The conundrum in smart city governance: Interoperability and compatibility in an ever-growing ecosystem of digital twins
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionData & Policy. 2023, 5 (e6), e6-1-e6-20. https://doi.org/10.1017/dap.2023.1
Today, technological developments are ever-growing yet fragmented. Alongside inconsistent digital approaches and attitudes across city administrations, such developments have made it difficult to reap the benefits of city digital twins. Bringing together experiences from five research projects, this paper discusses these digital twins based on two digital integration methodologies—systems and semantic integration. We revisit the nature of the underlying technologies, and their implications for interoperability and compatibility in the context of planning processes and smart urbanism. Semantic approaches present a new opportunity for bidirectional data flows that can inform both governance processes and technological systems to co-create, cross-pollinate, and support optimal outcomes. Building on this opportunity, we suggest that considering the technological dimension as a new addition to the trifecta of economic, environmental, and social sustainability goals that guide planning processes, can aid governments to address this conundrum of fragmentation, interoperability, and compatibility.