Coastwide
Flicker

USA - City-Scale Digital Twins for Flood Resilience

In response to Climate change and sea level rise and flooding threats, cities are striving to improve their flood resilience with data-driven planning, development, and operations. Some cities are accomplishing this through the use of digital twins to improve the resilience of current infrastructure and to support ongoing development and future planning.

Climate change — due to its role in extreme weather events and rising seas — is exacerbating flood risks, especially in coastal and low-lying areas. At the same time, populations in flood zones and the coastal regions continue to increase — worsening an already deadly and costly situation. There are projections that by 2030, around half the people in the world will be living within 100 kilometers of a coastline.

In response to these threats, cities are striving to improve their flood resilience with data-driven planning, development, and operations. Some cities are accomplishing this through the use of digital twins to improve the resilience of current infrastructure and to support ongoing development and future planning.

A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical asset, process or system. Digital twins of cities provide accurate and reliable data to city agencies involved in flood risk assessment, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. They contain information that enables users to perform analysis and make informed decisions for a range of activities, from long-term urban planning to time-critical emergency response.

Digital twins are created from (and continuously updated with) data from multiple sources, which is what differentiates them from static, 3D models. Also, cities are now taking advantage of cloud services, the IoT, sensors, RFIDs, and smartphones to update digital twins to almost real-time status of city conditions. These updates enable cities to use digital twins to better manage and optimize infrastructure assets.

Creating a digital twin to enable flood resilience entails integrating city-scale reality modeling, 3D mapping, and flood modeling. The resulting flood resilience model can be used for analysis, simulation, visualization, and communication.

READ MORE