Harnessing the Potential of Smart Technologies and Local Digital Twins for the New European Bauhaus
July 6 2023, saw the 4th webinar of the digiNEB.eu project, addressing the convergence between the New European Bauhaus (NEB) movement, smart technologies, and local digital twins.
The event brought together renowned experts and innovators who explored the transformative potential of this digital ecosystem, discovering the centrality of human-centric design and seamlessly integrating with our local living environments. Attendees gained valuable insights into how smart technologies and digital twins empower individuals to conceive, plan, and build sustainable structures and communities. From the presentations, it became evident how these technologies enable the creation of harmonious spaces that prioritise both aesthetic and sustainable aspects, shaping the future of our built environment.
The agenda featured a range of thought-provoking sessions, beginning with a warm welcome and introduction by Maria Giuffrida, Senior Researcher at Trust-IT, who also presented the results achieved by the digiNEB.eu project.
Data Space for Smart and Sustainable Cities and Communities
The first speaker, Sophie Meszaros (Open and Agile Smart Cities, OASC), introduced the DS4SSCC project (Data Space for Smart and Sustainable Cities and Communities). She explained that the project falls under the Digital Europe program and aims to enable digital transformation across cities and communities by creating data spaces and AI-driven solutions. Meszaros highlighted the project’s cross-sector nature of the project and its collaboration with other sectorial data spaces, and its involvement in the Living-in.eu community. She discussed the importance of cities as both providers and consumers of data, emphasising the need to overcome silos and make processes more efficient and transparent. Meszaros concluded by providing insights into the project’s blueprint phase, stakeholder engagement, use cases, and upcoming deployment phase.
The Living-in.eu initiative
The second speaker, Gabriela Ruseva (Eurocities), coordinator of the Living-in.eu project, highlighted the initiative’s objectives and its role as a network for cities to collaborate and accelerate their digital transformation. She emphasised that Living in.eu is open to cities, regions, and member states of all sizes. Ruseva discussed the initiative’s alignment with the European Commission’s activities in smart cities and communities and the support provided by the Digital Europe program. She outlined the tools and resources developed by Living in EU, including the Lord Mask tool for digital maturity assessment and fair AI procurement clauses.
Panel Discussion on Adopting Smart Technologies and Local Digital Twins for Sustainable Communities
The event continued with a panel discussion, where experts from various fields provided insights on adopting smart technologies and local digital twins for sustainable communities. First Marcos Nogueira, coordinator of the AURORAL project, discussed AURORAL and its focus on digital competencies for rural communities, infrastructure management, and global standards. He emphasised the need for shared development and collaboration to address the empty shelf problem and ensure European digital sovereignty. Nogueira stressed the significance of secure interoperability and ethical data sets for successful artificial intelligence applications and praised the cultural aspects and diversity of the New European Bauhaus initiative.
Second, Guglielmo Ricciardi, a researcher from PoliTO, highlighted the importance of smart technologies in increasing community resilience and identified several key benefits. Improved resource efficiency, conservation, and the circular economy were significant potentials for public administration and local communities. Ricciardi cited examples such as the Bamboo project and digital platforms like Mother Stair, which utilise digital technologies to collect and map data on construction materials for reuse and recycling. Additionally, enhancing the quality of life, citizen well-being and increasing safety and security measures were identified as crucial benefits. Ricciardi mentioned the Climate Resilience Demonstrator, a pioneering climate change adaptation digital platform in the UK that collects data from various sources to support decision-making and control critical infrastructures during extreme climate events. Using digital technologies in this context can save lives and prevent injuries. Overall, Ricciardi emphasised that all these benefits enhance local communities’ resilience.
Finally, Cristina Labianca, an architect specialising in sustainable architecture, regenerative urbanism, and social impact design, highlighted the importance of using new technologies to analyse cities holistically, considering social, economic, and environmental aspects. Labianca emphasised the need to understand each city’s unique characteristics and needs rather than applying a one-size-fits-all solution. By utilising technologies like AI, she believes urban planning can be revolutionised, enabling quick analysis of data and the development of potential solutions. Labianca also emphasised the importance of connecting people and resources, fostering civic engagement, and promoting collaboration to achieve sustainability goals and create greener cities. She sees AI as a key trend that can support urban planning, decision-making, and citizen participation.
The interactive session also allowed attendees to actively engage with the speakers and delve deeper into the topics discussed. The event attracted more 120+ people coming from more than 20 countries.
The event concluded with a Q&A session, where participants had the opportunity to address their questions and gain further clarity. Overall, the 4th webinar of the digiNEB.eu project proved to be an engaging and enlightening experience, showcasing the significant role that smart technologies and digital twins play in shaping the future of our built environment.
For those who missed the webinar or wish to revisit its insightful discussions, the full recording is already available at the digiNEB.eu YouTube channel.