Today, Norrköping and its contents – such as asphalt, paving stones and specific trees – are mapped manually, which is both time-consuming and requires resources over a long period of time. Now, this work will be simplified and become more accessible through a project where a digital twin of the city will be created – SimStad. The project is financed with approx. SEK 1.9 million via Norrköping’s research and development fund.

The project SimStad – Platform for digital twin Norrköping will develop a platform and a methodology to create a digital twin of Norrköping. This twin will make it possible to calculate and visualize Norrköping’s content and development in different ways. Erik Telldén, who currently works as a strategist at the urban planning office in Norrköping municipality, will over a period of approx. 1.5 years transfer to Linköping University and manage the project.

– What we are going to do is develop a so-called deep neural network, which may be described simply as a computer program that learns by itself, says Erik Telldén. This neural network is to be trained according to specific questions related to Norrköping’s physical environment.

The project will use existing municipal data, such as geodata, aerial and drone images. Currently, the city’s content is mapped manually in the department for geographic information at the municipality’s urban planning office, which entails several challenges.

– Today, we have an enormous resource of geodata in Norrköping where we have lampposts, electric wiring, etc. All information is central when managing areas, says Erik Telldén. Now, we want to see if we can use all this manually entered data for machine learning. If we succeed, we will be able to streamline this process significantly and keep the digital twin up to date as the cityscape changes.

Ultimately, the digital twin will be made available to several different actors, e.g. Norrköping municipality, authorities and companies in addition to contributing towards continued research and development of products and services.

– The project will also produce a physical 3D model of Norrköping that will be placed at Visualiseringscenter C, available for research, public display and citizen dialogues for upcoming urban development projects, says Erik Telldén.

Norrköping Science Park (NOSP), Visual Sweden and the Business Administration in Norrköping are some of the actors who support the project in various ways, for instance in the form of disseminating information about its development in the coming years, something that is possible thanks to the actors’ extensive network.

SimStad runs until 31 December 2023 and is awarded a total of SEK 1,874,963 by the research fund.

Read the news article from Norrköping municipality here.