iNicosia Digital Twin Vision

The iNicosia project is a digital twin of the city of Nicosia that consists of an “accurate” (as necessary) 3D model of the city, with representations of actual buildings and monuments (e.g., the walls and the old city), the road network, parking places, various metadata about the environment, possibly traffic lights and their state, street lights, the power grid/water network, vegetation, etc. Such a model would have minimum usability without the inclusion of real-world data; rich time-series data will be collected by various sensors (camera feeds, thermal/humidity/motion sensors, etc.) placed around the city of Nicosia through the Smart City platform. These data will be geolocated and timestamped, collected, associated and stored alongside the digital twin.

Such a platform should add value both to the citizens and to the research groups of CYENS. It opens the doors for the development of real-world applications that could be enriched through the cutting-edge research at CYENS, as well as the opening of multiple research opportunities and collaborations for the members of CYENS, possibilities for the municipality to help improve life in Nicosia and many potential applications and business opportunities. Researchers from the visual sciences for example, will have the opportunity to develop methods to reproduce and visualize the city, the collected data, people and traffic. They will have the capabilities to design immersive systems where users are immersed in the model and be able to live first hand changes in the city before these happen or even be able to visualize the past, present and future of the city. The Human factor researchers will be able to observe and possibly try to understand the relationship of citicens to the city, their psychology and even design HCI methods to easily communicate data to stakeholders and the public. Telecommunication researchers will have to design and integrate sensor networks that will collect data and process data in efficient (and secure) ways and Artificial Intelligence experts can help interpret, understand and exploit these data

Such a project allows the development of gamification applications for the education and training of students, stakeholders, tourists and security officers. Museums can benefit from applications build on top of the 3D model, the municipality can visualize changes in the city and how the culturally rich centre is affected by the introduction of modern infrastructure around it. Moreover, this kind of a digital sibling project can act as a model for larger cities that share similar context, a culturally rich city centre (which is difficult and prohibitive to modify to accommodate modern needs) surrounded by the modern part of the city, with many offices, shops and parks.

Uniqueness: Nicosia is the last divided capital in the world. This gives the potential to the iNicosia project to play a central role in the reunification of the city! Currently the city is divided by a large buffer zone into two parts with different policies and urban developments that happened over the past 47 years. Such a project can help people reunite the city more gracefully by testing and exchanging ideas Moreover, with the current political status, the two communities can collaborate on other projects, educate each other and exchange stories and ideas.

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