Digital Twin Project, (2022-2024).

The ADAPT Centre at Maynooth University is collaborating with Dublin City Council's Smart City Unit on a 2-year targeted project to enable the development of a Digital Twin ecosystem and an engaged research programme that builds upon ADAPT’s research expertise in advanced technologies, Artificial Intelligence, education and public engagement, data interoperability, data and technology governance and ethics. It specifically links to the research programme of the Transparent Digital Governance Strand of ADAPT.
3D modelling technology presents an opportunity to transform the way we plan, build and operate infrastructure within our cities. Dublin City Council (DCC) through the Smart Dublin programme has begun exploring how we can use this technology across a variety of topics including energy consumption, urban planning, public engagement, environment, tourism and infrastructure management.
Previously DCC procured and released an open-source model of the Docklands Strategic Development Zone for a 3D hackathon in 2019 and this is being used to uncover new insights into the potential of 3D models for city services and decision-making. Further, there are some stand-alone models of DCU campus environment and Dublin Fire Brigade for real-time traffic monitoring, autism-friendly routing, pre-incident planning and informed decision making in infrastructural development.
Digital Twin is an initiative of DCC’s Smart Dublin programme to collaborate with various stakeholders in Dublin to explore the potential for novel forms of engagement using Digital Twin technology. It intends to apply a people-centric approach, with the active participation of local stakeholders, enterprises and community at its core, thereby bringing together technology providers, public authorities, academia and citizens to identify expectations, priorities, potential applications, benefits, ethical challenges and outcomes of interacting with Digital Twin technology.
The objective of this project is to research potential ways of harnessing the digital twin technology for effective stakeholder and community engagement, understand the challenges and opportunities of adopting this technology, develop and evaluate possible interventions in key thematic areas within the smart cities programme and input into a vision, roadmap, and framework to progress the development of a digital twin ecosystem.
The goal is to ensure that the adoption of Digital Twin technology meets the needs and expectations of both the city, and the citizens so that they can interact with it by trialling and scaling innovative solutions, not just in technology deployments, but also in processes of engagement, in a wide range of scenarios and applications.
This programme of engaged research will generate new data and citizen science around the interaction between Digital Twin and stakeholders and local community, providing insights and new knowledge relating to the Digital Twin programme for collaborative public engagement.
Dr. Mani Dhingra joined in Dec. 2022 as the Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher in the role of Digital Twin & Smart City Lead as ADAPT researcher for Smart Dublin Programme. She has research interests in spatial data science, smart and sustainable urbanism, climate change, resilient communities, and inclusive policymaking. Her last assignment was with the UNDP India programme to build a self-paced online course on Inclusive and Accessible Public Spaces, with a key focus on persons with disability, all gender, children, and elderly. Currently, she is working on developing new models, methods and techniques for effective public engagement using digital twin and AI-driven approaches.
The ADAPT PI on the project is Prof Aphra Kerr, Department of Sociology and MUSSI, Maynooth University.  
This project is partly funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme (Grant 13/RC/2106_P2).
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