EXPLORING DIGITAL TWIN ADAPTATION TO THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT: COMPARISON WITH CIM TO AVOID SILO-BASED APPROACHES
Keywords: Digital Twin, CIM, Urban scale, Digital transition, BIM, GIS, IoT
Abstract. The use of digital models and tools to support a more sober, sustainable and human-centred spatial planning is constantly expanding. Among those, digital models of buildings and territories are considered useful by scientists and practitioners and used for a wide range of purposes. Several labels are currently used to characterise those digital tools and models, partly reflecting on technological developments: 3D city models, Planning support systems, Smart Cities, urbanism 3.0., City Information Model (CIM), Digital Twins (DT), etc. First used in industry, the label DT is now both used by practitioners and researchers, in relation to the development of innovative city models. Nevertheless, this label remains fuzzily defined and designates heterogeneous models from a technical standpoint. In this paper, we propose an exploration of the definitions and technical contents of DT at the city scale and a comparison with CIM approaches, as CIM is also used to label similar city models. Our analysis is based on a literature review of both DT and CIM definitions and applications to the urban context, an exploratory survey conducted with 13 practitioners about their views on DT and its potential regarding urban planning and management and a comparison of a few real-world projects either labelled CIM or DT by practitioners. Our analysis leads us to pinpoint several of the remaining challenges for a DT approach to be developed at the city scale. We also shed light on potential shortcomings of future research, if based on too narrow DT definitions.