At its meeting on 13 July, the ETH Board approved the following Joint Initiatives in two Strategic Areas for co-funding:

Strategic Area Energy, Climate and Environmental Sustainability
Strategic Area Engagement and Dialogue with Society

UrbanTwin is one of five initiatives approved in the first category.

An urban digital twin for climate action: Assessing policies and solutions for energy, water and infrastructure (UrbanTwin)
Urban areas are responsible for 75% of greenhouse gas emissions  and their liveability will be significantly impacted by rising temperatures. They represent a natural integrator of many systems namely energy, transport, clean and wastewater, and buildings, making them the ideal environment to implement a coordinated, multi-sectoral response to climate change and to leverage digitalization as a driver of systemic change. UrbanTwin aims at developing and validating an integrated tool to support decision-makers in achieving goals such as the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050 and the vision of climate-adaptive “sponge cities” in Switzerland.This tool involves a detailed model of critical urban infrastructure, such as energy, water, buildings and mobility, as well as underlying socio-economic and environmental drivers and their inter-dependencies. The proposed tool will be applied to two specific case studies: (a) the sustainable transition of communities considering proper valorisation of local resources and optimal infrastructure deployment, and (b) the assessment of climate change-related policies’ effectiveness considering critical infrastructure resilience, supply security and the transition pathway thereto. To ensure the successful implementation of the proposed interdisciplinary decision-making tool, the project will actively involve local stakeholders along with scientists across the institutions involved.

Participating ETH Domain institutions: ETH Zürich, EPFL, Eawag, Empa, WSL

Main contact: Prof. Dr. David Atienza Alonso, EPFL

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