Accelerating Smart City development with the Industrial Metaverse


Urban areas face a series of challenges, now and in the future. With the clock ticking, as sustainability targets approach, local government and city planners need to find faster and more efficient ways to manage these demands. Could the Industrial Metaverse provide a solution for city planners?

4 min read

According to the UN, 55% of the global population live in urban areas. This figure is projected to rise to 68% in less than thirty years. Compound this with the fact that the WEF has forecasted the global population in general to increase between 2014 and 2050 to 2.5 billion whilst many advanced economies are under pressure to reach net zero CO₂ emissions within the same timeframe and it becomes quite clear how huge a task city governance and civic planners will be facing. 

Large scale challenges

Not only that, there are further challenges of responding to environmental threats borne out of climate change such as heatwaves, flooding or epidemics, as well as managing constrained resources in terms of water, food and energy. The widening gap between rich and poor will be further exacerbated in future megacities as the battle for resources becomes more one-sided and inequalities grow. 

Cities, in response, must therefore look to technology to speed their efforts to become smarter and more sustainable in order to meet residents’ needs as well as net zero targets in time. 

How to meet the challenge? 

The requirement for more equitable living standards with fair access to resources, better mobility options, sustainable infrastructure to replace ageing ones, optimised energy use, and efficient waste management has never been greater. However, the development of smart cities is complex and requires a multi-dimensional approach. Thankfully, emerging technologies like the Industrial Metaverse could be the key to unlocking faster and more efficient smart city evolution. In this article, we’ll explore the Industrial Metaverse and how it can help city planners, civic governance, and other stakeholders build smarter cities that provide for citizens and benefit the environment.

How can the Industrial Metaverse accelerate Smart City development?

The Industrial Metaverse is the meeting point between real world industrial systems and assets and their virtual representations including predictive analytics, data visualisation, and 3D modelling or simulations. It leverages IoT connectivity and spatial layering technology to create this digital representation of the physical world, creating a gateway for real-time communication between people, physical entities, systems and machines.

Enabling Smart City Development

With high fidelity, complex, virtual representations of industrial systems and assets, also known as digital twins, city planners can benefit from faster, easier, and more affordable smart city planning and development. The Industrial Metaverse helps reduce the need for costly physical infrastructure investments, as stakeholders can simulate new ideas and solutions in the form of a virtual environment and connected digital twins to adapt existing systems in the digital environment. They can then test its capabilities through unlimited what-if scenarios to reduce guesswork and risk whilst capturing data-driven insights at the same time. In this way there is significant reduction in terms of waste, time and resources.

Streamlining Decision-Making

Smart cities require a cross-functional approach that can be challenging to orchestrate. With the Industrial Metaverse, stakeholders can communicate and collaborate simultaneously, visualising complex systems, predicting outcomes, and making more informed decisions. Government officials, urban planners, transit authorities, and other stakeholders can make data-driven decisions based on real-time simulations.

Enhancing Asset Management

Smart city development requires the integration and management of complex systems such as smart grids, transport networks, and building automation systems. Thanks to the Industrial Metaverse, city planners can get a holistic view of assets across the city, testing various scenarios including disaster and emergency management to help optimise operations and derive best practice courses of action. As a result, urban planners can ensure successful planning for emergencies, better resource distribution, less waste and more efficient asset management.

Increasing Public Participation

Smart city development requires consistent public participation to match the needs and expectations of its residents. The Industrial Metaverse can support public participation by providing virtual forums where stakeholders can engage and collaborate, ensuring that decision-making is more inclusive and diversified. 

In summary, the Industrial Metaverse promises to accelerate smart city development by improving collaboration, asset management, decision-making, and public participation. As cities become smarter, their efficiency in resource allocation, transportation, safety and healthcare will improve, resulting in better living conditions for all. City planners, system integrators, and other stakeholders can leverage the potential of these new technologies to build and sustain healthier, more livable communities.