Ricerca CERCA

Geomatics Lab

Designing Intelligent Urban Digital Twins through the Integration of IoT and 3D City Models



Research Groups Electronic Design Automation(EDA), Energy Center Lab, Geomatics Lab, LABG4CH


Description Cities worldwide face unprecedented social, environmental, and economic pressures driven by rapid urbanisation, ageing infrastructure, resource constraints, and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. To address these complex, interconnected challenges, urban planners, policymakers, and municipal leaders require sophisticated tools to provide a comprehensive, data-driven understanding of the built environment. 3D city models and urban digital twins have emerged as transformative technologies that revolutionise how cities are planned, operated, and managed [1,2].
3D city models enable planners and policymakers to make informed decisions for urban planning, as they allow for precise visualisation, analysis, and simulation of urban environments. They are utilised in diverse fields such as architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC), urban and transportation planning, conservation efforts, energy system monitoring, land use, zoning, and infrastructure, ensuring sustainable development. These advanced 3D representations of the urban landscape, when integrated with real-time data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and other sources, enable dynamic, intelligent urban digital twins that can continuously monitor and respond to changing conditions. By creating a virtual counterpart of the physical city, IoT-integrated urban digital twins allow stakeholders to test interventions, optimize operations, and enhance resilience before implementation in the real world.
The research thesis will explore state-of-the-art 3D city modelling and digital twin technologies and investigate their applications across various domains, including urban planning, infrastructure maintenance, transportation optimisation, energy systems, and disaster management. The research will focus on integrating Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors and real-time data feeds to transform static 3D city models into dynamic, intelligent digital twins. The thesis will examine the data sources, integration approaches, analytical capabilities, and visualisation techniques that enable these advanced digital representations of the built environment. Additionally, the research will assess the technological, organisational, and policy-related challenges and enablers for the widespread adoption of IoT-integrated urban digital twins.
The objectives of the thesis to reach are the following:
1. To review the state-of-the-art in 3D city modelling and urban digital twin technologies, including data sources, modelling approaches, analytical capabilities, and visualisation techniques.
2. To investigate the integration of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, communication networks, and real-time data management systems into 3D city models to create intelligent, dynamic digital twins of the urban environment.
3. To explore the ICT architecture and system design required to support the seamless integration of IoT data streams, 3D city models, and advanced analytics for urban digital twin applications.
4. To assess the technological challenges and enablers for the robust, secure, and scalable deployment of IoT-integrated urban digital twins, including data interoperability, edge computing, cloud infrastructure, and cybersecurity considerations.
5. To develop a practical implementation of an IoT-integrated urban digital twin, including data acquisition, system architecture, and analytics capabilities.

[1] Biljecki, F., Stoter, J., Ledoux, H., Zlatanova, S., Çöltekin, A., 2015. Applications of 3D city models: State of the art review. ISPRS Int J Geoinf. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi4042842
[2] Zlatanova, S., Yan, J., Wang, Y., Diakité, A., Isikdag, U., Sithole, G., Barton, J., 2020. Spaces in Spatial Science and Urban Applications—State of the Art Review. ISPRS Int J Geoinf 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9010058

Required skills - Experience in Internet protocols (e.g. HTTP, MQTT)
- Experience in Internet-of-Things (e.g. publish/subscribe approach, request/response approach)
- Experience in data format (e.g. JSON, XML)
- Basic experience in cybersecurity (e.g. TLS)
- Basic experience in backend development (e.g. PostgreSQL)
- Basic experience in frontend development (e.g. JavaScript, React)
- Problem-solving and proactivity soft-skill

Deadline 11/06/2025      PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA