Exploring the Potential of Urban Digital Twins In Climate Adaptive Development

MADE Student Project

Cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change and, consequently, the urgent need for incorporating climate adaptation strategies into urban planning is frequently highlighted. In this context, Urban Digital Twins (UDTs) have emerged as a promising technology that can potentially aid urban planning processes and facilitate the implementation of climate adaptive initiatives. Despite the rapid development of this technology, UDT research is still in its infancy and more research is required to justify its potential in this context. Therefore, this research investigates the practical application of UDT technology in the context of urban development, with a specific focus climate adaptation. This study is performed through a real-world case study approach on the Gnephoekpolder, an area with significant urban development plans in the Netherlands. This study demonstrates the wide range of possibilities offered by the UDT, which can aid better-informed decision-making regarding climate adaptive efforts. Furthermore, this study identifies the benefits, risks and limitations of UDT technology through a comprehensive user evaluation, based on the UTAUT framework. These insights can serve as a guide for future development of the UDTs. Moreover, the strength and significance of the most important drivers for the adoption of UDT technology are determined. In this study, the importance of social influence is highlighted. With this information, practitioners can design strategies to promote successful adoption the technology in the context of climate adaptation in urban development. Finally, the findings are synthesised, limitations are acknowledged, and future research directions are determined regarding UDT technology in the context of climate adaptation in urban development.

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