With the help of the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS), tourists can experience picturesque cross-timbered houses and historic churches of Herrenberg, a small town in Germany, via virtual reality (VR). Tourists can digitally explore the emerging virtual tourism area with VR glasses.
The digital twin will be used to visualize city data
Nicolai Reith, Head of Control and Communication Department and Advisor to Herrenberg Mayor, said to Cities Today: “You don’t have to make a decision and then see [what’s happening]; you can see before you decide what the effect will be through the digital twin. That makes it easier for our city council, politicians and citizens to make the right decision. “Herrenberg is already using the digital twin, which incorporates supercomputing and typically deployed technologies in advanced aerospace, to visualize city data and emotional responses from citizens to inform better decision-making.
HLRS developed the digital twin for Herrenberg, beginning with a concept called ‘space syntax.’ This was done with the assistance of Fraunhofer Institute, the University of Stuttgart, and the Kommunikationsbüro Ulmer.
Cities need to retain control over data and models: Dr. Fabian Dembski
Dr. Fabian Dembski of HLRS said: “As a human skeleton provides a scaffolding for all other human body systems and functions, space syntax produces a 2D outline of physical grids in a city, providing a framework for conducting spatial analysis, such as predicting the likely paths that car or pedestrian traffic might take to move from one point to the next.” He also told Cities Today that the city’s use of digital twins is “only at the start” but is progressing rapidly, especially in Asia.
“A digital twin can be a great help in reducing town complexity, assessing early-stage measures, and explaining interrelationships. But many aspects are profoundly human and can’t be reproduced in digital copies, such as culture, interpersonal relationships, happiness, and joy. A digital twin is an instrument, and not a solution,” he added.