DUET is designed to advance policy development in the age of big data and cloud, to deliver a trusted, scalable and transferable Digital Twin solution for accelerating the adoption of data-driven, collaborative decision making and policy-making. It is designed to stimulate the creation of collaborative and innovative solutions to multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral societal challenges by making it easier for policy makers and their stakeholders to access, visualise and use a wide variety of big geo-data sources to explore and co-create policy in the key Horizon 2020 target areas of transportation, environment and health.
Using DUET's Digital Twin approach means policy-making no longer needs to be based upon static models of consultation and closed planning over a timeframe of a year or more. Traditional ways of decision making are often siloed and slow, with thinking and solutions out-of-date by the time policy is ready to be implemented. Yet the world has changed; technology has changed the way we work, live and communicate, so solving society's problems in old ways no longer works. Whilst many administrations are utilising a number of innovative solutions to combat multidisciplinary urban challenges (e.g. variable congestion charging to reduce traffic jams, improve air quality and reduce air-related disease) no-one is yet harnessing the full disruptive power provided by combining big data and HPC advanced analytics to develop solutions that enable the collaborative exploration of the systemic impacts of city decisions, utilising the knowledge and experience of a range of urban stakeholders.
DUET's use of Cloud truly changes the game, disrupting the field of Smart Cities and transitioning to a new age of Responsive Cities. With Responsive Cities, solutions are not designed around citizens, they are designed with the citizen placed firmly at the centre of the action. Where Smart Cities are technology driven and produce large amounts of data from fixed or centrally controlled sensors, Responsive Cities recognise that citizens are also a major player in data generation which helps to shape real-time city decisions.
Embracing the Responsive City concept, DUET's Digital Twin infrastructure uses HPC, AI and other advanced analytics to utilise raw big data and simulate policy impacts via its 3D and 2D interfaces. This enables users (e.g. policy makers, administrative workers, emergency services, charities, entrepreneurs, corporates and citizens) to explore the knock-on effects of decisions on other areas of the city and other sectors (e.g. planning, fire and public safety, transport, social care, waste management etc). These visual interfaces can be explored individually on a user’s chosen device, or blown-up on life-size screens and used for immersive co-creation purposes which bring to life the tangible, systemic impacts of different policy options on the city experience. These fuel ‘what if’ experimentation that unleashes the creative and innovative qualities of all participants and brings a whole new dimension to stakeholder engagement and consultation.