Digital cities for change

  • 23 May 2023

Gonville & Caius Fellow Dr Li Wan is an urban modelling expert believing people, not just digital data and technology, hold the answers to better cities.

Li is co-author of a new book, Digital Twins for Smart Cities, which is a key output of a five-year research project funded by The Ove Arup Foundation. Originated from manufacturing and aerospace engineering, the concept of ‘digital twin’ has been celebrated as the next-generation smart city technology, with a number of high-profile applications emerging across the globe. By employing a socio-technical framework, the book critically examines the limitations and potential risks of deploying ‘digital twins’ as a generic technology to cities, and calls for a socio-technical perspective for conceptualising, developing, evaluating and governing city digital twins. The book provides both conceptual clarity and practical guidance for supporting the development of city digital twins.

Li is Associate Professor in planning and Course Director for the MPhil in Planning, Growth and Regeneration in the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge. He is a co-investigator of the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction and a Trustee of the IJURR Foundation.

A book cover for Digital Twins for Smart Cities