Smart city planning and decision-making, VTT CityTune®
With increasing availability of big data from sensors, databases, statistics and social media, cities are at the threshold of a smart city planning, management and decision-making revolution. VTT CityTune® is a solution package that helps cities and businesses make sense of the data and turn it into useful, actionable information.
VTT CityTune® forecasts the likely effects of major decisions in cities using the right modelling tools and analytical approaches.
We can help cities and businesses solve problems related to the built environment, energy, transport, waste, resilience, services and many more areas of city planning.
The efficient use of big data can reduce risks and avoid unintended side effects in decision-making.
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Making a difference with smart city planning
Cities generate approximately 70% of the world’s GDP, consume 70% of its resources and energy and emit 70% of all greenhouse gases. Thus, solving many key environmental, social and economic challenges will happen in cities.
However, cities are complex systems where the flows of people, production, energy, material, water, waste, goods and services all converge and interact. This makes it challenging for cities and businesses to make the right strategic decisions that maximise positive impact and minimise risk.
How can city decision-makers choose the most impactful option among many alternatives? How can consultants and developers help cities achieve their goals and avoid unintended side effects? How can we foresee the long-term effects of short-term changes?
VTT CityTune® turns data into better decision-making models
Our comprehensive service package, VTT CityTune® harnesses the potential of data and the modelling of complex problems to support well-informed planning and decision-making. This includes smart city planning, city services and private sector decision-making. With VTT CityTune® solution, we’re able to forecast developments, follow trend lines compared to strategic targets and test different alternative decisions by running what-if scenarios in the modelling environment.
What if difficult and complex decisions in a city could first be tested using virtual models?
We have decades of experience in working with cities from around the world and developing the analytics behind complex decision-making. Together we have solved problems related to the built environment, energy, transport, waste, resilience, and services. For example, we helped the city of Saga in Japan to close the loops in the waste flows of the local rice processing industry. In Espoo, Finland, VTT CityTune® supported the planning of the Kera district, home to the Nokia headquarters, by identifying the key factors of attractiveness to potential inhabitants and businesses.
Smart city success stories using VTT CityTune®
Optimising city energy in Vienna, Austria
The Austrian Institute of Technology wanted to create a novel energy system for its campus where buildings can act both as consumers and producers of energy. The result is a complex system, and ensuring optimal realisation is difficult. VTT used energy system modelling to find the optimal solution among many technology combinations.
"The modelling approach is very good, it provided detailed models and you can do a lot of things with it. Our system was very complicated. After analysing 36 different scenarios, we found comparing the alternatives to be very useful for planning the energy system."
- Nicolas Pardo Garcia, Science & Project Manager in Austrian Institute of Technology
Public transport for Kera district in Espoo, Finland
Our modelling showed clearly that smooth transport arrangements were a critical success factor for this new district. If Kera is to be built as a public transport hub, the success of the area is guaranteed, and it will attract both residents and businesses. Based on these findings, our team then made more detailed recommendations regarding public transportation.
"Traditionally, city decision-making is focused on short-term, sectorial factors and regulations. System dynamics provides holistic view, defines leverage points for reaching targets and goes beyond traditional silos. Combining data and tacit knowledge is a very powerful approach for decision-making."
- Päivi Sutinen, PhD, EMBA, Director for City as a Service Development, City of Espoo, Mayor’s Office
Providing circular economy solutions in Saga, Japan
We provided a systemic impact assessment for evaluating the technological potential and the economic and social value of the circular Saga ecosystem. This includes a system for converting residual biomass into recyclable packaging and furnishing materials, and simulator methodologies to support municipal decision-making.
Simplifying complex multi-stakeholder issues
Questions related to city planning and smart city design are often extremely complicated, with many different stakeholders involved at different levels. In addition, the data that could be used to support decision-making tends to be fragmented, unstructured and difficult to utilise without relevant data science skills and tools. The aim of the VTT CityTune® service is to provide both the tools and the expertise to help cities excel at smart city planning and development. Our service can also be used to support businesses who are working closely with cities on urban planning, energy, transport, and other areas vital to a functioning smart city.
With VTT CityTune®, you will reap the benefits of our expertise in the following fields:
- System dynamics modelling
- Scenario building and forecasting
- Service design
- Data fusion and AI
- Smart grids and energy
- Mobility and transport
How to work with us
We have successfully helped cities around the world make better decisions and plans. Here are the typical steps of a VTT CityTune® project:
Setting overall goals, defining our approach, and creating a detailed plan.
Information gathering & Expert workshop
Interviews, benchmarking, archive materials. Workshops with multiple stakeholders and points of view, defining more exact outcomes. We start building the VTT CityTune® model.
Our experts refine the VTT CityTune® model, enriching it with input from follow-up interviews and other additional sources.
VTT CityTune® model parameters are tuned to illustrate different possibilities. City stakeholders are engaged to collect further feedback.
The VTT CityTune® model creates a big-picture view of city-as-a-system that can be used to assess the impact of different projects.