Smart District Data Infrastructure (SDDI)

More than 50% of the world population is living in cities today and the number is further increasing. No matter if looking at environmental noise, air quality and particulate matter, energy usage and production, or traffic flows - in order to achieve or maintain a high quality of living in cities, municipalities and companies must take into account many different concerns simultaneously. The concept "Smart District Data Infrastructure" (SDDI) provides planners with the necessary set of flexible tools. Entire cities or just city districts are represented by 3D virtual city models which are linked with dynamic data, for example, on the traffic density or energy consumption. These models are used for monitoring and evaluation of the current situation, and especially for simulations of future developments and an early impact analysis.

The SDDI has a modular structure and defines an organisational and technical framework consisting of actors, applications, sensors, an urban analytics toolkit, and a virtual district model. Actors are citizens and the city administration, but can also be other stakeholders like public transport services, utility service providers, and real estate firms. Sensors comprise local weather and climate stations, regional weather radar, smart meters for energy, gas, and water consumption, video cameras, and traffic sensors. Urban analytic tools are software components that, for example, estimate the energy demands or potentials of solar energy production for all buildings, simulate road traffic and pedestrian flows, or perform noise propagation or flooding simulations. The SDDI is based on Open Standards and links systems of different manufacturers in a non-proprietary and extensible way.

What makes the SDDI framework unique compared to others within the field of Smart Cities is the fact that all information, sensors, and applications are located within a semantic 3D city model. The latter is a virtual representation of the physical reality of the district. It consists of the most relevant objects like buildings, streets, vegetation, water bodies, and networks. The 3D model is based on the international standard CityGML and does not only serve for neat visualizations - it is an information hub and essential foundation for most simulations and analytic tools. Within this virtual district model, for example, the energy demands of buildings can be put in relation to their physical conditions and their socio-economic key performance indicators. This way, the impact of planned urban redevelopment projects on the different thematic fields like the environment, mobility, energy, and social affairs can be investigated at the same time.

As one of 100 winners from more than 1000 candidates this project has been awarded "Landmarks in the Land of Ideas" 2016. The goal of the "Germany – Land of Ideas" initiative in cooperation with Deutsche Bank is to make innovations visible in Germany and abroad and to strengthen the economic potential and sustainability of Germany as a location.

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