With its digital twin, Barcelona explores the future of urban development


The authorities of Barcelona will be employing the Barcelona Supercomputing Center MareNostrum in order to improve urban planning by using a digital twin of the city, Politico reported.

The city sited between the sea and the mountains has constructed a data-based clone of itself, where it can test potential city planning proposals as part of a pilot project begun earlier this year with the Italian city of Bologna. Cities may design, test, and create things digitally first when they rely on digital twin models, which is considered a very fresh concept in smart city development.

The MareNostrum supercomputer, one of the world’s most powerful data processors, is housed in the deconsecrated Torre Girona chapel. Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) utilizes the general term MareNostrum to refer to the several improvements made to its most famous and powerful supercomputer in Spain.

Barcelona Deputy Mayor Laia Bonet, who is in charge of the city’s digital transition, climate goals and international partnerships, told Politico: “We’re using the supercomputer to make sure the urban planning process isn’t just based on clever ideas and good intentions, but on data that allows us to anticipate its impacts and avoid the negative ones.”

“Instead of implementing flawed policies and then have to go back and correct them, we’re saving time by making sure those decisions are right before we execute them,” Bonet also stated.

Despite the fact that this revolutionary concept is still in its early stages, Bonet believes the high-tech approach to urban development would soon become the norm in cities across Europe.

“Within a five-year horizon, I expect to see this as a basic urban planning tool,” she said. (photo credit: wikimedia)