic simulation, dynamic monitoring, real-time diagnosis and accurate prediction of the state of the physical city entity in the real environment."


The report goes further and identifies the four major technical characteristics of the digital twin city being:

  1. a precise mapping of the physical city and digital city

  2. analysis of and insights from the digital city

  3. the virtual-real interaction between the digital city and physical city

  4. the intelligent application of insights from the digital city to the physical city.

The report continues with reference to a range of visions, potential market size and opportunities in the future.


It outlines the architecture of digital twin cities, the relevant stakeholders and a series of case studies, including the New South Wales spatial digital twin.


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