How do you crash test a city?
Through Virtual Gothenburg Lab, we make Gothenburg city’s digital twin available to those who wish to co-create the city of the future.
What is Virtual Gothenburg?
There are two Gothenburgs. The actual city that we love, but also a digital twin of the city known as Virtual Gothenburg. The digital twin is a three-dimensional representation of reality. Among other things, Virtual Gothenburg can be used for planning, management and governance of the city. It can also be used as a tool for dialogue concerning the development of the city, as well as for innovation in terms of urban development issues. In order to make the twin as realistic as possible, it is continuously updated with different types of data from the city, that jointly describe the physical environment; e.g., green structures, buildings and street space.
Real-time data from sensors, or other types of connected devices in the city, can be added and visualised in the digital twin, in order to describe what's happening at a location while it’s actually taking place in real time. The City of Gothenburg already has a large amount of well-structured data to contribute as a base, but together we can create a even more complete and useful digital twin. Our work with Virtual Gothenburg is headed by the Urban Planning Department of the City of Gothenburg and involves the majority of the city’s administrations and companies. The work has not only attracted considerable attention in Sweden but also internationally. The aim is to have a fresh update of the twin ready for delivery in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the city.
What is Virtual Gothenburg Lab?
Virtual Gothenburg Lab is a digital test environment, a so-called test bed, aimed at developing the usability and accessibility of the City of Gothenburg's digital twin - Virtual Gothenburg. The digital twin aligns with the need for new work processes, tools and methods. During the two years that Virtual Gothenburg Lab has existed, its focus has been on the challenges and needs of the city. The test bed is now being opened up to industry and academia in order to continue the development of the digital twin in collaboration with the city. The test bed provides an opportunity to test and evaluate ideas, create virtual prototypes and collaborate on key societal challenges. All of which is based on the digital twin and associated data from the city. The aim of Virtual Gothenburg Lab is to unlock the potential of using Virtual Gothenburg in a broad, creative and effective way to help us move forward together.
Virtual Gothenburg Lab provides project support for the development of methods and technologies and includes both virtual and physical visualisation environments. Although the focus is on Virtual Gothenburg, many other issues of a more general nature are also taken into account, which can be raised both nationally and internationally.
Here is what we have done so far
Up until now, we have tested a number of projects within urban development and planning: how new buildings can change the city's skyline, how we can build a city that can withstand torrential rain, how the city can be adapted for driverless vehicles. Virtual Gothenburg Lab has carried out five pilot studies with the aim of testing and developing our toolbox.