Improving Environment with City-scale Digital Twin | City of Helsinki

Improving the Environment with a City-scale Digital Twin

City of Helsinki

Helsinki 3D+

he Helsinki 3D+ open data platform now supports many types of initiatives to improve sustainability and quality of life initiatives with a city-scale digital twin.

Key Project Details

  • Project: Helsinki 3D+
  • Infrastructure Delivered: A digital twin of Helsinki, Finland
  • Owner: The city of Helsinki
  • Lead Engineers:The city of Helsinki
  • Completion Date: November 2016

By visualizing development, the city of Helsinki ensures collaboration and engagement between the city, residents, and developers.

City of Helsinki 2D design

With a city-scale digital twin, the city of Helsinki is now supporting many types of initiatives to improve sustainability and quality of life.

Taking on Modern Challenges with a City-scale Digital Twin

As the city of Helsinki faced modern challenges such as increased urbanization and climate change, the government knew they needed to go beyond traditional planning techniques to best serve their community and meet Finland’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2035. The city government launched a EUR 1 million project to produce a digital twin of the city to improve Helsinki’s internal services and processes, promote smart city development, and share city models as open data to citizens and companies for research and development. As part of Helsinki 3D+, the project team delivered a pilot portfolio to demonstrate the power of new modeling technology and promote its use in higher education.

Collaborative Approach to Modeling Terrain

The city of Helsinki used a combination of laser scanning and oblique photogrammetry to acquire data and images for the project. Leveraging ContextCapture and a host of Bentley 3D reality modeling applications, the team modeled the surface and terrain and generated a reality mesh model of the entire city. Additionally, ProjectWise served as the collaborative interface to manage all information and share data across internal and external teams.

Bringing the Digital Twin Together

The city of Helsinki used Bentley’s reality capture technology for geo-coordination, optioneering, modeling, and visualization throughout the Helsinki 3D+ project. For large-scale base maps and utility maps, the team used OpenCities Map. They relied on Descartes to process oblique and orthophotos, Pointools to model the surface and terrain, ContextCapture to create the 3D mesh representation of the city, and LumenRT for visualization to present the models. Using ProjectWise as the common environment for all project data optimized document management and streamlined workflow among internal and external teams.

Promoting Smart City Development

The city-scale digital twin provides a holistic approach to decarbonization, resilience, healthy communities, and well-being. Helsinki 3D+ now supports many types of initiatives to improve sustainability and quality of life, including analyzing solar power utilization, conducting flood assessments, and performing noise calculations. These initiatives provide deeper insight into the state of city systems, improve decision-making, and promote smart city development. The city also uses it to improve planning and engagement between the city, residents, and developers, ensuring everyone’s voice is heard.

The Impact

Sustainable Development Goals 11 and 9

Contributing to sustainable and resilient infrastructure, and to progress on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Support initiatives that improve sustainability and quality of life for city residents.
  • Provide deeper insight into the state of city systems, improve decision-making, and promote smart city development.

“Future cities need advanced tools and innovative city models for creative design and well-grounded decisions.”

Jarmo Suomisto, Project Manager, Helsinki 3D+