THE DIGITAL TWIN AT THE SERVICE OF SMART CITIES: THE SUSTAINABLE EXAMPLE OF THE PORT OF GENOA
The digital twin is the dynamic virtual replica of a physical entity, a person or even a complex system, the purpose of which is to support the prediction of its future behaviour .
In the smart city era, the digital twin is a fundamental tool for accelerating the transformation and development processes of urban geographic areas and making them Circular, Resilient, Green, Inclusive and increasingly Safe.
Monitoring the physical systems is the key to defining a digital twin. Through the use of measurement and sensor technologies, the Internet of Things and machine learning, it is possible to know the state of the physical system and thus estimate and analyse dynamic changes.
Sensors become fundamental elements for the acquisition of information useful for defining innovative strategies for the management and sustainable development of various urban structures, such as port areas and their waterfronts. One example is DSH2030, Digital Sustainable Harbour 2030, a project that originates from the Old Port of Genoa and is proposed as a model to be replicated at various levels and to be extended to the different components of the city with a tourist value, starting with the development of digital twin. The various project partners divide up the different intervention actions on the basis of their expertise. In addition to BF Partners, Netalia, Colouree, Circle Garage and AiTrust, the SCAI Group company ETT also provides its expertise in the creation of digital and creative-cultural tools for the digital twin.
The digital twin should be regarded as a dynamic data model in which the administration simulates and precisely plans the activities in the area so that they are healthy, safe and comfortable for visitors and workers, resource-efficient for administrators and sustainable for the environment. For this reason, it should not only be regarded as a digital replica of a building or a single asset, but as a model for managing complex systems that illustrates how people and processes interact with environments through a dynamic digital replica.
Sustainability is at the heart of DSH2030 and it is concretely expressed by monitoring consumption, optimising the use of exhaustible resources and harnessing clean energy within its area of competence.
To realise the port of the future, the project partners agree on the use of clean energy technologies (solar and photovoltaic panels, heat pumps and micro-wind power plants) to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, CO2 emissions, smog levels and toxic accumulations in the air and water.
The basic idea of the smart city is that of a city in which technology and data enable citizens to deal effectively with urban challenges. The digital twin will enable them to interpret, for example, how buildings and environments are used, the relationships between indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as the accessibility and connections with the surrounding city system.