SLC.20.005 – Towards an Internet of Twins

Route: Smart, liveable cities

Cluster question: 112 Can we use Big Data and Big Data collection to define values, generate insights, and get answers?

The increasing urbanization and a rapidly changing climate make keeping cities resilient against disasters a huge challenge. With more and more high-rise buildings in city centers, their evacuation in case of a fire may be a disaster which cities are increasingly likely to anticipate. While the collection, linking, and exchange of data, in or through so-called Digital Twins is often considered an important direction to tackle urban disasters, creating them is far from easy: the idea of a Digital Twin fails to take into account that available data is often noisy and incomplete. Legacy representations such as BIM and GIS have limitations such as the geometric bias and a poor connection between buildings and their environments. Furthermore, we are dealing with different systems and attitudes towards data in organizations which need careful consideration in terms of social and legal governance. This is why, in this unique interdisciplinary project, we want to jointly explore the social and technical requirements for creating an infrastructure in which data can be exchanged safely and collectively contribute to creating an Internet of Twins, interconnected virtual representations of the entire urban space to assist decision making and, e.g., guide first responders in emergency situations such as fires and floods. Creating such an infrastructure poses a variety of challenges, from the societal and organizational aspects of sharing data between different organizations to the technical questions of interoperability and resilience of communication channels between different Twins, existing information systems and data flows, which need to be addressed through a multidisciplinary approach.


Big Data, digital twins, Governance, resilient cities, smart cities

Other organisations

Erasmus Medical Center (EMC), Leiden


Organisation TU Delft (TUD)
Name Dr. J.S. (Jan) Rellermeyer