The project is part of the "Implementation of the Smart City Centre of Excellence Support Measure" (Subsidy No 2014-2020.4.01.20-0289) financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Estonian Ministry of Research and Education.

The GreenTwins project develops a library of green elements for the digital twins of Tallinn and Helsinki and creates a permanent city planning hub in Tallinn centre. The world-class novelty of the project is the dynamic digital modelling of the green environment, a “green information model”.

Today, the green is represented in digital environments by static images. In reality, the green environment is in constant temporal change, which has a major impact on urban comfort and the carbon balance of a city. Green environment is a primary quality factor of urban environment. It has a major impact on micro-climate and particle emissions, heat island effect and soundscape. Green-blue infrastructure is a measure for climate adaptation. Green environments create identity for cities and can offset greenhouse gas emissions towards carbon neutrality.

The project will create a CityGML extension and a 3D-plant model resource library for the target areas in Tallinn and Helsinki. It provides an access to urban digital twins through two applications: a web application for participatory planning and an application utilizing game engines to visualize the temporal changes of urban nature. The library of digital green objects can be extended to serve the needs of other cities in other climate zones – all over the world.

The permanent Smart City Planning HUB in downtown Tallinn will promote the digital advance of the city and facilitate citizen participation in urban planning. The dynamic model of the green-blue infrastructure in urban digital twin makes the visualizations more realistic and the simulations more accurate.

The project partners are the cities of Tallinn and Helsinki, Aalto University and TalTech. Collaboration network includes High Performance Computing Centre Stuttgart, where urban digital twins are used for simulations, analyses and participatory processes. The new TalTech professor of digitized participatory urban planning, Dr. Fabian Dembski, explains: Digital Twin can be best characterised as a container for models, data and simulation. Digital Twins serve as one promising approach for tackling not only the complexity of cities, but also to involve citizens in the planning process.”

The responsible project leader is professor Kimmo Lylykangas from TalTech. “The GreenTwins project is generating top expertise on digitized landscape architecture and planning support tools at TalTech”, Lylykangas says and continues: “The quantification of the carbon sinks of urban greeneries with urban digital twins is something that all cities need for monitoring their development towards climate neutrality.”

The Aalto University researchers in the team have top expertise on participatory planning processes.

Ivari Rannama, the head of the urban planning department in the City of Tallinn, highlights the importance of citizen engagement in urban planning. “The city of Tallinn has been developing the participatory processes. The hub opens new opportunities to facilitate these processes.”

The project partners are the cities of Tallinn and Helsinki, Aalto University and TalTech. The project leader is Prof. Kimmo Lylykangas from TalTech.

The pilot project is 100% financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research