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14 Feb 2020 | Industry Insights

What are Smart Cities?

Smart cities are so-called due to their use of digital twins and IoT (Internet of Things) sensors to collect and visualise data.

It’s already possible to make decisions based on the data being given to us about trains, airports and traffic through our smartphones.

So, our cities are already pretty smart – but they could be about to get even smarter.

Using digital twins, we can make our entire infrastructure intelligent. By running tests on a twin, we can make better decisions which will in turn reduce costs, save time and boost productivity.

The Cambridge Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) are aiming to build a National Digital Twin by connecting twins across the country. This would mean that the twins can interact with each other through securely shared data.

A National Digital Twin would lead to a more holistic approach to the national infrastructure, with benefits to the public including lower utility bills, better performing transport infrastructure and an increase in the national productivity.

Smart cities are also beneficial to our environment. Their potential to improve how efficiently we use energy means that, by making our cities smarter, there would be a positive impact on the climate.

This would all have its obvious economic benefits to the country, with an estimated worth of £7bn.

According to the United Nations, 68% of the world population will be residing in cities by 2050. It’s now time to take the data we already have and effectively utilise it to make our cities better, more sustainable places to live and work.